Monday, August 22, 2011

Junkyard Summer

Earlier this year our computer was affected by a virus. We'd been thinking about getting a new one anyway - the poor thing was over a decade old, and ready for retirement. Replacing it wasn't really a big deal. And I must admit, I love our shiny new computer, and  didn't feel much sadness when the old computer was sent to the junkyard.

Then our dryer broke down. I didn't see this as much of a loss, either. A lot of studies have found that the dryer is the second to third largest energy consuming item in a home - and our dryer took two cycles to dry a small load (three cycles if it was something heavy, like a comforter). Besides, summer had just started, and I've always preferred line-drying clothes anyway. So the dryer ended up in the junkyard.

Then, disaster - our washer broke. My fondness for old-fashioned methods of cleaning clothes stops at line drying. The idea of laboring over our bathtub with a washboard was terrifying - and when I thought about how much clothing a family of five really goes through in a week? Not gonna happen. Fortunately my husband agreed with me.

The old washer was relocated to the junkyard, and an $800 dollar loan was taken out to replace it.

Last week I plugged in our vacuum and discovered that it, too, was not working. At this point I felt like screaming at the universe (the only thing that stopped me was the suspicion that the universe wouldn't listen anyway). Now, please realize, we have two cats and a dog of our own - plus our foster animals (and at that point we had a foster dog and two more kittens). So you can imagine how much I NEED a vacuum just to keep up with the pet hair - not to mention the dirt and debris that my three sons drag in every day.

I sat down and looked over the entire machine from top to bottom. No clogs, no strings wrapped around the bristles. I even took it apart to check the belt, but there was no obvious reason why it wouldn't start. So the vacuum joined the growing mass of products in our local junkyard - and Sean sighed and looked on for a new vacuum, while I tried to figure out a menu plan that would allow for the price of the vacuum to be taken out of the food budget.

This morning I went out to mow the lawn. Can you guess what happened? Yup. I pulled the starter string and all I got for my troubles was a loud, ominous CLANK followed by a jammed starter string. I'm dreading telling Sean about this one - he's under a lot of pressure financially, and I don't like adding to the weigh on his shoulders. In the hopes that I can give him good news along with the bad, I've sent out a freecycle request for a working lawnmower, but my hopes aren't high.

....and when I remember that little glowing "check engine" light that's been lit up for a couple months in our car?  I feel like pleading with Karma to spare us ("Oh no, please, no, not the car, anything but the car!).

I don't think Karma's listening.

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