Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Maytag Man

Monday, our washing machine finally kicked the bucket. It had been limping along, leaking water since we got home. Not really washing clothes, more like swishing them in soapy water. So we went in to our local appliance store. That is where we met the Maytag Man, Jerry. He was a second generation appliance guy (for lack of a better word). We felt like we had stepped into a different era. Jerry wore the blue coveralls that you would associate with Maytag, but sadly, not the hat. He was probably in his 60's or early 70's with white hair carefully combed with some sort of pomade. He knew everything there was to know about appliances and genuinely seemed to love the way that they worked. And he happily told me more than I ever wanted to know about the machines, frequently peppering his knowledge with advice and anecdotes. I found out how his dad died and that his wife wanted all her appliances and car to match her sister's. He treated me like I didn't really know anything about washers (which is true) and explained things to the minutest detail. He told us not to bother paying until he had delivered the goods in case he died before it got to us. (that's how I heard the story about his dad). That afternoon he brought over our dryer (by himself!) and manhandled it down the stairs. He apologized that he couldn't bring the washer alone anymore since he had had his knee replaced a few years ago, but he had a fellow to help him with it. He made sure to wipe the tires of his dolly so that he wouldn't track dirt in the house-he"just wouldn't feel right about that". Today I was told that he would arrive shortly after 10 with my washer. Sure enough, 10:02 came and he was pulling into the front yard with his fella to help-another guy as old as himself and politely dressed in a plaid shirt and jeans with a belt. He brought dog biscuits for my dog and was not in the least bit intimidated by Roscoe's size. I've never bought a washer before. And never had one this fancy. The two old gentlemen were nearly chortling with glee as they (ironically?) welcomed me to the "technological age".

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thoughts from the backseat

Yesterday we were driving down the road when Aidan loudly bursts out, "Mom what does a **** mean?" (a particularly choice word) Umm, where did you hear that? "It's on that bumper-sticker." (Thanks Dude in the green car who doesn't want anyone to mess with him and feels the need to display that for all to see) Really trying not to laugh at the incongruity of what we have just heard coming from our 9 year old, Chris and I try to explain that that word can really mean lots of things. None of which is acceptable. But the point of using such language is to make a strong statement in a crude, offensive way...etc. Feeling that we have done our best to explain the inappropriateness of such a word, (and the use of it by our children) and expounded sufficiently enough, we finished the topic only to hear a sweet little 6 year old voice from the backseat say, "Well Aidan, now you know what **** means".

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Today I was driving home from the library lost in thought about Chloe's birthday party. Okay, I know I have 24 days until her birthday, but these things take planning. Anyway, as I was driving, I noticed a woman walking along the sidewalk. She was dressed in gray, bulky, mannish sweats, and she was limping. Not a little limp, but one where one whole side of her body dragged as she walked. Her face looked weathered and worn and I was instantly struck by the difference in her life and mine. I was comfortably driving in my car with the heated seat on, healthy and well cared for. My body is without handicap from either birth or accident. How different my life would look if I had been born into a less privileged set of shoes. And I am thankful. But at the same time, a little ashamed. Because sometimes I spend more time and energy thinking about things that make my life better and less time devoted to making someone else's life better. My hope though,is that as I continue to walk through life, my heart will be consumed with less of me and become more like the One who created me.