Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Break Out the Washboard

Last week the washing machine died. In a family of five this is no small matter.

I've had a checkered history with washers. Shortly after we got married my great aunt entered a nursing home and gave us her 20-year old Speed Queen set, which ran for another 10 years without a problem before dying at the honorable old age of 30. In the next 10 years we've had four name brand washers, none of which lasted longer than three years. It got to the point where I was so used to hand-washing clothes in between machines that when I found a galvanized washboard for sale this spring I bought it without a second thought.

After comparing reviews online I found that Speed Queen was once again making home models. While they were more expensive than average, they were not more expensive than, say, two other-brand machines, which is what I was going through every five years. And they came with a 10-year warranty.

Talk about a no-brainer.

It took a while to find one locally. Apparently they only sell Speed Queens in really small towns where everyone knows where you live and will trash your car if you sell them a crappy appliance. But after crossing four counties, we finally found a dealer who was having a sale. Of course all the floor models were sold by the time we arrived, but they ordered one for us. It arrived today, and it works like a charm.

Yeah, I'm happy with my new toy. But I can't help remembering my mother. Mom never made a decent purchase in her life if there was a cheap one she could buy instead, but in the 60s and 70s washers were so well made that even the cheap ones lasted her over a decade each. And she never needed to buy a washboard.

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