I didn’t want anyone to find me because I desperately wanted to be crowned ‘hide and go seek’ champion of my family. I decided that the best hiding place of all would be the one that none of us kids ever ventured into (unless bribed by our mom or forced to by our dad) and that was the dreaded LAUNDRY ROOM.

This place represented the most tedious and disgusting chores of childhood; dryer removal, sock separation, endless folding and lop-sided stacking.

We avoided it like the plague.

I stared at the industrial sized washer and dryer. Three daily sets of smelly sports uniforms coupled with my dad’s work clothes required the big guns. Side-by-side these pale yellow behemoths sat and never once had I given them any thought. I was surprised that considering all the stinky clothes that ended up here this room turned out to be the best smelling in the entire house.

Lilac and lavender competed cordially with citrus and vanilla. I immediately noticed dryer sounds; rhythmic humming that I soon realized could be quite soothing.

With a front row seat I peeked through the dryer’s small porthole and was rewarded with an ever-changing kaleidoscope. I kept watch on the path my jeans took as they vied for uppermost position atop my mom’s cardigan. It was fun tracking the one lone brown sock spinning aimlessly searching for its mate. This was clothing ballet at its finest. Calming and relaxing, almost hypnotic. When the buzzer sounded I did something on my own volition that I’d never done before.


I folded all the laundry that late fall afternoon. And guess what? I must have had a change of heart or changed my viewpoint or something in that ballpark because I didn’t mind the task at all.

There were no siblings around to annoy me.

There were no parents looking over my shoulder trying to direct every aspect of my life.

And there was something quite comforting about wrapping myself from head to toe in a warm and fluffy towel. It did not dawn on me then but what I had stumbled upon that day was my own little alcove. From that point forward I actually began visiting the laundry room on a regular basis.

My mom was worried sick about me. What explanation could there possibly be for a teenager who volunteered to spend time doing a chore.

Here’s what I discovered;  Homework was so much easier to concentrate on when the wash cycle drowned out the street traffic noise in front of our house. Secret talks with best friends were much simpler to have when the dryer’s hum prevented eavesdroppers on the other side of the door from hearing them. I am quite (way quite) a bit older now, yet to this day I consider the laundry room to be my own little sanctuary.

It’s a personal retreat for me.

I hide there to seek a bit of tranquility. It gives my grown-up mind a break from life’s daily stressors.

And besides, my husband always knows where to find me (unlike that lone brown sock still searching for his partner).

Lisa Leshaw

Lisa Leshaw has worked as a mental health professional for the past 31 years. She currently conducts Parenting Skills Workshops, Group Counseling for Blended Families and Empowerment Circles for Women. As a consultant, Lisa travels throughout teaching Communication and Listening Skills, Behavioral Management Techniques and Motivational Strategies. To de-stress she performs in children's theatre and plays piano whenever requested. She is hoping to either write the next memorable musical composition or Great American Novel!