Monday, June 23, 2008

I Have a Secret

When you get to the bottom, you'll see a picture of socks drying and not some lovely thing growing on my garden fence.  

My dryer is still broken. Surprise!  I was slated last Friday for a repair call from a "Certified GE repairman".  I like to say that because it makes them sound so much more capable of fixing things.  My time window was from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Guess what time he showed up.  It was officially 4:46 p.m.  Good thing I hung around all day or I would have missed him! 

Jake (we're buds now) turned the dryer on.  He turned it off.  He moved it around. He laid on the floor and listened when it was on.  He pulled it away from the wall and messed with the propane off/on do-hicky.  He asked me a question I'd already answered when I made the appointment ("So, what happens when you turn the dryer on?"). He wandered out to his truck.  He wandered back in and pronounced my dryer "broken". You think?  It has a broken gas valve widget, he doesn't have it on the truck, he has to order it, it will take a week and he can come back out this Friday (from 8-5) and fix it.  Surprise!  It will cost $385 for parts and labor.  The $79 fee for just pulling up to the house will be included in the $385.  Thanks.  

Arrrggghhh! Lee and Thomas were coming home the next day with a weeks worth of camp clothes.  If I ever needed a washer AND dryer, it was now.  My wonderful mother-in-law, Alice, offered the use of her dryer.  So did my neighbor.  I turned them both down.  I have a secret.  A secret that will make my mother turn over in her grave. I like drying clothes on the line. Sshhh, don't tell anyone.  My broken dryer has single-handedly thrown me back 40+ years in time.  It has been so wicked hot and dry here that the clothes dry in half the time it takes the dryer. It forces me to take care of things as they come off the line instead of just tossing them in a basket for folding when I feel like it (which is never!).  It provides me with quiet time. Unlike Tom Sawyer, I can't convince my kids that it looks like fun. That's okay, though.  It's an acquired skill and takes a bit of getting used to.

Will I go back to using my dryer when Jake comes out this Friday.  Probably.  Will I feel a bit guilty for using the propane and electricity to do it? Yes.  Will I quit folding socks again? Yes.  Will I consider leaving one of the more hidden lines up and using it when I can? Yes. Right at this minute, I'm feeling very much like I can continue doing this as long as the weather holds.  According to the weather guessers, our high pressure ridge is stuck tight.  In other words, hot and dry are here for quite a while. 

PS..Jake says to "Always, always, always, always buy the extended warranty. As many years as you can get. Appliances aren't built to live much longer than a year or two. Also, buy in the middle-of-the-road price range.  Too many bells and whistles means there's more to break down.  Never buy an appliance the the first year it's available.  They don't even bother working the kinks out ahead of time anymore.  They wait for us to do it for them."


  1. I love using my clothes line too. When I'm really busy, or it's winter, I use the dryer. But being outside, hanging clothes, listening to the birdies is such a nice peacefull way to get a mundane task done.

  2. I've dried clothes outside on hot, pretty days, but it made them stiff, rough and *crispy*, vs. fresh. What's up with that? Maybe my water is too hard?

    ps...need to talk to you!!!

  3. Punkin, you're right about the clothes being crunchy. I've found that with bit of fluffing or wearing, the crunchy part fades away.
    Sugar, it is peaceful, isn't it?

  4. Punkin, you're right about the clothes being crunchy. I've found that with bit of fluffing or wearing, the crunchy part fades away.
    Sugar, it is peaceful, isn't it?

  5. Punkin, leave me a message on Working Farm and I'll look for it.

  6. I think it must be a universally accepted thing with repair guys having that all day window and only coming at the end of the day.
    And of course, the cost to repair an appliance is always more than a new one would cost.
    So, we've always just went and bought a new appliance instead.

    Dryers are much cheaper than washing machines, and do tend to break down sooner than washers. Must have something to do with all that heat and either electric or fuel stressing out the system and breaking down parts.

    But still, an applicance should give more than a year of service. Typically it's between 3-5 years for dryers.

    I'd like to put up a clothes line here, but we have zero humidity and when the clothes dry in less than an hour, they get so dry they feel like they will crack in two when pried off the line! ack!

  7. I'll admit, our stuff is a bit crunchy, but it softens up.
    My repairman said I'm on the "All day" schedule because we live so far out, and they are only in my area on Fridays.

    I don't get the 'not having the part' thing. When looking at a forum that is dedicated to griping about appliance repair, it is clear that it seems to be the same item breaking on the same machines. One woman even said, "My repairman said 'I've fixed 3 of these in the last three days, but he didn't have the part on the truck. What's up with that!?"

  8. Oh now I know why my wife keep on refusing that we call an electrician fix our dryer when we were staying in a small house in St. Paul! Perhaps she likes hanging our clothes on the line, too. Hmmm... That, I have to verify.