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About Life: You Know You are an Adult When...

I remember being a kid and being super excited when I got my first brand new shiny bike (yes, that was a thing in my day). A few weeks ago, I felt that same excitement only the shiny thing was not a bike or any mode of transportation. This was a washing machine. Front loader.

To understand how it felt, you'd have to know that our previous top loader had stopped rinsing. Clothes often came out dirtier than when they went in.

I have two very hard working people in my household, my husband a diesel mechanic, and my daughter spending her time working at a dairy farm and her free time practically living with horses. So any washer in this house has some heavy duty work it has to do.

I spent weeks with irritated skin and stiff clothes before realizing the odd stuff on my clothes was... not clean. I spent more time while my husband tried to fix the more than a decade old machine. When my towels came out smelling like I'd washed them in the beaver dam down back, I couldn't take anymore.

I'm pretty sure the store salesman wished I had not arrived on his work day, and I'm just about as certain my oldest daughter may have regretted offering to help me a moment or two. I figured this time I was going to get exactly what I wanted, a super cleaning machine that didn't totally run my paychecks down the drain with the grime. I examined many models, then researched each one online. Every. Single. One. Even I was almost out of hope when I learned the one I finally settled on was out of stock.

I could not wait ten more weeks for clean clothes. My dirty clothes piles were growing and staring me down late at night, threatening my muse into hiding. Then my kid did a spin around in the aisle and found almost the exact same model, just a special cycle or two more, hidden in among a brand I refused to look at because no one services it in our rural area. So it was settled. Delivery - asap. That happened to be on the one day my work schedule overlapped my youngest's work schedule for a few hours. My oldest offered to stand in for us. She sent me a picture after both the washer and the dryer were installed. I finally had a matching set.

I'd never been so happy to get off work. I'd been planning this moment, heaps of laundry now piled around the house just waiting to be clean again, or devour us in our sleep. That included the dirt smelling towels.

So there it was, so shiny and new, just waiting to be used. I read through the two books on how to use them. Yes, I needed direction. Then I called my oldest, who also has a front loader, for the final details on what to do with the thing.

In went the first load, the dirt smelling towels. I'm not ashamed to say I stood there watching it after it played its fun little tune and lit up in flashy lights, much happier to be put to work than the old one ever was. I was mesmerized and... skeptical. I kept watching because I wanted to make sure it actually soaked every inch of fabric. I didn't pull up a chair, but almost... I left only after every inch of fabric looked very wet.

Load after load it surprised me. The clothes came out feeling and smelling better than I could have dreamed.

Now all the washable-in-a-machine things in the house have been run through the happy machine. No more large lurking piles remain to haunt anyone and no longer terrorizing my muse. I couldn't be more thankful for the kids who helped me with the washer insanity. And I'm still as happy as a kid with a shiny new bike, only now it's a washing machine.

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