Yesterday was the Dreaded Laundry Day. I know that I really shouldn’t complain. After all, we do live in the wonderful age of technology. All I really had to do was treat the clothing and then dump them in my washing machine along with some detergent. This is opposed to trekking down to the river or the well (neither of which we have) hauling up the water and hanging it over the fire (that I had to build) to heat before I could use the scrub board and lye soap (that I had to make) rinsing the clothes out (with more water that I had to haul) and hanging them out on a line (that I had to string) between two trees (that I probably had to plant). Yep, I have it pretty easy. All hail Alva J. Fisher for inventing the first electric washing machine. (You didn’t know you were going to learn something today, did you?)
Sometimes though, there is a problem with the electric washing machine. Sometimes…they make a loud ticking sound and stop working. Sometimes…when they stop working there is a really funny smell in the air…something electrical or motor burningish (like my new word? I just made it up).
Interestingly enough, that actually happened to my washing machine yesterday. Nothing I did would make it start working again. Also, there was that worrisome odor. So, I did what any woman whose husband happened to be home sick that day would do…I asked him to fix it. So Shaun grudgingly looked at it. He pushed a few buttons and wiggled a few things around, then pronounced it officially “broke” and told me to call a repair man.
What? Call a repairman! I couldn’t believe that he wasn’t going to take it apart and figure out what was wrong with it. (OK, after living with the man forever, I could have predicted it, but hope springs eternal or something like that)
You have to understand that growing up, my dad fixed anything that needed fixing. And if he couldn’t fix it, well, it obviously didn’t need fixing! So, I decided that if it was to be fixed, it was up to me. (Even though I am the girl and in my mind, it is the boy that is supposed to fix things) No way was I going to call some expensive repair man, I was going to do it all by myself…even if I had to call my dad to do it.
First, I googled “washing machine repair” and came up with a great website that asked all sorts of questions before it decided that I simply needed to flip the circuit breaker. Hmmm…I knew where the circuit breaker was, but it always seemed so…scary. I would just have to wait for Shaun to wake up. So, I waited. I stared at him for at least five minutes and he just ignored me. Ok, deep breath. I was going to do this myself.
I carefully approached the circuit box, fully prepared to die of electrocution. I flipped the well labeled switch (fortunately with no injury) then ran to check on the washer. It worked! I did it…all by myself! I am so proud of me.
So in addition to thanking Alva J. Fisher for inventing the washer, I suppose we should thank Al Gore for inventing the internet as well.