For those of you under the age of say, oh, probably 40, or, wait, maybe even 50 or 60, the machine in the above picture might stump you. You are looking at something that not many people have any more. What is it, you might ask? Well, you may ask me and I will tell you.
It is my washing machine.
I like my washing machine.
In fact, I love my washing machine. It is a Maytag, and it was built in 1953 which is five years before I was built, and I am sorry to say, it is also in better shape than I am!
I don't think there is any one thing I have ever done in my life that has caused so much of a stir as my laundry habits. I never knew people would get so passionate about my needing and DESERVING a new wash machine, there have even been a few heated debates about it over the years with my friends when they found out 'how I do laundry'. You'd think I was standing out by a river, pounding laundry on rocks and hanging them from twigs in the woods. (Actually, I wonder how that worked..........hmmmm........but there's no river nearby.) The comments and the blank stares I've received have been funny, to say the least. People just don't get it.
I also do not have a dryer. I do have some beautiful washlines (see the rose castings in these babies?) that Carl built for me when we first married, no Plain Jane poles for me, no sirree. The picture below is my laundry from yesterday. It was a small wash, about six loads, and it took me under an hour to do. Yesterday was a glorious drying day and breezy, so everything fluffed up wonderfully.
I bring this subject up because Ann stopped in the other day for a visit and since I was washing clothes, she lent me a hand. Ann does not think this is 'normal' behavior either, though she knows I am not normal, so it doesn't bother her. But she told me how different it is to do laundry the 'new-fangled' way with an automatic washer and dryer and how you can get all sorts of other things done while you're washing. How you don't have to stand there and tend the laundry until it's done and how it's much less work. And you don't have to worry about getting your fingers stuck in the wringer (or worse--yes, you've all heard the crude jokes, I'm sure) and you don't have to haul the laundry out of the basement in baskets and trudge out to the washline only to have a not-so-hot drying day and have to haul damp laundry back in. (I just leave it out overnight, my laundry enjoys a good outing.)
I know clothes dried in a dryer are softer and less wrinkled, but how do they smell? To me, there is no sweeter perfume than the smell of sunshiny line-dried clothes. I don't care if the towels are scratchy, it's good for the skin.
So, don't try to convert me, it ain't gonna happen. Unless I can't get parts anymore. Then I will have problems. I own four Maytags now and am always on the lookout for another one. In March, my in-laws saw one at a thrift store and called me right away. Joel and I went to the store with the trailer and he bought it on the spot for $30. When Joel left the store to go get the trailer, I waited around inside for him and did some browsing of the other merchandise. There were two clerks in the store who were getting the washer ready to roll to the loading dock, both of them were retirees, just volunteering at the store.
One of them said, "What does that young guy want with this thing? Do you think he's going to use it?"
The other one said, "Use it?? For what? Are you kidding? He's probably going to plant flowers in it or something. It might make a good lawn ornament."
Lawn ornament!? I piped up, "No, that young guy isn't going to use it, I am."
Both of them stopped and looked at me, and then at each other......clearly this woman is a nut job.
Yes, I am.
But the nut doesn't fall far from the tree, guess who else washed clothes yesterday?
Reintroducing my 90 year old mother, the Elusive Lucille:
And her washing machine:
An even older than mine Speed Queen!
We keep our tractors parked in Mom's machine shed and I had walked up there yesterday afternoon with Pudding dog to get one. Mom helped me out by holding on to Pudding for me while I backed the tractor out. See the wash machine in the picture? That's another one of my 'spares' stored in Mom's shed.
Oh, one more tip before I head off to do some more laundry today (I'm taking a cue from Mom and am washing all our bedding today, too!).....but here's the tip:
Never leave your wringer in the closed position when not in use. Leaving it shut will ruin the rubber rollers.
I just KNOW this tip will come in handy for so many people out there. LOL
Ok, off to laundry!