Lessons From a Laundromat

We made the big 1/2 mile move today. Technically yesterday. My days are really afternoons and nights. I went to bed at 10 instead of 5 a.m. and I’m oddly off kilter tonight. The move went without a hitch  (or rather, the hitch worked just swell) and we only had one minor mishap. I’ll write about that when I can think in whole sentences again.

This shot clearly was not taken anywhere near Cuero, which is our closest city (pop. 6500). I wrote this a while back on a short-lived blog I started in Oregon.

The lessons continue, even if I no longer have to go to the laundromat (oh, and I am 55 now so I hope I’ve done some changing). 😀


I made my weekly trip to the Laundromat. Surprisingly, I was the only person who choose to spend their sunny Saturday afternoon soaking and tumbling at the Duds and Suds. Since I forgot my book, I resorted to my typical fall-back mode of ‘straightening things’. It’s actually a pretty clean laundromat, so all I could think of to do was organize – maybe even alphabetize- the magazine rack.

Shuffling the magazines, I found quite a variety of reading materials:
The Holy Bible (KJV)
Our Daily Bread
The American Legion
Allen Brother’s (The Great Steakhouse Steaks)
ACLU: At War with America
Freedom 1st
The New Yorker
Popular Science
Handy: The Handyman Club of America
Cigars International
The Progressive Farmer
Voice of the Martyrs

My first thought was: I’ll bet the folks who donated these wouldn’t much like each other. I’m afraid the reason I thought that will become too clear in another paragraph. It’s always easy for me to make obvious, or even profound life applications for others.

There are those whom I know that read The Daily Bread that think the ACLU is the devil’s spawn (literally), and believe AARP is almost as evil. I also know folks who order from Cabala’s and have nothing but scorn for anyone who would read Popular Science.
I don’t know anyone (as far as I know) that reads The Progressive Farmer, so I have no idea how they might feel about Allen Brother’s Steaks.
But the small-minded, bigotry just jumps right out at you, doesn’t it?

And there I stood, thinking that exact thing. I started thinking about whether or not I would like the people who donated certain selections. Really, Debbie? Based on what magazines they read?

I found myself drowning in the misconception that other people should share my enlightened views. And if not, well, possibly they wouldn’t make very charming dinner companions.
Funny that I remember feeling that way at 15 and 25 and 35 and 45 and since I’m not 55 yet, maybe this is the time for a change.

Change doesn’t come as easily to me in the rest of life as it does at the Laundromat. There my old currency is converted into something shiny and useful and helpful with the power, along with just a tiny bit of potion, to cleanse and restore.

I’m ready to change. I don’t want to read a bumper sticker and think: Doubt he’d be my cup of tea or form opinions of people based on their yard signs. The rush to judgement that I have to keep in check is the sign of a very small heart  in a very large world.

Change. It’s time for some. The old still has it’s place, there’s room for so much new.

Any time I think I have the corner on the truth, it’s probably time to take a different fork in the road!

Never, Ever Open Your Eyes in the Shower

I’m 54. It’ll be another 10 years before I’ve reached the endearing age of the Beatles hit from Yellow Submarine.

There don’t seem to be many economic changes that kick in at 54. I can’t even get senior coffee at McDonald’s for another year. But David Smidt, president of seniordiscounts.com, (Find Gold in the Golden Years) offers reassurance:  You’d be surprised who will shave off a percentage for a 55-plus customer if they ask. We have apartment complexes, Lincoln and Cadillac dealerships, car washes, tree service, lawn care, plumbers, handymen …

As a full-time RV-er, I’m not sure how many of these services I’ll need, still, good to know.

There have been some personal age related changes, though. I started getting  AARP cards in the mail when I turned 49. That was 9 years after I began highlighting my hair. Delora was my hairstylist and my friend. One day she said: Debbie, you’re starting to get a few grey hairs around your face, lets just blend them in with some highlights. We blended for the next 11 years.

After I left the Midwest, I tried a couple more times, but never found anyone who could make the highlights look like they came from an artist’s pallet instead of a squirt bottle, so I quit.

My eyesight isn’t the best and I don’t spend much time in front of the mirror. You can’t  begin to imagine my surprise as I was getting ready for work, back when I still had to dress up for work, and I looked a bit closer than usual at my reflection. I was dumbfounded! I’d gone from 53, looking like 43, to 53 looking like 63 overnight!

That little bit of grey around my face, hidden beneath highlights now long gone, was apparently a white contagion that had infected two-thirds of my hair. It doesn’t run in my family. Maybe I was adopted. No one else has green eyes either…

As surprised as I’ve been about my hair, I had an even bigger age related surprise today.

About once a week, I plop Henry in the shower with me. It’s so dang dusty here that it’s a necessary to afflict this torture on his small frame.

He stands very still, which is good since an RV shower stall gives new definition to elbow room. In an RV, it’s a room where, if you put your hands on your hips and turn full circle, you can touch all 4 walls with your elbows.

Once Henry’s shower is complete, I finish mine.

I dutifully picked up the razor, as I have every time I’ve showered since I was 11. Today, for some reason, I opened my eyes. I never open my eyes in the shower. I don’t like getting soap in my eyes. Maybe I’m harboring some subconscious fear of what I’ll see, I don’t know. Anyway, I opened my eyes and there they were, my completely naked arm pits. When did that happen? How many years have I been squint-eyed shaving away at nothing?

I must be going through reverse puberty. Next week I’ll likely develop a case of acne and before you know it my front tooth will start to wiggle, but at least I’ve shaved 10 seconds off my showers!

How about you? Is there anything about your current age that’s come as a surprise?