It’s 2012, and the sad reality is I have a full-blown addiction to modern convenience.
Sure, I talk about living off the land and abandoning most inventions of the last 200 years, but the truth is I’d have a hard time adjusting to this reality.
Two weeks ago my dryer died.
How pathetic is that??
It took me about 5 days before I accepted that it wasn’t getting fixed as quick as I hoped and my laundry was piling up fast.
I wrapped some clothesline around my back balcony, dug out my clothespins and set to work.
Today marks day 17 since my dryer broke and I can say my addiction is broken.
The repair guy came today and I have no interest in using the dryer.
This is such a great feeling! To have one modern convenience that isn’t anchoring me down makes me feel all prairie like.
Granted, the dryer is an easy appliance to do away with. I could see myself surviving without a dishwasher and for those who know me, I’m already quite free from the telephone :)
But, DON’T TAKE MY WASHING MACHINE!
I would rather go without a toilet than not have a washer. Let me think about that for a second…..yep, I’ll stand behind that.
Have you gone without a washing machine for an extended period of time? I’m thinking we’d transition our wardrobe to the bare essentials and it would be all linen. That seems manageable to me.
In all seriousness, though there are dozens of you that do not have a washing machine. You are probably laughing at my whining. Several readers have asked me for advice on how to wash cloth diapers without a washer.
My answers always come from the deep recess of my brain reserved for survival skills. It’s pretty dusty back there.
The bathtub, a washtub or a trough of some kind sound like good ideas to me. But, it’s the information I gleaned from reading experiences of participants in the Flats & Handwashing Challenge that really have helped me.
Kim of Dirty Diaper Laundry created a video tutorial on how to make a camp style bucket washer. Fletcher is one of the cutest video models I’ve ever seen.
Polly really made me consider how we so easily say, “I could never do that!” but when in the situation you adapt fairly quickly. I like her story of visiting her grandmother in Mexico while in high school:
Years ago when I was a young my parents let me go on a long vacation to Mexico with my grandparents. Once there I had accumulated some dirty clothes I had to wash, I asked my grandma if I could wash. She then handed me a bar soap and said that the washing board was in the back room. I looked at her kinda puzzled wasn’t sure what she was saying, I mean my mom always washed my clothes what was I supposed to do now??
So I go to the back room and I see a concrete washing board and clothes that are sitting there to get washed. Hmm now what?? “Grandma how do I do this I’ve never done this we have a washer and dryer”? my grandma responds ” Mija, we don’t have a washer, but ill show you how to wash on the wash board I do it everyday” my mind was blown away.
I thought “Are you kidding me”? I could not do this everyday.
Well let me tell you I did it every other day until the day I was getting ready to go back home. To this day I appreciate my grandma showing me how to wash on a wash board.
Elyse is a true champ. She participated in the challenge but was already well versed in the how-tos of handwashing. For a whole year she handwashed her cloth diapers and it was her first year of cloth diapering at that!
Elyse has written a book simply called the Handwashing Guide. In the guide Elyse describes both the Camp Style bucket method and the Wonder Wash by Laundry Alternative.
How true is this statement that Elyse makes in regards to peoples’ amazement at handwashing or any number of other “impossible” tasks??
In our daily lives we do things that would seem extraordinary to others but are ordinary to us: waiting tables, calming temper tantrums, changing diapers, cooking dinner for a family of 6, working 80 hours a week. Its all based on perspective and when your situation changes so does your perspective.
If you are like me, your entire perspective has changed in these last 800 words. I shouldn’t be chained down to modern convenience that my whole world is rocked by something breaking.
Nothing in life is guaranteed to last, not even life itself. Finding joy in all that comes our way is a challenge but one we must strive to attain.