A Mosaic in the Making

The Dryer Door

Nicki Black  June 16 2010 02:14:47 AM
Written 8/31/2008

A neon orange plastic hoe holds the door to our dryer closed. This is actually a step up from the shower tension rod previously, and a heavy pile of boxes before that. When we bought this house we found out that our matching washer and dryer were not going to work here. Our washer could stay, but the dryer didn't have the right connection and so we donated it to a preservation trust. Although we happily donated it, our dryer had served us well for 7 years and it was a little hard to see it go. The dryer that came with the house is full of idiosyncrasies, and leading the list is the fact that the door latch is broken. If you did a side-by-side comparison of the 2 dryers, it would be like comparing a shovel to a spoon - they both could dig a hole, but one would take more work to get the job done. The broken latch means that you have to prop the door shut with something sturdy or 5 minutes after you start the cycle, the door will exhale open and if you have a full load spinning inside, several articles will take a steamy suicide leap out the door onto the floor below. I finally found a solution. I decided I could live with the heavy metal student desk with all the clean sheets and blankets piled on it a foot and a half across from the dryer, because in shoving the hoe between the pile of sheets and blankets and the dryer door, the door stayed closed. I could make peace with that. It's an eyesore, but nobody actually sees my laundry room, anyway (and if you have, thank you for not mentioning it.) The fact is that my bandaid fix works for now, and the hoe makes me laugh. Who doesn't need a laugh when doing laundry when you're elbow deep in dirty underwear and toddler clothes stained with carrots, strawberries and other toddler messes? The hoe actually has legacy. It's nearly 10 years old, a cast off from when DD was a toddler. We never seem to throw anything away (much to DH's chagrin, I might add). Because I am a selective pack-rat, we had a solution to my dryer dilemma taking it easy in the bottom of the pond we built when we moved in (it still isn't done, of course). A month or two ago I saw an ad on Craig's List from a new homeschool Mom. She was asking for a classroom of booty - charts, desks, manipulatives, etc. etc... I responded by saying that homeschooling doesn't mean spending a lot of money on things you think you need. Most of those manipulative kits are extraneous fluff. They are nice to have if you have the room in your "classroom" (none of us have enough room), but chances are you don't use them as much as you thought you would. Or, they really didn't give you the result you wanted. Or, any bits and parts kit you have for your classroom turns into 52 card pickup. You can illustrate story problems with bags of bean or M & M's, straws cut different lengths, or pie charts from old pizza boxes (funny haha - get it?). I've found that when I use food, it never ends up on the floor, lest it lands there after an ill attempt on the way to DD's mouth when I'm not looking. For the most diehard homeschool families, a whole curriculum can be found for free at the public library, and there are a TON on free online resources from reputable places like the Smithsonian and NASA, to name a couple. I just read a blog from another homeschooling mom, and I marveled at the way she is structuring her curriculum, using fewer textbooks and leveraging more online resources and video games. (I didn't know Wii has a bunch of educational games.) Her goal is to be paper-free. I admire that. You can't put learning - or any approach to something for that matter - in a boxed-in frame of mind. I mean, doesn't that go against the very grain as to why we homeschool? Not every kid fits the same mold. Anyway, it all boils down to keeping things simple. Life gets too complicated by factors we can't control (ah hem, gas prices, the government, dot dot dot). Why manufacture complications at home, right? Well, this all just got me thinking today as I was doing the 6th load of laundry this weekend, how it's better to pick ingenuity over your wallet to fix a situation, if possible. Have a great Labor Day!