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Mother's little helper

Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012, at 10:38 PM

For the past several months, I've been putting off purchasing a new washing machine. See, my old machine has been with us for many years, and all you had to do to get it to finish its cycle was give it a good rap on the lid.

Not too much trouble, I reasoned. After all, didn't my mother wrestle her old wringer washer for years without complaining? OK. There was complaining. But it was reasonable, gentle complaining.

Finally, I'd had it. Tom and I went washer shopping. Found all sorts of new-fangled items. Did you know that there are models out there that only use $16 A YEAR worth of electricity? (That's probably not for my family. We play outside. We garden. We have pets. And we spill things a lot.) Still, that's fairly efficient, I'd say.

The next thing that struck me was the wide variety of setting these new machines offer. The one we selected was super energy and water-efficient, which is important to me.

It's got a whole bunch of automatic settings. It's got a setting for delicates, and another setting for hand-washables (these seem pretty similar to me, but it's nice to have choices.) It's got a setting for normal, for "whitest whites," for bulky items and a quick wash for when you need that one special outfit fast. Wow. And if you don't like any of the automatic settings, you can choose your own. But why would you? It's decision-free laundry. This machine even senses how much stuff I've packed into the poor thing and decides how much water to add on its own! It's kind of out of character for me to get excited about a household appliance, but this is truly making my life easier.

My old machine had hot, warm and cold, and a delicate, heavy duty and normal setting. How 20th century!

I'm sold on this new technology. Now if they could only come up with a button that automatically gets kids to clean their rooms ...



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Lynn Wade
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Exploring the obvious and the not so obvious in search of the oh, so elusive "something to do' that's all around us.
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