Saying Goodbye To A Major Appliance

You know you’ve been married a long time when getting a major appliance is the highlight of the week for both of you.

With the joy of a new dishwasher also came a little sadness. The old one had to go.

It sounds ridiculous, but our things become part of the family. Not so long ago, I watched as a rep at the cell phone store turned off my phone to activate a newer model I’d bought.

As I watched, I felt like a pet was being put to sleep.

Similarly, I came home this week to see that the dishwasher installer had already put in the new one and hauled off the old one.

I never even had a chance to say goodbye.

We didn’t used to have the appliance turnover we have today, so changing them happened very seldom.

Refrigerators, washers, dryers, freezers, etc., used to last for years, even decades, but not so much anymore. Our last freezer made it barely five years. The dishwasher about 10.

My grandmother had a refrigerator, or ‘icebox’ as she called it that had to be 30 years old. I don’t recall her ever having a different one.

We’ve come a long way when it comes to kitchen and laundry conveniences. My mother’s father delivered ice to homes before much of rural America had electricity. People would leave a square sign with different colors on their front door and whichever color was in the up position told my grandfather what size block of ice they wanted brought in and put in their icebox. Whether they were home or not, he did his job and went on to the next house.

The idea of leaving your home unlocked today tells you just how different this country is from 60 years ago.

Some of the older folks also called a refrigerator “The Frigidaire”. It didn’t matter who made the refrigerator, every icebox was called a Frigidaire.

If you want to know just how much we take our things for granted, imagine your life without any of them.

Washing clothes in a wash pot over a fire in the yard, scrubbing them on a rub board, and then hanging them out to dry doesn’t seem very appealing.

The same grandmother who had the refrigerator raised six children on a homestead and that’s exactly how she washed diapers. According to my mom, four of the six were in diapers at the same time.

I can’t even imagine.

As attached as we become to our things, they’re still just things. But they do become a part of our existence.

My wife and I both looked forward to the new dishwasher. Stainless steel interior, stronger cleaning, and a better drying cycle all made for an exciting delivery day. But, I still hate to see what seem like a member of the household go.

I hope the old dishwasher says hello to my old iPhone.

©2014 John Moore

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