Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Of laundry mats and...Toby

This morning the cry went up “I’m out of socks!” and “I can’t find any clean clothes!” as the laundry hamper burped open and overflowed into all corners of the bathroom.

Thus dictates another laundry day on the road.

So, doing the all-American thing, we typed ‘laundry mat’ into our GPS. Trusty ol' GPS. She never lets us down. [ahem…]

Driving into a small Montana town, our eyes are glued to the windows searching for this desired (and necessary) establishment. Off to the left, we saw it. Well, there wasn't much of ‘it’ but knowing a washer and drier were inside, the outward appearance was discarded. We knew clean clothes were mere hours away.

Now from my earliest years, I have learned that the place to start a project is at the beginning. After gathering dirty clothes…and gathering…and gathering…and gathering…and gathering…and…you can just imagine how it might be in a bus where items of clothing are stored in various cupboards and closets! Sizing up the situation, I realize this would take teamwork. Recruiting various members of my family to help carry the multiple garbage bags of dirty clothes, we made our way to this down-home establishment. Very, very, 'down home'.

As I walked in to this tin-roof-shack-of-a-building, the first thing I saw was a table with a few old parts on it, showing signs of use by the grease that still remained from the unknown piece of machinery they used to belong to. Price tags were on them, but as clean laundry was my purpose, I didn’t linger over them long. I began to open our bags of clothes.

The arrival of dirty clothing for fifteen persons must have created quite an aromatic stir as it quickly alerted the attention of Toby.

Toby sauntered over to inspect our labors, and we quickly discovered that we had a second odor vying for dominance. His dark eyes were kind, though, so I didn’t feel threatened in the least. Apparently content that our mission was progressing, Toby soon left us to our work.

Susanna, Alaythia and I began the familiar task of loading washers and inserting our shiny quarters. Suddenly I was alerted by Alaythia’s horrified whisper -- “Bethany, Toby’s in the bathroom drinking out of the …” …er…porcelain throne. (To more delicately state the facts).

Now, lest you think I am being awful rude here, Toby is a creature of the four legged type, his height reaching my waistline. I furthered discovered that Toby most affectionately belonged to the store owner.

With all these things to entertain us, time quickly passed and it was time to load the driers. Things were going without a hitch until I came to the last drier. After it ate my precious quarters, it refused to start. The proprietor came over to see what was wrong, quickly commenting, “I’ve been having trouble with this drier…”

Opening the drier back up, he began to spin the drum by hand. After getting some movement going, he quickly slammed the door and pushed start…and it kept going! I carefully observed how he did it so I could repeat the process next time. [grin]

As the clothes finished drying, we quickly folded it and bid farewell to Toby and the laundry mat.

With that, our clothes are all clean, we’re back on the road, and the adventures of unfamiliar laundry mats is over....until next time!


Kaylene said...

How hilarious! It took me a minute to figure Toby out! I thought I missed something when you said what he was drinking out of! :D
Hope your traveling is going well!

Doogie J. said...

Thanks for the update. We love to read what you are doing and "travel along" with you. God continue to bless and keep the family safe.

Happymama said...

LOL, what a funny story! I'm so glad you were able to get your clothes clean. Thanks for sharing your experience.


Jacob said...

You never had me for a second. I knew who Toby was by his first or second sentence of introduction. Your language is almost as vivid as your camera. :)

Still, an interesting story. Thanks for blogging!

Peace. --Jacob

Victoria said...

What an interesting story! Ahh, for us it's a little different, we ALWAYS have missing clothes. :D

And about Toby...cute! :)

Coeur d'Court said...

What an hilarious re-cap of such a "normal" project: laundry. My favorite part though, was about Toby. :)

Melanie said...

Ok...when I got to the "he's drinking out of the toilet" part...I was really starting to draw some conclutions about people who live in Montana and had just about made up my mind never to visit.

What an adventure!

Liz Brown said...

That was cute, Bethany :) It reminds me of our own laundry mat trips years ago (we were in Texas and temporarily without a washer and dryer) Thanks for sharing!

Tabby said...

That's so funny! you had me totally convinced that Toby was a person. Once I got that cleared up the sentence "His dark eyes were kind, though, so I didn’t feel threatened in the least." made a little more sense! Good to hear from you again! have a good time and a safe trip home!
God Bless ~

Jackie said...

Ahh... dogs, eh? :)

Suzanne said...

What a funny story! It is very well written. I love how you didn't explain who or what Toby was at first.


LOL! How funny! You write with such color. :) I enjoyed reading it!