28 January, 2013

Laundry Why's & Wherefores

I received a question on my laundry decisions & I figured my reply was too lengthy so I would just turn it into another post.

The Price Family says,

Wow. I was overwhelmed when our washer went out at doing the laundry by hand. Do you chose to do your by hand or is it an "off the grid" decision or money issue? I hope this is not too personal, but I was interested in knowing why you do not have a machine. 

All 3! It is more of an off-grid thing, though not entirely as our well is as yet electrically pumped. We're trying to figure out how & when we can put up a gravity fed water catchment/ tank from up on the hill as an alternative water system along w/ an extra hand pump at the well head but money is an issue w/ everything & so far it's not been a priority. Generally when electric things go out here we do not replace them w/ the latest technology but w/ what was used before as it will come in useful in case of grid failure. An instance being the light over the kitchen sink burned out so we put up an oil lamp. It's sufficient enough to wash up in the dark when lit & hangs nicely on the (non-working) oven hood when cooking.

We've not ever had a new washer in our 10 year marriage. Our first apartment was a rental, then the second necessitated the laundromat. The machine w/ our first house took 3 hours to fill up per cycle, & the machine that came w/ our current house firstly wouldn't spin, then wouldn't drain except when running the hose out of the door & then it just wouldn't do anything but flood into the kitchen, so I rolled it outside & Mike & a friend w/ some tamarite blew it up for fun.

I just got fed up w/ un-dependability of modern methods & decided to try great-great grandma's way & I usually do enjoy it. It hasn't worked out quite how I thought; I was imagining washing outside w/ the childrens help under a shady tree in warm weather but our water fixtures in relation to the "tree fixtures" don't really mesh well. There is no space in the mud room for help except w/ the wringer BUT it is sometimes a refuge & a much welcome respite when school is over & we need a break from each other.

Or if it's a big wash day & I'm bored I can have Victor read to me while I scrub & Charlotte tends to wander in more often then w/ her thoughts & questions when she sees I'm doing a chore & not likely to assign one to her. I enjoy these visits as I don't always have time to focus on 4 year old rabbit trails of weirdness when I'm trying to direct the rest of the household. This past year (it's been 1 year) of hand washing my prayer life has taken off. I don't get 30 min. of alone time during the day unless I wake up 2 hours early & I'm not willing to do that. Someone wakes up as soon as they hear me stirring but I'm more likely to get longer uninterrupted time while washing.

There are pluses & minuses to any situation & sometimes it is a matter of just looking at the positives & ignoring the bad. I do have hot water but I'm happy to forgo it in order to keep our electric bill below $60.00. It's just a schedule adjustment & that doesn't bother anyone.

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