The joy of an upstairs washer/dryer

My morning smile has never stretched so far as it did today when I put another load in the wash.  It’s the fourth day in a row.  I am scrounging to find things to wash. It is really too exciting so I had to share my joy.

Sorry, this is not a post about my recent trip to Iceland but you can read about that here: Iceland

We had never done any indoor home renovations.  It was a money issue and also we worried that once we started, we would open up such a can of worms it wouldn’t be worth it.

But now that Mike is gone, as a widow, I am the only one making decisions in this house.  And the one thing I really did not like, is climbing two flights of stairs to do laundry in the boiler room.

I had tried going on strike back when the kids were little.  I thought someone else would start to help out more.  No one did, and there was lots of laundry to be done after my strike.  That backfired.

One day our washing machine broke.  Before we bought a new one, I made the trek to the local laundromat.  Mike joined me on these occasions.  During cycles we went across the street for appetizers and cocktails while the machines did the work.  That was fun.

Eventually, we broke down and went to Home Depot for a washing machine. We thought we would be moving in the next few years so we bought the cheapest machine on the floor.

This Maytag washer was a true lemon!  It never did spin completely and the clothes were always still soaking wet after a two hour cycle.  Why?

I arranged to have the Maytag repair man come.  He came 5 separate times and I even stayed home from work for some of the visits.  Each time he used his little computer, pointed it at the machine and exclaimed it was working just fine.  Then he would leave and the problem would continue.

Home Depot was no better.  They refused to exchange the machine so I kept it.  Sometimes it worked, but just when I thought it was safe to put clothes in the dryer, the weight of fully soaked jeans and towels caused me anguish and disgust.

After Mike died, I stopped calling Maytag.  I didn’t care anymore.  I wasn’t about to continue this fight so I just grudgingly trudged to the boiler room and took my chances. If I tried to wash a towel and a pair of jeans in the same load, I soon learned that the load would never spin correctly.

I wanted my Aunt Gert’s wallpaper that says “I hate laundry rooms”!

So this winter I made the decision to redo the upstairs bathroom, extend the master closet and… add a washer and dryer next to my bedroom.

I thought I was going to get that white stackable unit I had in my first apartment, right after college.  The loads would be smaller and it would work just fine.

However, the Saturday that I went shopping, Best Buy was having a sale and I think I ended up with the Rolls Royce of washer and dryers!  My set of dark high tech looking machines are equipped with computers and play pretty bell tunes when they are finished, gone are the days of loud buzzers.

My clothes are coming out cleaner and fresher.  Each load has been rinsed and spun perfectly. I happily lift the damp items to the large well lit dryer and push some specialized buttons.  I toss the clothes on my bed next to Harry, my dog, and joyfully fold my clothes like Marie Kondo.  It’s amazing.

Sometimes it is simple little things that can make a big difference in life.

laundry room makeover before photo


Laundry room makeover runaway widow




At the age of 51 I unexpectedly became a widow. For the first 6 months after my husband died, I was in shock and numb. I journaled and with the help of friends, family and therapists was able to get back to living my old life, even if it is now very different. Before I was married, I had spent a semester in England and backpacked around Europe. My husband and I moved from New York to California for 8 years and started a family. Travelling took a back seat to raising a family and going to work everyday. Since the loss of my husband I have visited a lot of places with family and friends and took a solo trip to Thailand. I am enjoying sharing my stories and adventures as well as some of my insights to how I am traveling the path of being a widow. I hope to share my stories and adventures as well as some thoughts on being a middle aged widow. While I have some great experiences traveling to Thailand and cruising to Central America, some of my adventures involve a trip to see a Broadway show in nearby Manhattan and a shopping trip at Bed, Bath and Beyond. If I can inspire anyone to go out and continue to live a good life that would be my greatest accomplishment.

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7 Responses

  1. Damita Kolb says:

    That’s so true! It’s crazy how a new washing machine can make us so happy but as a widow it’s also crazy to make those big decisions on your own. I just got whole house new carpet and it was stressful but made me so happy!

    • runawaywidow says:

      I bet the new carpet looks great. Yes it is hard to make those decisions to change things, but so fun and rewarding when we did it on our own! Thanks for reading.

  2. Cozynookbks says:

    The new washer and dryer look great!! 😍 My mom had Maytag appliances and they were garbage!! I’m glad you caught a sale and can experience some joy while doing laundry again. 😊

  1. March 19, 2019

    […] back into the closet, they have a home and are items that I am happy to see.  They are supposed to bring me joy, but sometimes they are back in simply because they fit. Let’s be […]

  2. August 6, 2019

    […] changes I made. This past winter I renovated my bedroom and bathroom and master closet and added a gorgeous washer and dryer to the third floor next to my bedroom. I got used to having a house to myself and though it’s […]

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