This week was a lesson in appreciating the little things in life I have come to take for granted. I was on a roll, cleaning the house after the Florida trip and leftover Christmas from when some of the kids couldn't make it until after the New Year.
I begin to smell something like a tire burning . . . after the house filled with smoke I was able to pinpoint the culprit! My washing machine began to squeal as the black cloud of smoke rolled around the front of it infecting the entire house with its dense fog. (Well great) Al is on the road, I have a load of sopping wet towels in standing water and a house smelling of melted rubber!
I did check to make sure there was no fire. These things usually fall under Al's privy. However, with him gone there are things I simply after figure out for myself. Now. . . I have no clue how to fix a washer, but I do have experience in having broken appliances so I was able to deduce it was most likely a belt which would be an easy fix (at least it looked easy enough the last time he fixed it)! I was wrong. Apparently the transmission on my ONE year old washing machine was out. WELL GREAT! Here I am after 25 years of having a machine, trying to find a laundromat to rewash the soaked towels and get Al's work clothes cleaned before he goes back on the road.
I found one that appeared nice enough and began to try to figure out how to work these newer digital washing machines Seriously, not only was just finding the detergent dispenser a whole feat in itself. . . the darn thing cost $3.50 a load!!!! Wowza! Last time I had to use a laundromat it was closer to $.75 to wash a normal size load. This is going to cost a small fortune!
Nonetheless, I proceed with my washing and in true “Stacey” fashion I find myself making a new friend in the nice lady working there and a gentleman doing his laundry. They advised me to come at certain hours to avoid certain crowds that may be there to cause trouble. That truly caught me off guard. This is Crawfordsville and I love the security I have in my community. However, I am not naive to the reality that there are a few bad eggs in every group and in every town. The lady finished up her shift and we said our goodbyes. . . me a bit more wiser than when I came in.
The gentleman, Matt, kindly shared with me that it is really no place for a woman to be alone. He told me of the criminal activity he has witnessed there in the past. Primarily drug deals. This completely saddened me. During my couple of hours there, two young men came in and were extremely disrespectful to the establishment, both smoking in a clearly non-smoking facility and one even insisting on prying a door open that had a big sign on it that said “out of order”. I had a young woman come in asking me for money because she “desperately needed” $5. Then proceeded to go and buy a large soda. I later found out she comes in asking patrons daily. Now, I have a big heart and I'll help anyone I can who's down on their luck and helping themselves. I just feel if $5 is such a “desperate” need as she put it. . . then how do you use it on gas station snacks. Maybe that's just me.
I had a big reality check this day.
One, there is always glee among the gloom. Even though it was disappointing to see such disrespectful people in a short time. . . I made a new friend in Matt, who stayed to make sure I was safe and even helped me carry my baskets to my car. Two, I had taken for granted the little luxuries I've had through the years. The truth is. . . I never gave having a washer and dryer a second thought. It's just there! I've acted through life as if it is a necessity. It is not. Many folks still go to laundromats each week and when I needed a washer I was sure glad there were still laundromats around! Three, this experience really opened my eyes to how much of a pet peeve it is to me when people don't do their part as a community. I love our town. I love our community. It was tough to see a few people in such a short time be so rude and disrespectful, making a nice place a place into an area where there's a need for someone to 'watch your back!'
Thank you to my new friend Matt! I didn't catch his last name but he shared with me stories of his family and his 30-plus years of working at Acuity. So if anyone knows him . . . please send my thanks for the security, the help working machines and carrying my laundry! It was so nice to meet someone who was genuinely a kind person who took time to help a clueless stranger. He helped remind me, the good outweighs the bad. There are truly wonderful people in our community!
Upcoming Events. . . .
Saturday: Montgomery County's Got Talent by Crawfordsville High School Alumni Association from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at CHS. Catch remarkable local talent acts and help support the CHS Alumni Association scholarships for CHS students!
Feb. 14: Love To Rumba- Ballroom Dancing at the Carnegie from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Join the fun of ballroom dancing at the Carnegie Museum. Beginner lessons from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and an open dance from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Refreshments will be served and a cash bar will be available. No experience required. Call 765-362-4618 for more information. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. ?Feb. 22: Mark your calendar for the New Moon Hike at Shades State Park from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. this event is sponsored by Turkey Run and Shades State Park.
Stacey Baschwit works at The Paper of Montgomery County, along with her many other duties, and writes a weekly column about the people, places and events that make up her world.