The Homemaker and the Washing Machine

My cloth diapers had finally come in the mail. I was skeptical, yet excited to start using them. Before I could prep them, (essentially wash them over and over) I needed to finish all of the other laundry in the house.

A full dark load was in the washer. I pushed the on button and began to select the wash cycle, before letting the machine finish its nice little, "I'm on chime." And then, the machine shut down. No friendly turning off chime, just a sudden, someone pulled the plug, type of shut down. Great, you see, a few months prior, while I was eight months pregnant, this same thing happened. 

I scrambled to find the reset code that the repair man had given us the last time he was here. It didn't work. Quite reluctantly, I called the repair company. I'm going to leave the name out of this blog, but let's just say that the company name may, or may not, rhyme with the word, "Fears." This abrupt shut down had occurred just days before our one year warranty expired. If there was anything I learned from my dad it was, always pay with cash and never waste your cash on a warranty.  If a product is faulty it's going to have it's issues in the first year you own it and (most) products carry a manufacturers warranty of one year. 

Back to the point, once I was able to get through to someone on the phone I was over joyed when I was told a repair man would be out the very next morning. The next day I missed a phone call from a 1-800 number. It was the repair company, an automated message left instructions to call as soon as possible, our appointment needed to be rescheduled. 

I quickly called, trying not to get too worked up. Come to find out, there really was not an appointment available for the time frame we were given. The first customer service person I spoke with, in my opinion simply just wanted to get things done and over with and did not check availability. While this was all rolling around in my head I hear, "Our next available appointment is a week out." Excuse me? What, how many faulty appliances are you selling? I lost my cool, but, I never did raise my voice. I simply kept restating that obviously that would not work. I have a two year old and a new born. There's no way. The worst part of it is, a few months back, we were run through the exact same obstacle corse. Only that time, Tim was the one who lost it. He was able to get put on a list, if anything opened up sooner we would get that appointment. I took the appointment I was given and was fuming. 

I took to social media and used every hash tag and handle that I could on twitter to get the attention of someone. And, I did. I now had my own, "case" and a direct line in which I could speak to the same woman through out the whole process. Our washer was now set to be fixed in just a couple days. 

Great, right? Wrong. Normally I had been running the washer and dryer once a day. Just as soon as I had enough to make a decent size load. As fate would have it, I had been focusing on being in the moment with my girls prior to the washer breaking. So, the laundry had not been done for a couple of days. I had three (dark, light and pink-the pink load is always my favorite) large loads of laundry that had to be done and done soon. I looked up where the nearest laundromat was. That wasn't going to work, it was twenty minutes away and in a somewhat questionable neighborhood. I thought about asking a friend if we could use her washer, but she has a little one too and I didn't want to bother her. 

Light bulb, we were watching our neighbors dog. They were do to get home in the afternoon. I was able to get ahold of our neighbors (who are truly the best neighbors anyone could ask for), and get permission to use their washer. Tim had not left for work yet so I was able to run over and get a load started with out any kids in toe. I set an alarm on my phone and was able to get two loads washed before he headed to work. 

Somewhere in the midst of walking back and forth to keep the loads moving (I would bring them home and dry them in our dryer) I had an epiphany. What a huge blessing this all was. First, our washer broke just days before the warranty was up, the repair would be free. The washer did end up needing a new part. Maybe now, thanks to this repair, we will have no further issues for the life of the washer. Second, I was able to get our clothes washed with minimal effort. While getting the last load taken care of I had Alexandra in the chest carrier (Karoline was napping, I had her in my pocket, via the baby monitor). My imagination wondered ... I pictured myself walking down to the river bank with a bucket of dirty clothes on my head (total Jungle Book vision) with a baby on my hip and a toddler running along side me to clean the clothes. My feet shifted underneath me, the rocks between our houses were lose and were hard to walk on with my basket and extra front weight. I kept going with the little story that was playing out in my head. I was barefoot and had slipped on the muddy banks, there were snakes and spiders and it was going to take all afternoon to wash the clothes. 

My imagination made the whole thing kind of fun. More than that it made me extremely thankful for how blessed we are. What a truly blessed life we live for our biggest, "problem," to be a broken washing machine. I teared up thinking about how silly it was to be so upset that we couldn't get our washer fixed for a week. Yes, it would have been an inconvenience. It certainly is not a necessity and we could have made something work (and we did). My heart was broken thinking about all of the families who would love for their problem to be a broken washing machine. While there I was: I knew what we were going to eat for dinner that day, our house was a nice temperature, we have clean drinking water and a safe home. Our babies are healthy and our family is together. 

When you sit back and look at your problems on a grand scale it allows you to see the light and the blessings in your trials and tribulations. As you read this my hope was that you were able to find the ability to refocus your energy with a problem you are facing and turn it into a positive. There's always a bright side, even if you have to peal back a couple of layers to find it.

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