Thump, thump, drag …
Thump, thump, drag …
No, this isn’t the beginning of a ghost story.
This is the beginning of how Kit got her groove back … a groove that is coming back in very small doses, mind you, so, no promises. As much as I love coaching swimming, I find that it takes all of my creative energy. Unfortunately, writing, cooking, being a mom gets pushed by the wayside in the wake of trying to keep it alive for teenagers trying to get better in the water. It is extremely frustrating, but my new/old discovery is helping me to regain some of my inner voices that tell me stories and help me be myself.
I have a pair of what was billed as a “heavy-duty” washer and dryer set. Over the last five or six years since I bought them, they have been put through the ringer (no pun intended) as they have handled peed-on sheets, comforters, blankets and jeans. You know those commercials that tell you how you can wash up to fifteen pairs of jeans in one load? Did you ever read the fine print on the bottom of the screen when they claim that? It reads something like, “varying sizes” which is commercial speak for one pair of teenager jeans and fourteen pairs of toddler jeans.
Same with the comforters.
Way back when, an undoubtedly dark time in our household, my girls succumbed to the horrors of lice. Can you imagine five girls with lice? Shudder. I can fully admit this now without shame because it was contracted in the process of being nice to another little girl … that’s long story. Anyway, I actually read the book that came with my machines and thought to myself, “Now this is what I bought these machines for!” I could wash everything on scald and rid myself of the pesky parasites. Actually, it took a lot more than just washing the bed linens. Every. Single. Day. But the point of the story is that the washer broke under the demands. The repairman told me point blank that the washer couldn’t handle comforters and such despite what the book said. The dryer eventually broke under the strain as well, the drum actually loosening itself from the brackets that hold it in place. I had them both repaired and continued on, albeit with a more delicate approach to the laundry.
For a while.
After time, the kids really took off with their swimming. The amount of towels used in my household is a sight to behold. Not only do we have nine people using towels for their everyday bathing, but we have four of them using gigantic beach towels all through the year on a daily basis. There are only so many times a towel can dry in the garage before permanently smelling like garage. Or musty Yukon XL. Or bottom of the pile wet laundry as I put off the washing and drying since they are needed in an hour for swim practice.
Needless to say, the dryer started making that noise again.
Thump, thump, drag …
I knew immediately what the problem was, and put off calling the repairman as I knew it would be a $300 repair. Eventually though, the call was made and sure enough, $297, including the service fee. This has all happened within the last week which is an interesting occurrence as we have been suffering (and I mean that literally) here in Georgia from temperatures that sailed into the 105+ degree range. I mention this only because those high temperatures also coincided with a relatively low humidity—something almost unheard of here in Georgia. I decided to take matters into my own hands and solve the problem and also happily reduced my carbon footprint and my power bill.
I bought, and installed myself, a clothesline.
Years ago, when my oldest was almost three and my second child was still in utero, we lived for a time with my grandfather as we sold our house back in Idaho. Greenpa, (as he was known to my children) had a washer, but no dryer. Clothes, sheets, towels were all hung on an elaborate, maze-like string that connected almost every tree in the backyard. Most people would find this tedious, but as I have already waxed poetic about what I consider the zen-like joys of laundry, you won’t find it surprising that I actually enjoyed the ritual.
I know the towels get crunchy and the tee shirts lose, on initial folding some of their fluidity, but believe me when I tell you, everything is somehow better. Towels are super absorbent and tee shirts look ironed they are so smooth.
Don’t even get me started on what happens to the sheets …
You know that little band at the top of sheets that gets all wrinkly and smushed when you dry them in the dryer? You are either forced to iron your sheets (no, thank you) or you deal, or you don’t care. When you dry sheets on the line, the finished edge becomes perfect. Like a magazine.
And the smell and feel? … Heaven.
My dryer still isn’t fixed. It works okay, limping along as it does, but honestly its okay. My trusty repairman will come sometime in the next week and install a new bracket that holds the drum in place and it will be right as rain. In the meantime, and probably for the foreseeable future as long as the weather holds, I will be using my clothesline (which I might mention is hidden from my neighbors as technically, we aren’t allowed to have them in my neighborhood) and will be snapping the tee shirts and jeans into crisp precision as I revel in not turning on my dryer.