I Love You, Mom and Dad!
I’ve been swapping stories and enjoying the newlywed ramblings of the Hammond Bride – she and her new hubby are just SO CUTE! (Aside – sometimes it’s good for us old fogies who have been married forever and a day to remember how fun and sweet life was when we first got married!) Mrs. Hammond has been sharing her ongoing struggles with Fred, her contrary clothes dryer.
It reminded me of my own battles with our old washer and dryer.
When my husband and I got married, we inherited my parents’ old washer, and a dryer of questionable origin. Picture if you will a harvest gold washer with fake woodgrain trim on the back where the dials used to be located. Imagine a bent fin on the agitator inside, and a cracked softener gizmo that would always drip softener onto the favorite shirts, leaving spots. Envision an equally stylish white dryer with a missing handle and an internal drum that had chips in the enamel, leaving little rusty areas that gleefully deposited their orange pigment upon any article of clothing left inside for more than ten seconds after the cycle stopped. Pretend that both pieces are dented, scratched, and marked with obscure paint streaks that don’t match any color I ever remember seeing in my parent’s home our ours. Now you’re getting closer to the reality of our laundry situation.
We were saving money for a new washer and dryer, then kids came along. Once the babies starting arriving on a regular, yearly rotation, we needed a larger vehicle. The kids get older, and we start sending them (and all of our funds) to a private Catholic School. After that, the mother in law needed money for dental work, the refridgerator died, hail storms hit and we needed a new roof on the house…it was always one thing or another pushing the new laundry appliances to the back burner. It got to the point where the dryer door was being held shut with a piece of cord and the washing machine had a screwdriver stuck down into the little hole to fool it into believing that the lid was shut. When I did laundry I had to siphon the water out of the washer with a hose through the laundry room window for every load, and THEN remove all the wet clothing and spin only one or two items at a time. Most of the time I ended up hanging clothes on the clothesline, or draping them over every chair in the house when it was raining.
How long did this go on? Twenty years. Yes, you read that right. TWENTY YEARS of doing laundry for ourselves and four kids with these broken machines that limped along from day to day! Were we nuts? No. Our priorities were in the right places, and the laundry issue was an annoyance only to me.
My parents came to visit one spring, took great pity on me and my ongoing struggle to keep my family in clean clothes and gave us a new washer for our 20th wedding anniversary. My Dear Husband and I scraped together the balance for a new dryer to go with the washer.