Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Winter Storm Warning

It is supposed to snow tonight. Three inches. The town is in a tizzy. Everyone is out buying groceries and "getting ready". I am more worried about the firewood that will get wet and prevent me from being warm and toasty in my lair.

But, since I have finished the blue jean quilt, I decided that I would go to the laundry in town and wash and dry it. I heard there was a washer that would hold 50 lbs of laundry. The quilt is heavy. I doubt it weighs that much, but this would work. I planned my trip carefully, deciding to leave the quilt washing while I made a quick run to the grocery ........ Diet Coke is on sale. He Who totes his Bubba mug of Diet Coke will thank me later.

I grabbed a huge handful of quarters and stuffed them in my pocket on the way out the door, figuring that most laundry machines require coins, as opposed to bills. I had never been to this laundromat before. I was pleasantly surprised to find that is was clean and neat. I spied the 50 lb machine and read the instructions carefully. It did not indicate the cost until I had locked my quilt inside. $5.50. Okay, I had that much in my pocket of quarters, so I fed the coin slot and waited to hear the door lock click in place (kind of like my self cleaning oven). I had $2 left in quarters, but took note of the coin machine on the wall in the back. Ready to leave I looked at the counter I had put the quilt on while I counted my coins, Where are my keys? Not on the counter. For a minute before I was able to check my pockets, I was afraid I had locked them in the washer with my quilt! I pictured myself sitting there for 24 minutes waiting to retrieve my keys, unable to even call for He Who rescues me from myself. I had locked my purse and my cell in the car.

I found the keys in my pocket, off to the grocery, my list in hand. Snowy nights call for a big pot of chili and saltines. My list was short, but I still went up and down every aisle ..... one never knows where a bargain may be lurking! I checked the price of coconut oil, just because. $10.89 for 14 ounces!!!!!! Won't be buying any at this store. Could be why they had only one brand in stock and I wonder how long it had been sitting on the shelf.

After I wiped out their supply of Diet Coke, I left the grocery with my saltines and extra bread (in case we get snowed in with that 3 inch blizzard). I arrived back at the laundry mat to find my quilt still safely locked in the machine I had left it in. I am willing to bet that it did weigh 50 lbs while wet. There were none of those handy dandy carts to transport my wet quilt from the washer to the dryer. I managed to heave it into the closest dryer of the correct size. I had only enough coins for 24 minutes of heavy duty drying.

I pulled some ones out and headed to the coin machine I had made note of. I offered my slick new bill and the machine refused to gobble it up and spit out some quarters, causing me to have to read the instructions. "Machine is out of quarters when light is on." The light was on. I was the only person there, making me wonder how often they serviced the coin changer.

I decided to make do with the 24 minutes and finish drying the quilt at home. I noticed 4 neat stacks of magazines on the folding counter. I picked through them and then started looking at the dates on them. Six years old. Lady's Home Journal. I read an interview with Kyra Sedgewick. Still 16 minutes on my machine. A man comes in with a basket of clothes. He sets them down and heads to the coin changer.

He had words with it. Colorful words and stormed out with his basket of dirty laundry. Another man comes in with baskets of wet clothes and fills the dryers, then leaves with the McDonald's bag he had in his hand. I realize that I am a little hungry myself. There are two vending machines. The one that would have had chips and candy is totally empty. The coke machine is humming away and it says $1. I don't really want to spend as much as I just paid for a 2 litre bottle on a 12 ounce can, but I decide it will help pass the time. Machine takes only quarters. And the coin changer is empty.

Another man enters with a basket in hand, making me wonder if I have been transported to one of those remote cities in Montana that periodically try to lure women with the promise of a multitude of single me. This man also heads to the coin changer. I tell him it is out of coins. He looks hopefully at me and I tell him that I am also out of coins.

I remember that the building right next door is U.S. Bank. I suggest that he may be able to get some coins there. "Nope, they will only give you change if you have an account with them." As he is walking out the door, he adds, "And that's why I don't have an account with them."  Nice. You would think they would want to be helpful in hopes of attracting more accounts.

My machine was done tumbling my quilt around in hot air. It was still damp, but I heaved it on my shoulder and headed home. The chili is simmering and the dryer is fluffing and the fire has flames licking the wet logs. All is well as I wait for the winter storm to pass through.


Brian Miller said...

in case i dont see you after your three inch blizzard....stay warm...smiles...haha

Joanne Noragon said...

I hope it is a three inch blizzard. The evening news is making bigger noise about it. Stay snug.

ellen abbott said...

Snow happens rarely here and I like it that way. We're having the equivalent with nice days interspersed with cold wet days.

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Val said...

Why do I have visions of Kramer toting a bag of concrete mix into a laundrymat?

SkippyMom said...

Now that right there sounds like a perfect and productive day. Nice Kathy. Well, except for the coin machine, but what's a day without a lil' bump in it, right?

Enjoy the chili. You have me craving it now too. I need to come to your house because I adore saltines with my chili but my family hates 'em, so I don't serve them. So gooooood.

mamahasspoken said...

I'm watching the local and national news and they are talking about the blizzards all around the US. Hope you stay safe.

luksky said...

I love reading your accounts. They are always written so well that I can picture the whole scenario. I always end up laughing out loud at most of your descriptions.