Thursday, February 4, 2010

OT Princesses and Laundry

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Princess of the Laundromat

It’s really wonderful to still have my grandmother here to remind me that the princess crown hasn’t fallen far from the throne in our family.

Yes, at one time, I was the princess.

I was the tomboy version, not much into fashion, but certainly in charge of my own little fiefdom. And my throne was: the laundry cart.

When I was growing up, my grandparents owned a Laundromat. It was the best place in the world. It always smelled like a cross between powdered detergent and freshly dried clothes. When I get to heaven (presuming a fairly forgiving criteria for entry), I imagine the entire place will smell like that.

There were so many great things for a kid in the Laundromat. First there was my grandfather’s rolling padded board. It was what he used to roll around on the floor to get the money out of the machines and to do work on them when they needed it.

I was a holy terror on that thing, zooming up and down the linoleum, barely missing running down half a dozen people every lap. Yes, it was a precursor to my injury filled days on skateboards.

I also had the coolest job in the place – giving change. I remember standing on my tiptoes behind the counter with four fingers each holding down a quarter. I’d take the dollars then carefully slide the quarters across the counter.

But nothing was as fun as the laundry cart. My grandmother would dump in a nest of warm, dry towels and blankets and put me right in the middle of them. I’d play in this royal chariot for hours, periodically being rolled from place to place. Sometimes I’d just fall asleep in there, the hum of driers all around as a sort of lullaby.

When customers would inquire about wresting away the cart to do their own laundry, my grandmother taught me a very important lesson about life’s priorities.

Grandparent first, small business owner second.

Yes, I got to keep my cart. My grandmother would help them fold clothes, soothing any irritation at a spoiled young granddaughter hogging up a laundry cart.

My grandmother reminds me to keep this in mind when my daughters are hogging up the TV, the couch, and the attention at Grammy’s.

After all, they are really just continuing a family tradition.


Grey Horse Matters said...

A very nice childhood memory to hold on to. Now I feel deprived I never got to sit in a laundry cart as a child.My favorite places were the woods and my tree forts but I don't think I'd be able to make it up a tree anymore!

Michelle said...

That warm laundry cart sounds so nice! I love those childhood memories, back when things were simpler.

Susan said...

How neat that you got to help out your grand parents. I barely knew any of mine.

Shirley said...

Like Susan, I have little or no memories of my grandparents. Treasure yours!

Leah Fry said...

I imagine that outside in heaven will smell like horses and tack. Inside will smell like clean laundry (including bleached whites).

Anonymous said...

Lovely set of memories - thanks for sharing!

Julie said...

Great memories!!

Enjoyed my visit to your blog!

allhorsestuff said...

Now that is adorable to have entwined in your hearts memory!
I did have a Grandmother I loved...but it did not last long as she was gone all that fast. Never got to meet any others.
Special times..thanks for sharing them!!

Jane said...

This is so wonderfully written that for a moment, I feel like I am looking out of your little girl eyes at the magic of the laundromat. Beautiful memory, and thank you for sharing it.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Mmmm, I love the smell of freshly washed clothes! I can just see you holding down the quarters waiting to give change. Cute! Ahd playing in the laundry cart- must have been wonderful! Thanks for sharing some great memories.