We knew the clothes dryer was on its last legs. What began as a high-pitched squeal a few weeks ago morphed into an annoying lower-pitched groan a few days ago, and late Sunday morning, after we gave both dogs a bath and transferred the towels from the washer to the dryer, the sound of metal-on-metal issued forth as the dryer drum rotated through its last few revolutions, and then gave up the ghost in a shuddering CLUNK.
My bride and I disagree on whether this is the “original” clothes dryer at the Compound (for the uninitiated, we refer to our home as “The Morrissey Compound”) or if this was a replacement model. When we bought the house in 1998, we bought a brand-new washer and dryer from Kennedy-Hahn Appliance in Waunakee. Toni says we replaced the set about seven years ago, and she’s probably right.
Since the Packers were not playing until Sunday evening, we piled into the giant, gas-sucking foreign-made SUV and trekked through the snow to American on the Beltline, and, a half-hour and $607 later, came home and wondered what to do with the dryer full of wet towels. The model we selected will be delivered and set up on Friday, the old one will be hauled off to wherever such things are hauled, and in the meantime the laundry will pile up.
We’ve had a run of several appliance failures in the past few weeks. The dishwasher crapped out; a consultation with my friend Jay, who owns a company which repairs appliances, led me to conclude that rather than replace the water pump in the existing machine, I’m farther ahead to just buy a new one. We’ll get around to that – probably some time this spring.
About a month ago, the microwave oven suddenly made a horrible noise and the interior of it lit up with all sorts of sparks and electrical discharges, and it died right there. The thing was about 15 months old. A year ago in June I got a hefty paycheck from a writing project I’d just completed, and went out and spent a bit of it on a brand new microwave oven, a new toaster, and a new coffee-maker. There was nothing wrong with the old microwave; it’s just that, like the washer and dryer, we’d bought it when we moved into the Compound in 1998, and I figured it was probably near death.
I put the old microwave into storage, thinking one of the kids might want it at some point, and because it would cost me $25 to buy a sticker at the Town Hall and then set it on the curb for the men to pick up. So, I wound up bringing the old microwave back up into the kitchen, cleaning it up, and putting it back into service (it continues to work like a charm), going to the Town Hall, and spending the $25 to slap a sticker on the “new” microwave, which has now gone to wherever such things go after they disappear into the bowels of the Town truck.
Just before Thanksgiving, Toni’s “mixmaster” (I don’t know what else to call it; it’s the thing that mashes the potatoes) gave up the ghost, so we had to replace it tout de suite.
It’s the revolt of the machines around here!
Most of the other big stuff is in good shape, though. We put in a new water heater ($875) a couple months ago; the stove and refrig we replaced in ’09; American Family Insurance put a new roof on the house and outbuilding after that big hail storm in April of ’06; and in ’07 we put in a brand new and much more efficient furnace and air conditioner.
I figure we ought to be good until the washer craps out, and, when we’ve replaced that, and the dishwasher, that should be the end.