Tag Archives: doing laundry

Coming of Age at the Laundromat

In 1971, when I was sixteen years old and still living with my mom and younger brother Peter in Ann Arbor, our old washing machine in the basement broke down and my mom (who could barely pay the regular bills) decided she could not afford to fix or replace it, at least not right away. Who would think this would be the catalyst for me to have a transforming experience.

Tears in her eyes, she pulled the wet clothes out of the broken-down and leaking washer and threw them in a plastic laundry basket. Her life was already heavy on her shoulders, a divorced single parent with two teenage kids, suffering from depression, and just barely paying bills on the child-support payment from my dad. Having to take laundry to the Laundromat (until she could somehow magically move the money pots around in her budget to get a new washer) felt like the last straw. Continue reading →