Jodi Hills

So this is who I am – a writer that paints, a painter that writes…

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Extreme makeover.

I don’t imagine my grandma would have ever contemplated an “extreme laundry room makeover.” (Unless, of course, you count the time she filled the basement room with chinchillas.) So I laugh each time I get the Youtube prompt for these transformations, knowing that I wouldn’t have — couldn’t have — loved her any more had she actually upgraded from her concrete floor and clothes hanging by the furnace. 

My mother, too, did our laundry standing on basement concrete. Unmatched baskets. Unmatched hangers. A line strung from one end of the room to the other. Of all the things we dreamed of — and we were dreamers — I’m certain a laundry room makeover was never one of them. 

We spent hours each Sunday afternoon in the darkness of the time change, lying beside the twice our size stereo console, listening to the handful of records that she owned, feeling the turn of washing machine beneath the floor. The only pause of fantasy was when the needle scratched and I jumped up to start it playing over again. It was never of things. Only experience. This is what we longed for. Love and time and light. Laughter clicking with shoes on sidewalks. Toes in sand on beaches. Freedom. Acceptance. Joy. Shopping. Coffee. Travel. Romance — in every sense of the word. And the proper soundtrack that would follow us through it all. 

This year, time took away more than an hour, but thankfully, not the dream. Never the dream. As I sit in the light of the morning change, I see my grandma climbing the stairs. My mother too. Out of the basement. Into the light. I don’t need a Youtube channel for this. The love is extreme, made over again and again.