Well done, good and faithful servant

So this past Tuesday my hardworking dryer of over 13 years finally quit.  No anger here; just loads (get it? loads?!) of appreciation and gratefulness for an appliance that did a remarkably admirable job of keeping up with my workload.  What started out as a job of keeping four people’s clothes ready for immediate wear slowly (or quickly, depending on your view on child spacing) grew into eight.  For a while, I was running a load or two–or seven, it seemed–every single day before realizing that it was madness to constantly be surrounded by clean yet unfolded laundry.  Now we try to keep it to two days a week.  Two days where Hannah and I (and when my back was on the fritz, just Hannah, thankfully), keep a timer running and switch loads as soon as we hear the alarm so we can go through all the loads and get to the bottom of the basket.  It can be a daunting task, to be sure.  But our dryer, to my knowledge, never once complained.  It was a faithful and reliable helper.   The only time it caused my heart to skip a beat was right after Chloe was born.   Lynsay came over and spoke some of the most welcome words a new mother could possibly hear:  “Can I do some laundry for you?”  Sigh.  While a few years ago, I would have resisted such help, knowing that someone would have to see our dirty laundry in order to help out, by that time, I was so grateful for the help that I really didn’t care what she found down there.   After she’d switched a load and got it into the dryer, however, when she pushed the button, nothing happened.  Panic swept over me in a way only the hormonal postpartum woman can understand.  We looked around, foolishly, as if we could troubleshoot problems with a dryer.  After commisserating with me, “Stinks to be a family of eight with no laundry facilities!” we walked upstairs.  Later, when I went back to the laundry room by myself, I had to laugh out loud alone when I caught sight of the plug hanging out of the outlet.   Disaster was averted once I re-plugged it in and the laundry was again up and running.

But on Tuesday, nearly five years later, after I had loaded the dryer up, I pressed the power button as usual, but unlike usual, nothing happened.  Not to worry, I thought to myself, the plug fell out aga—-…..Nope, it was firmly established in the outlet.  Oh dear.   Like any homeowner who doesn’t know much, I just started pushing any button I could find.  Nothing.  I checked the lint vent to see if maybe we’d neglected that task and allowed the dryer to overheat.  Nope;  Hannah had taken care of it.  No power.  No dryer.  Bummer.

We’ve already had to replace one major appliance this summer and are now the owners of a fancy new refridgerator.  Thankfully, this story has a happy ending.  Because Todd had a washer and dryer in the garage that he’d been asking to move into the basement for several months now, disaster was once again averted.  Today is the day my old dryer moved out and my new dryer will go in.

That all sounds lovely, right?  Yes indeed.  When Todd went out to the garage, however, he noticed that there was no power to the garage.  Ruh-roh.  No power in the garage meant our freezer was powerless as well, stocked with quite a bit of…well, frozen goods.   At least what used to be frozen goods.   He instantly realized what had happened:  a day before he’d been working on the electrical panel downstairs, saw a vaguely marked switch called “SPARE” and didn’t think much of it when it flipped off.  Now it was suddenly an extremely important switch!  Although it wasn’t exaclty what I had planned to do on my Saturday morning, that freezer had been in desperate need of a defrosting for quite some time.  I’d had raspberries in there that turned to mush and were dripping all over everything else.  Honestly, it looked like what I would imagine Jeffrey Dahmer’s freezer might have looked like.  Gross.  It couldn’t have been off for too long, thankfully, because some meat was still frozen, but we did lose some things.  Still…. it could have been worse and now it’s completing its defrost process so I can properly clean it out and get it ready for new things that will hopefully stay frozen until they’re needed.  It’s always something…  Looking on the bright side, I have cooked chicken now that I can use in a few dishes later this week.

Todd and Patrick moved the old one out without incident, but in this house, it seems NO project can be completed without some sort of incident, they quickly found we were missing a necessary tool for the job.  Todd had to leave to retrieve it, which allowed Patrick the opportunity to clean the space where the old dryer had occupied.  When Todd returned, however, he noticed that while Patrick cleaned, he accidentally tore the dryer vent, necessitating another trip to get a new one.   Oopsie.    I’m not sure where we are in the process at this point.  I’m trying to stay out of the way, actually.  The bonus of the situation is that I’m also gettting my washer replaced today, too.  As long as they’re moving one, Todd explained, why not do them both.

In the time that it took Todd to get the missing tool, the old and new dryer sat side by side in the driveway.  I wonder if they had a conversation while sitting there.  The old dryer may have wanted to warn the new one, explaining that it won’t be easy working for our family.  The new whippersnapper dryer probably flippantly retorted that he’s an energy efficient model with much larger capacity than the aged one sitting next to him.  It’s OK; the new dryer will get his first taste of working for the Tighe family later this afternoon, hopefully.   I’m also anticipating many years of hard work from this model while being thankful to my hardworking previous one.

Lest you think I get mushy over all the inanimate object appliances in my house, have no fear.  I haven’t gone completely mad just yet.


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