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challenges grief joy loss of a spouse Widow

Finding Unexpected Joy

As a widow finding joy after the loss of a spouse is hard. A laundry room makeover brings unexpected joy to this widow.

My morning smile has never stretched so far as it did today when I put another load in the wash.  It’s the fourth day in a row.  I am scrounging to find things to wash. It is really too exciting so I had to share my joy.

Sorry, this is not a post about my recent trip to Iceland but you can read about that here: Iceland

We had never done any indoor home renovations.  It was a money issue and also we worried that once we started, we would open up such a can of worms it wouldn’t be worth it.

But now that Mike is gone, as a widow, I am the only one making decisions in this house.  And the one thing I really did not like, is climbing two flights of stairs to do laundry in the boiler room.

I had tried going on strike back when the kids were little.  I thought someone else would start to help out more.  No one did, and there was lots of laundry to be done after my strike.  That backfired.

One day our washing machine broke.  Before we bought a new one, I made the trek to the local laundromat.  Mike joined me on these occasions.  During cycles we went across the street for appetizers and cocktails while the machines did the work.  That was fun.

Eventually, we broke down and went to Home Depot for a washing machine. We thought we would be moving in the next few years so we bought the cheapest machine on the floor.

This Maytag washer was a true lemon!  It never did spin completely and the clothes were always still soaking wet after a two hour cycle.  Why?

I arranged to have the Maytag repair man come.  He came 5 separate times and I even stayed home from work for some of the visits.  Each time he used his little computer, pointed it at the machine and exclaimed it was working just fine.  Then he would leave and the problem would continue.

Home Depot was no better.  They refused to exchange the machine so I kept it.  Sometimes it worked, but just when I thought it was safe to put clothes in the dryer, the weight of fully soaked jeans and towels caused me anguish and disgust.

After Mike died, I stopped calling Maytag.  I didn’t care anymore.  I wasn’t about to continue this fight so I just grudgingly trudged to the boiler room and took my chances. If I tried to wash a towel and a pair of jeans in the same load, I soon learned that the load would never spin correctly.

I wanted my Aunt Gert’s wallpaper that says “I hate laundry rooms”!

So this winter I made the decision to redo the upstairs bathroom, extend the master closet and… add a washer and dryer next to my bedroom.

I thought I was going to get that white stackable unit I had in my first apartment, right after college.  The loads would be smaller and it would work just fine.

However, the Saturday that I went shopping, Best Buy was having a sale and I think I ended up with the Rolls Royce of washer and dryers!  My set of dark high tech looking machines are equipped with computers and play pretty bell tunes when they are finished, gone are the days of loud buzzers.

My clothes are coming out cleaner and fresher.  Each load has been rinsed and spun perfectly. I happily lift the damp items to the large well lit dryer and push some specialized buttons.  I toss the clothes on my bed next to Harry, my dog, and joyfully fold my clothes like Marie Kondo.  It’s amazing.

Sometimes it is simple little things that can make a big difference in life.

laundry room makeover before photo
BEFORE
Laundry room makeover runaway widow
AFTER

 

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7 comments

  1. That’s so true! It’s crazy how a new washing machine can make us so happy but as a widow it’s also crazy to make those big decisions on your own. I just got whole house new carpet and it was stressful but made me so happy!

    1. I bet the new carpet looks great. Yes it is hard to make those decisions to change things, but so fun and rewarding when we did it on our own! Thanks for reading.

  2. The new washer and dryer look great!! 😍 My mom had Maytag appliances and they were garbage!! I’m glad you caught a sale and can experience some joy while doing laundry again. 😊

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