Home is where the washer is

I've been listening to some great music today. The maestro is named Maytag, and the concert is in my own basement. Call it "Duet for Washer and Dryer," and excuse me while I hum along.

For a first-time homeowner, there's nothing quite like the inaugural load of laundry. The thrill will wear off soon enough, I suppose, but for now I'm bubbling with happiness.

Gone are the days of hoarding quarters. Gone are the weekend competitions for the machines in my old apartment house. And gone are those heart-sinking moments of opening the dryer only to find my clothes still wrinkled and damp.

I'd never seriously considered buying a home until a few months ago. But, having lived in eight different places in six different towns since college, I had come up two quarters short once too often. Hoisting a sack of still-wet jeans and shirts on my shoulder, I left the building's laundry room and headed back to my abode. As I trudged along, the voice of Virginia Woolf reminded me that having a room of one's own was the only way to get any writing done - and that, I had.

"But Virginia," I muttered as a few socks spilled onto the floor, "owning a washer and dryer is the only way I'll have anything to wear while I write."

Once I entered the great spin cycle of town-house hunting, I had to declare myself a basement person rather than a garage person. After all, the washer and dryer deserve a room of their own. And though a garage would be convenient, as the real estate agents kept telling me, I would not trade my basement for one. Whatever lingering doubts I had on that subject were dispelled a few days ago when I noticed a water spigot outside my new town house. I can't give my car shelter, but - by golly -I can give it a bath.

Nobody told me that being a mature, responsible homeowner would fill me with such childlike glee. Maybe I should have a party and invite my friends who just bought houses, too. We'll talk about APRs and miniblinds - and then kick off our shoes and spray each other with the garden hose. Who cares about getting wet when there's a dryer handy?

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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