When Beverly and I were marrried, my mom made us a deal.
She offered to buy us a washing machine. But it had to be a Maytag. Any other brand and we were on our own.
Thirty-two years later Thursday, the appliance folks hauled off that washer to Agitator heaven, Mom's confidence in brand loyalty affirmed long ago. The repairman who worked on it three months before told us it was on the final spin cycle of life. I don't know how they measure these things, but I reckon it was about 200 in washer years.
We got every drop out of it. After we returned from trip earlier in the week, it washed five loads — albeit kicking and screaming and moaning and groaning all the time.
It was kind of like losing a family member because that ole basic, tough, dependable, workhorse of a washer was literally part of the fabric our our lives. Through the years, it had washed thousands of pounds clothes, including stuff with a garden variety of stains, baby gook and dirt from every from South Africa to the slopes of Utah from the 2002 Olympics to Canada. It had cleaned rocks, at least a dozen pens, about 20 containers of chapstick, a few pairs of athletic shoes, one wallet, a couple of credit cards, 10 or so receipts, seemingly hundreds of tissues and napkins, about five dollars and maybe a buck-fifty in change. Everything we threw at it, it handled.
The dryer was still working fine and the repair guy said it had some years left and we figured the pair that came together with our marriage needed to go out together. Coincidentally, a friend had her dryer play out the other night, so we were able to find ours a new hope.
A cycle of life complete. RIP, ole washer. You left with a clean slate.