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LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: I’m revving up my shiny, new ... um ... toy

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By Terri Likens, Editor

You should see my shiny, powerful new high-rpm toy. I have it parked in the basement — right next to the dryer.
I know.
Not too many people get excited over a new clothes washer, but this one is perfection. It’s an energy-saving high-efficiency, high-capacity top-loader with a gleaming stainless steel tub.
When you power it up, it lights up like a pinball machine and makes a series of plinks and chirrs as I switch through the options. (I wonder if this sleek appliance is disappointed that I chose “normal wash” again and again instead of putting it through its  broad range of paces.)
My lovely machine weighs my laundry and determines how much water to add without my input.
When it washes, it purrs. 
I liked my old washer, but when the main bearing went out, the repairs were too costly to justify.
Since I’d made several hundred dollars at my recent yard sale, I decided to put that toward a machine that will save on water and electricity.
I did my research and found a big sale on the top-ranked, high-efficiency top-loader. I gulped and took the plunge.
If you must know, I’ve long had a thing for laundry appliances.
Allow me to explain.
For five years, in college, I had to haul my dirty clothes and linens on foot to coin laundries on and off campus.
I remember one laundry-related incident during the holidays back then.
It was two days before Christmas and I was visiting a friend who lived just behind a coin laundry near campus.
I put my clothes in the washers at the almost deserted facility and stepped over to her place to watch, for the first time, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
While Jimmy Stewart’s angel got his wings, someone pilfered my precious Levis and other hard-earned clothes from the washers.
A wonderful life, indeed.
Later, as a working journalist with gypsy in her soul, I wandered and rented homes and apartments, many of them without laundry facilities.
When I was about 25 and  visiting my longtime friend Joe in Cleveland, Tenn., he proudly showed off his sleek, new sports car.
I admired it, all right, but I practically went into rapture when I learned he had his very own washer and dryer.
I’ll be keeping my old dryer, which works just fine, although it won’t have to work as hard because of how much water my new washer spins out of the clothes.
I hope the three of us — me, washer and dryer — will have many happy years together.
Suds up!