Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

do the Amish have ice makers?

My appliances appear to have developed a sense of humor.

For the past month, my washing machine—a less than five year old, high end, front loading model—has been behaving less than cooperatively.  It isn’t draining fully, the clothes are not spinning the water out, it shuts off in the middle of cycles, and it takes twice as long to run a single load (that has to go through the spin cycle yet again after it finishes.)  It flashes a wonderful little error code at the end to tell me that I will need to wash my clothes over again, and probably run the spin cycle a time or two, as well.

Basically, it’s broken.

I still use it, going through all of the ridiculous extra motions, because I need clean clothes.  I have a puppy who has taken to chewing the crotches out of my underwear, so I have to wash the ones I have left a lot more often.

I used to love my washing machine.  It was my favorite appliance. 

My refrigerator was never my favorite appliance.  I bought it at the same time as the washing machine, but it was a compromise with my husband who wanted the side by side model for the ice and water on the door, while I wanted the French door model that coincidentally came out with a model with ice and water in the door just after I compromised to get the side by side that we have now.  Irony.  Even more ironic is the fact that the ice maker broke right around the same time as the washing machine.  It still makes ice, but the little flap that is supposed to close between the outside and the freezer doesn’t close anymore causing the cold air to escape and the ice to melt inside.  This causes a buildup of ice inside that jams the entire apparatus so no ice will come out at all.  The reason my husband wanted that stupid refrigerator is now null and void. And the only part of the refrigerator that I liked no longer works.

So I spend all day washing one load of my clothes, and I can’t even get a glass of ice water while I wait.  At least I can vacuum the floors while I’m doing the wash, right?

Wrong.

Today my vacuum has decided to stop working.  It just stopped.  One minute I was vacuuming dog hair from the corners, and the next it was quiet.  No power whatsoever.  It’s like the appliance gods are angry with me.  And for what reason, I have no idea.  Are they trying to force me into an Amish existence? 

It could just be the law of warranties that is at work.  I’m not sure about the refrigerator or the washing machine, but I know the warrantee on my Dyson vacuum just expired recently.  I think there must be a self-destruct mechanism embedded in these expensive appliances, set to go off just after the warrantee runs out. 

Then again, I could have just read the manuals. 

In a fit of frustration, and with a mission to discover the specifics of my warrantee on the washing machine, I pulled out the manual that came in the original packaging.  There was actually a section on error codes.  Funny thing about my error code…it means the drain hose is clogged.  Unclog the drain hose and the washing machine will work perfectly again!  That’s top on my list for tomorrow. 

The vacuum didn’t have a nice little section in the manual about spontaneous death, but my husband looked it up on the internet, and after letting it cool down and cleaning out the HEPA filter, we are back in business sucking up little bits of Henry Chow’s ever replenishing fur. 

As for the refrigerator…so far there is no miracle cure that I can find.  A broken flap is a broken flap.  Hot summer air getting into the ice chamber is going to continue to melt the ice.  It’s just simple science.  Global warming on a smaller scale.  But I never liked that refrigerator to begin with.  I wouldn’t mind trading it in for the French door model with the ice and water on the door.  Who knows…maybe the appliance gods are actually smiling down on me, rewarding me for my patience and hard work? 

It could happen…

Until the next time…I’ll be reaching into the freezer to get my ice (the old fashioned way!)

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