Some years back, my friend Chris over at Miller’s Last Resort blogged about buying a new washing machine (here and here). She seemed – well, distraught – over the decision, and in the end she sent her husband to make the final selection and purchase. I thought at the time – with gentle affection -- that her reaction was a little over-the-top, but I’ve changed my mind. (I borrowed the picture off Chris' blog.)
It doesn’t seem possible, but it’s been ten years since Mike and I downsized from “the big house” to a new lifestyle, dividing our time between the farmhouse and the small modular town home. The big house sold quickly – three months before the modular home was delivered – during which time we lived in a camp trailer. Suddenly in the moving process, I realized that I would need to do our laundry. (Spending time at a laundromat didn’t appeal to me.) So, Mike bought an old GE clunker for $135 and hauled it to the farmhouse. He said it was just a stopgap, that eventually I could have a new machine, but I’m still using that clunker. For a couple of years it leaked yellow oil on the floor, and typical of its generation, it tends to “walk” when unbalanced. But hey! It runs and gets the clothes clean, so I’ve put up with it all these years.
Mike says the time has come for that new machine, so Saturday we stopped at two appliance stores. Interestingly enough, the disseminated information was the same at both stores. In fact, they even showed us the same models (basic top-loaders, such as Amana, Speed Queen, Whirlpool, and GE). Water efficiency is important to us, but both salesmen were quick to point out that with water efficiency, your clothes don’t get clean. At the same time, one salesman estimated we’re using 40 gallons of water per load with the old clunker. As we were leaving the second store, the salesman said, “Or, you could look at a front-loader.” But we’d already been there half an hour and I’d had enough.
The delivery charge to the farm would add $70 at both stores, though one salesman, a friend of Mike’s, offered to help him load it on the pick-up and then ride his motorcycle to the farm to help unload and install.
Suddenly I could understand Chris’ plight. It would just be fine with me if someone else made this decision. I’ll accept the surprise with grace.
Another option is to take the present town machine, a 15-year-old Frigidaire Galaxy (just like the one in the Fargo series), to the farm, sell the dryer, and buy a new washer and dryer for town.
What do you think? KW