Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Spin Cycle

Sunday morning is usually my house-cleaning time. I mop the floors, clean the bathroom, dust the coffee table... All those chores I put off during the week, I force myself to do on Sunday morning. The past few weeks, however, I've been outside tending the garden, getting the chicks settled in, and generally just enjoying the beautiful weather, while POSSLQ slaves away with the household chores, blessed man.

Today I decided to get back into the routine of things, starting with the weekend laundry - our sheets and the dog's blankets and beds. Dog laundry came first since POSSLQ was sleeping in (and rightfully so, it's his birthday). Shortly after I heard the washer stop spinning, I stepped into the kitchen to check the food dehydrator. When the burning smell hit my nostrils, I assumed a strawberry had fallen on the heating coil of the dehydrator, but I followed the smell to the laundry room, or, more specifically, the back of the washer... Uh-oh.

It seems the drain is blocked (best case scenario) or the pump has gone out (worst case). A few years ago, this would have been disaster #1, but today, it got me thinking... Do I really need the washing machine? I wash a lot of my summer clothes by hand anyway, so why not spring for a nice washing board, scrub most of it by hand, then hit the laundromat for the big stuff? I'm already neglecting the dryer in favor of sun-kissed, line-dried clothes, so why not hand wash too? I can imagine it would give me a better appreciation for the threads that cover my body. We would simply need to re-define "dirty," maybe getting a few more wears out of our jeans before they hit the hamper. No doubt it would decrease our impact on the Earth, in both water and energy. And I'm sure it could be considered "clothing conservation" if we just ran around naked here at home.

I'm hoping this will be an easy fix; maybe a sock or hairball stuck in the drain hose. But, if not, I guess I'll find out if we're ready to take that next step toward energy independence. Then again, maybe I'll forget trying to fix it and head out to pick up one of these cool toys -- http://www.cleanairgardening.com/portable-washing-machine.html -- a hand crank washing machine!

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