It was 1988, Ronald Regan was president, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series, The Cosby Show and Roseanne were the top TV shows, and I narrowly escaped a fiery death. Little did I know that accident,that nearly killed me, would start a 27 year long relationship.
It was not my fault. We were following what we thought were proper procedures. To be honest we had no idea what proper procedures were. Young men are task orientated, which is great for productivity but horrible for safety.
The technical aspects are not important, suffice it to say there was an “event”. A 2500 degree furnace experienced a positive pressure condition. At this moment myself and Kevin Lemoine happened to be standing in front of an open door to the furnace.
The blast of super hot air and ash resulted in second and third degree burns on 20% of my body. It was completely painless. Within seconds both my forearms, from wrist to elbow were giant blisters filled with about half a cup each of a yellowish fluid. The pain came days and weeks later when twice a day the raw flesh had to be scrubbed free of any dead skin and then re-wrapped.
Cut to six months later, I was sitting in an office in a nondescript strip mall just outside of Worcester Massachusetts. I was waiting to get my scars measured, I had no idea why I was there, except that my employer had insisted I go. After they asked me to disrobe they proceeded to measure all my scars.
Thirty days after the odd scar measuring in Worcester I got a check for $5000. It was a win-fall, I had not seen that much money in one place out side of Cartagena Colombia. Naturally, as all 23 year-olds with a stack of found money would do, I rushed to Sears and bought the best washer / dryer combo I could find.
What the Hell is This Post About?
These two, off white, high capacity Kenmore appliances were the top of the line in 1988. No expense was spaired. I even purchased the extended warranty and the 3 year home service plan. The last decision would prove, in the long run, to be a poor one.
This pair of appliances went everywhere with me. They were first installed in the apartment I shared with my first wife, god rest her soul, in Worcester. She’s not dead, but I can dream. Next the appliances went with us when we moved to Florida.
The first 6 months they were put in storage while we stayed in an apartment . Once we found a house they moved in with us. For 5 years everything was lovey-dovey, meaning the appliances worked great. If only the marriage worked as well. So it came to pass that the appliances moved with me to a one bedroom apartment.
We enjoyed our bachelor life together for a long time. Then came Ester and after a few years the appliances were back in storage while we built a new home.
Back in 2003 we took the 15 year old appliances from storage and put them in their new home. Here they have stayed, working faithfully for the past 13 years.
Is there a Point to this story!?
Aside from some agitator dogs in the washer and a light in the dryer we have done zero repairs and zero maintenance. That is until today. As it happens the washer didn’t spin its last load yesterday. Everything else was normal, it just didn’t spin dry at the end.
As usual we hit Google and YouTube hard looking for advice and troubleshooting tutorials. We decided to take the washer apart and see if a $10 part had broken or if it was a more serious problem. Moving it was not pleasant, it apparently still had a good amount of water in it. Most likely from us squeezing out the wet clothes.
We got the old girl up on the kitchen table and looked up her bottom end. We pulled her guts out and examined all her parts. Everything was absolutely disgusting but totally intact. We could find no problems. We had no choice but to clean her up the best we could and put her back together.
We have run 3 loads through her so far. All seems well. As a matter of fact she fills with water like never before. It helps to clean the water intake screens once in a while. We are optimistic for the future, we had no idea how backwards and helpless one feels without a clothes washer in the house.
So that is the story about how a near death experience, resulting in excruciatingly painful burns and scarring brought me together with the best, and only washer / dryer combo I have ever had. I got them when I was a young man of 23. They have washed my clothes every week since then. I am now an old man of 51. I have been married twice, and even though my current wife, Ester, is my heart and soul, my longest, most steady and fulfilling relationship has been with my washer & dryer.