Susanna J. Sturgis   Martha's Vineyard writer and editor
writer editor born-again horse girl

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Clean

February 16, 2011

This winter good laundry days have been hard to come by. I do my laundry at the Airport Laundromat. In recent years the price of a wash in one of the regular washers has gone down in November and up again around the beginning of May. This winter it's stayed at $5.25. That's OK. The dryers, however, are a ripoff. A quarter gets you a scant four minutes, and I'm here to tell you that when you've got several pairs of wet jeans it takes a fistful of quarters to get them dry.

Besides, I like hanging my wash out and letting sun and wind dry it. Partly it's because I'm cheap, but it's also the principle of the thing, and the fact that laundry dried outside smells good and lasts longer. Good drying days are scarce in any winter, and this winter they've been nearly nonexistent: wet wash would freeze solid long before it dried. I've run out of underwear a couple of times -- fortunately my friend Cris lets me use her washer and dryer, and I like going up there to hang out while she beats me three out of four games of Bananagrams.

This morning Travvy and I headed over to the airport with two overflowing canvas satchels of dirty clothes. Usually we stroll around the airport while the clothes wash, maybe visiting our buddies at Steve Atwood's Animal Health Care (veterinary hospital and boarding kennel) or looking up the guy who works for one of the rental-car companies, lives off-island, and has a Siberian husky named Maya. This morning, while three washers washed away, we drove around to the car wash at the Airport Business Park and gave Malvina Forester a bath.

The car wash offers a considerable discount if you buy at least eight gallons of gas at the affiliated gas station, so I did. Travvy got a free biscuit and much admiration from the guy at the pump. We drove around to the back, I punched in my number, Malvina started to creep forward . . .

As water sluiced down Malvina's sides and windshield and the big black scrubbers closed in,Travvy freaked out. He jumped into the back, but there was nowhere to hide. For a moment there I saw the headlines: WEST TISBURY WOMAN MAULED BY TERRIFIED DOG IN CAR WASH. Talk about nowhere to hide! I fed Trav Charlee Bears and hot dog pieces. He calmed down. We emerged into the daylight. Whew.

Today was a perfect drying day, breezy and bright. Everything was dry and wrinkle-free at least an hour before dark.

I wear fewer clothes in the winter -- it's too cold to get sweaty, so why change shirts or socks every day? Every time I shower is quite enough, and that's every three or four days. Winter clothes are heavier than summer clothes, though, and the line sagged with a half-dozen pairs of jeans, nine or ten turtlenecks, and four pairs of longjohns. Socks and underwear dried on the drying rack up on my deck.

So dark fell on a clean car and drawers stuffed with clean clothes. It's immensely satisfying to know that I'm set for another three weeks or so. Today I did good.

 

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