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The most important room in the house for returning college students turned out to be the laundry room. I learned to make it an inviting, welcoming, fully supplied space for washing clothes. When our college kids returned home their first haul in was stuffed bags of dirty clothes headed straight for the washer/dryer. I made sure the machines were empty, clean and ready for use. I loved to watch and hear the buzz of sorting (or not) clothes and machines running. Somehow it was nurturing to my soul to provide for this need and make them feel wanted and welcome.

Yes, a stocked pantry and freezer were a close second, but something about the laundry room holds a special place in my heart. We try to keep the freezer filled with pizza and pizza rolls and keep large packs of soda and a variety of k-cups on hand for those always starving college students and their friends.

I was sad when our oldest son and his wife came over after they were married with no dirty clothes. I pointed to the laundry room and my daughter-in-law sweetly replied they were grown-ups now and would do their laundry at their apartment. Life does go on and now that they live out of state I again get to enjoy them doing laundry when they are with us.

So find a special way in your own home to welcome the young adults of your family and extended circle. Consider how your house can be a welcoming oasis and lure in those treasures of your heart who you long to spend time with and experience a sampling of their lives. Make it fit the needs of those you love and make it fun! Life is short and each season as fleeting as a breath – make the most of it.

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