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(c) 2009 Christiana Lambert

Two years ago my good, old trusty Kenmore dryer stopped running—right in the middle of winter when my clothesline is none too helpful. I wasn’t quite ready to move up appliance-wise, so I just replaced the washer/dryer set with one from a reliable used appliance store. However, I soon discovered that my replacement set was the budget version of my previous set—it was never designed to be as good as what I had owned.

That mattered most with the dryer and doing loads such as the jeans from our now fully-grown family of four. Doing laundry just took longer. Not exactly what I needed with so much of my focus on my mother. Then again, the kids left for college about seven months later, so we got by most of the time.

The kids’ return last summer reminded me just how slowly the dryer did its job. And because our dryer made doing a dull job even less appealing, the kids didn’t do their laundry much. It made me crazy to have so much dirty clothing in the house. Still, I wasn’t ready to upgrade yet.

That is until we knew that Jackson would not be returning to college after Christmas. It’s hard enough to figure out how to live together after living apart. What we don’t need is any additional burdens from using inefficient equipment that increases the time necessary for doing chores that no one really wants to do anyway.

My solution? Re-organize the laundry room and start the new year/new living arrangement with a spiffy new dryer to encourage regular laundry routines.

Great plan except that new dryer doesn’t seem to dry. Really. We’ve reattached it, cleaned out all the lint connections, tried pushing the buttons in different ways, etc. The sensor drying phase shuts off after two minutes—no matter what. And the timed drying phase just tumbles the clothes as dictated—if there is heat, it only comes after about three hours of constant use.

My daughter worked through a load of laundry with the old dryer, but had to return to school with the rest of her dirty clothing.

And my son’s clothing? Still waiting, other than the few necessary pieces we’ve managed to have the patience to dry.

Today we have a Chinook wind blowing with a sixty-degree forecast—might have to break out that clothesline after all.

In the meanwhile, I’m waiting for the service person’s arrival—impatiently—he said he’ll be here in half an hour. (Thank goodness I got his call telling me he would be here solidly within the scheduled window right before I received the company’s robo-call saying the arrival might be delayed beyond the scheduled time—please tell me he knows more than the computer!) Had to wait almost a week for this appointment after our call—after we had waited a week and a half trying to figure out if we were doing anything wrong and could fix it ourselves.

Part of me wonders, how did we as a culture get here? The salesperson told us if they have to come out more than four times in the year, they will replace the appliance—and that does happen. Does this make any sense when these appliances are so expensive in the first place?

I’m definitely longing for that trusty old Kenmore that lasted around twenty years—and that didn’t have any computer parts, which meant my husband also performed any needed repairs himself.

Am I a Luddite if I say I think we’ve all been hung out to dry? I suppose I am, even if I’m not planning to smash up my new dryer—hey, I paid for it already. But, sorry, folks, this way is not better.

Maybe I’ll change my tune when I have a functioning new dryer and see how much more efficient it is with both energy usage and our time. Still, just in case, I’m glad we at least have a clothesline and no covenants to prevent us from using it.

(c) 2010 Christiana Lambert

Patience may be a virtue, but not a natural one for me. But, hey, Life often just gives you opportunities to learn about the virtues you lack, right?

Although I am approaching three months since my injury, there are those in my family who might suggest I haven’t quite earned high marks in my patience tests. Still, I don’t think any of them would wish that I need to take more lessons in the subject—for their sakes as well as for mine.

Yet, I have been somewhat patient. After all, I didn’t stop moving. For every day I felt like giving up and becoming someone different, there were several more where I kept working through my exercise routines.

In the past week I have gotten a lot closer to forgetting the injury while in both ZUMBA and yoga classes. In fact, I left the trochanter belt behind for those activities. I surprised myself when I realized I wasn’t modifying my workouts any more than I ever did. In other words, I got sore from working out, not from being injured!

Who knows? Maybe it was the infrared treatment the chiropractor tried this week—if so, too bad we didn’t try that earlier! (Please forgive the multiple exclamation points. Trite though they may be, they are sincere reflections of my excitement.)

Now, I’m not exactly up to running a 5K, but I have added a few more minutes to my jog/run. I suspect my running will be the last activity to recover to former levels, but on the other hand, I do harbor hope that some of this rebalancing will eventually allow me to surpass my most recent running form, if not the running level.

At the same time, I have made it through sorting enough of my mother’s music that our household has been able to reclaim the family room floor space. Which means that, in addition to my feeling better, I also have the space again for practicing ZUMBA routines.

Perhaps this feeling of optimism led to my purchasing a docking/speaker system for my iPod yesterday. You see, I’m starting to dream again, both of maintaining my regular fitness schedule, as well as of becoming a ZUMBA instructor.

Actually, I’m really dreaming of not having to think so much about my body when I contemplate any of my dreams—whether or not they involve fitness.

And that, my friends, is that real fruit of working through the injury—that I didn’t give up on my life vision just because I ran into a very unexpected roadblock. I am wiser about what I can and cannot control and just a wee bit more patient than when I set out to get my puppy and returned with him—and the sore hips/back that gave me a chance to learn just a little bit more from Life’s lesson books.

A couple months ago when I went to import all my old blog posts on WordPress, I discovered just how slow my current machine really is. I would have never have gotten the job done if Sherman hadn’t loaned me his laptop. I had 40-some posts to put in, but my computer took over 15 minutes to upload a single post. And if I needed to edit something after posting, who knows how much longer . . . According to Task Manager, the site hung up regularly during the process.

That’s when I realized I had to get a new computer soon or I would go crazy! No wonder I’ve felt like I can’t get anything done at the computer. Still, just because I needed a new computer didn’t mean I could just run out and get one. I had to plan for the purchase—and when did I have time to do that?

Well, I’m not sure I still have time to do that, but Sherman and I made time on Sunday. The order went in that evening—and now I am going crazy with my computer because I know somewhere out there someone is assembling a new computer with my name on it. OK, not with my name on it—but it does have fingerprint ID capability. How about that? One day it will have my fingerprints all over it—and I’ll have to use my fingerprint to get in to it.

Imagine my distress when I found out I have to wait about a month to get it. Oh, I’ve been so patient while this computer got progressively slower. Plus, I’ve waited a long time to replace it, but I am so over waiting! I want my new computer—last year!

And then, while I was in Pilates two days later, Dell both called and e-mailed me with a problem. I tried to listen to the message as I hurried to my car before I picked up my daughter for an appointment. Unfortunately there are dead zones in the rec center so I didn’t understand anything other than I had 24 hours before my order would be canceled. Aargh! However, semi-patient person that I am, I continued on to the scheduled appointment because there was no wiggle time.

By the time I stopped driving, I instead checked my e-mail. Same message only this time I could understand the whole message. I was not about to let them cancel my long overdue computer! So I called—guess what? The guy only worked until 5:00 Central Time—and it was 4:30 Mountain Time. Then I called the call center, which has hours until 10:00. No go—I could only talk to my rep—the next day.

Just so I didn’t feel totally impotent, I sent an e-mail back to him asking him to call or e-mail when he got in so we could resolve this before I had to start the ordering process again. Of course, later that night I got an e-mail saying something (not the computer) had been shipped. Huh? My credit card number was right?

Well, I wasn’t going to rely on that, but when I called my rep in the morning, I could only leave a message. Aargh again! I placed the cell phone and home phone, as well as my order confirmation and credit cards, in the bathroom while I showered.

No call—but I did receive an e-mail while I was away from my desk cleaning up. The order’s a go—it’s in production. And there was much rejoicing . . . until I tried to search for something on the Internet. As Don Henley sang in “A Month of Sundays”, “. . . saw a sign on easy street, said be prepared to stop.”

Do I really need to wait almost a month to satisfy my need for speed? Oh, it must be time to practice all those deep breathing exercises I’ve learned in yoga and therapy.

In the grand scheme of all my problems, this is so minor. Why then do I feel like it ’s going to be a month of Sundays now that I finally hit send on this big purchase?

I am so “of this world” after all. Aargh again and again.

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