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Icicle Clothes

 
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I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Lake Michigan fulfilled its promise of winters white and frigid. When I was thirteen, we moved to Mississippi where, over the years, we would get an Arctic Blast here or there, but winters were generally mild. Not this year though. Cold winds continued to blow for a week of below freezing temperatures. Of course my central heat would go out at this time. We armed ourselves with space heaters in each room and a blazing fire in our fireplace and scurried down the cold hallways as fast as possible.

 Our laundry room happens to be in the outside of our house as luck would have it. Do to the location of the washing machine and the bitter temperatures, we had about a 1 hour window where the pipes did not freeze up on us and we could get a load of laundry done, perhaps even two. My daughter was taking advantage of that second load and left the wet first load in the basket to put in the dryer in the near future. Unfortunately by the time I found it, it was a block of ice clothes. I tried pulling them out but scraped my knuckles on the icy fabric. They would not dump out either so I had to take them into the house to thaw them enough to get them out of the basket. I took the armful of semi-thawed clothes and threw them in the dryer. When I put them in the dryer , they made the most horrible clunking noise ever. “Clunk, clunk, clunk”, they went as they defrosted themselves.  Now every time I go to do laundry in cold weather I think of that moment and laugh. It makes the job go by faster!

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