Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Laundry Saga

I've had an on again, off again love affair with laundry my whole life. I remember helping my mom when we had a wringer washer. This was in the 70s but because we lived in a house without running water, she'd reverted to the older machine that didn't require a steady supply of water to operate.

I had Proverbs 31 arms back in the day from hauling all the water up from our well. The bucket held about 2-1/2 gallons and while most days we got by with six or seven buckets, wash day always meant many, MANY more because mom liked fresh water for each load. I dreaded laundry because my arms would just be flat out sore by the end of the day. Feeding clothes through the wringer took some arm strength too. Do any of you remember these? In the 90s, a group from our church went on a short-term missions trip to Appalachia (my home stomping grounds) to help at a New Tribes training facility. My daughter and the other young girls on the trip had an absolute blast with these type washers. Of course, there was running water there so they just had to turn the tap on to fill up the tub. But those girls spent the week asking everyone if they had any laundry to wash. I think they felt sorta "little house on the prairie" as they happily played washerwomen.

Anyway, before and after the wringer washer we had a normal washer and dryer, circa the 1960s. Maybe a little more modern than this, but not much. I mean let's face it, washing machines are not cars and their engineers were stuck in a rut for ages with the same old, same old coming off the production line year after year.

They may not have looked like much but they certainly did make life easier. Throw the clothes in the washer, take 'em out and throw 'em in the dryer, take 'em out and put 'em up. No need to haul up buckets of water, heating some on the wood stove before pouring it into the tub. Letting the clothes agitate, keeping an eye on the clock, running each piece through the wringer once, twice, sometimes three times to make sure you've gotten out as much water as possible, then into the rinse tub. Repeat process for "rinse cycle". Then hanging the clothes on the line, piece by piece. In the winter we had some indoor lines and the furniture would be draped as well. Of course, without a dryer to air fluff the clothes, you have to iron everything too. It took literally all day to do the laundry for one woman and two girls.

I've never had a new washing machine until now. Why buy new when you can get a used one for pennies on the dollar? And when you have a handy man hubby who can keep a washer running long past its life expectancy? But there were times. Oh yes, there were times when even with his careful ministrations, the machine would work but not all that well. The last machine we had in the U.S. required multiple spin cycles and even then the clothes were a little damper than they should be when we put them in the dryer.

I fully expected to get a used washer here. Had not planned on a new washer. But the Lord opened the door to get one and I have never looked back! If it's possible to love an inanimate object, I love my washer ☺ Isn't it pretty?! Here are the specs:
Cap. Neta: 12 Kg
Doble toma de agua: Fria y caliente
Temperatura de Agua: Fría / Tibia / Caliente (mezcla en forma inteligente las dos
tomas de agua independiente)
Panel de control digital
Potencia del aire seco (Semi- seco 30min/1hr/2hr)
8 Programas de lavado : Fuzzy, Delicado, Jeans, Tub Clean, Favorito, Silencioso, Enjuague inteligente, Lavado rápido
Dimensiones: (mm) 632 an. x 1.020 al. x 670 prof.

If you can read any Spanish at all, you may be intrigued by the "Potencia del aire seco" because I certainly was, and it's one of my favorite features. I call it the "air fluff" because it literally infuses air and fluffs the clothes while simultaneously spinning every little bit of excess water out. The 1 hour didn't do any better than the 30 minute air fluff so I just always do 30 minutes. I have removed items after this and had actual dry spots!

Between my handy dandy air fluff feature and the intense Argentine sun, laundry dries very quickly. Usually by the time I have a second load ready to hang on the line, the first load is dry.

There is something very satisfying about hanging clothes on the line. I think because it satisfies the OCD in me. I can be as obsessively compulsive as I want when hanging clothes. Socks neatly lined up, facing the same direction, pairs together so I can fold them over one another right on the line before unclipping the clothespins and dropping them into the basket, all ready for the drawer. I get immense pleasure from making sure all my blue dish towels are together in a row.

[The hubby would say it's a control issue. I won't disagree. With so many things in life I cannot control, it's nice to have something I can ]

And the smell! The heavenly smell of line dried clothes *sigh* Companies have tried to create air freshener and candles with that smell but they can't quite get it just right.

I can see that during the winter there will be days when I'll want a dryer. And we'll probably get one in a year or two. While I do enjoy doing laundry, I do NOT love ironing. So for some things it would be nice to be able to throw them in the dryer and have them come out fluffy and ready to hang, no ironing necessary.

But meantime I'll enjoy our sunny days and the thrill of seeing freshly laundered items blowing in the breeze, neatly lined up in rows as they should be.


Linda Goossen said...

I remember my mom using a wringer washer. I got my fingers pinched more than once putting the socks through! Praise the Lord for automatic washers and dryers!

Mari said...

It looks like a wonderful washer. I'm happy for you!

Debbie said...

That washer looks great. I do love to hang the clothes out, too.

rita said...

Just this week I was trying to explain wringer washers to some of my students.
The eight program's names on your fancy dancy shmancy washer are intriguing, like "Intelligent Rinse", for example. Also the mix of English in there.
I love your OCD efficiency, the socks folded together direct from the line!
Well, I had never heard the descriptor Prov. 31 arms! However, I have seen those arms! The image that comes to mind is Mother, 'great with child' (Alan) hauling large buckets of water from the neighbors when our tank was low or the running water was turned off periodically. That was Argentina, nothing to do with not paying the bills. But as I write, the question that comes to mind is, How come the neighbors had water? So much for memories from my youth.
I assure you Mother is even now a most Proverbial-31 woman! She prepared a meal for us last evening, when we went up for M & A to check out remodeling the bathroom, and again I was reminded that I cannot keep up with her!

Lhoyt said...

Yes you DID have running water! You did the running for the water. And yes, I remember using one of those wringer washers. We have a picture of Aldo running it, but I had my turns at it, also. That was the washer Dad attempted to replace with a brand new washer/dryer in 1958, but ended up having to leave it in "aduana" because the "coima" was expected, and I'm sure some customs officer is probably still using it. We ended up with a Bendix Kacemaster made with parts from the US, but assembled in Argentina.