The Hospice for Appliances

When things go, break, die, it’s never just one thing. It’s like all the necessary inanimate things in the house receive a memo from the Universe that says, “You can let go now.” Like I’ve been running a hospice for household appliances. People tend to let go during the holidays, people near the end of their lives. The obituary section of the paper is at its normal two page length right now but just wait. In the next couple of weeks, it’ll explode.

That’s what seems to be happening in my house. First my 21 year old vacuum cleaner (a wedding gift) began to give off a very bad metal-on-rubber smell. It’s not the best looking Hoover in the world but damn it keeps on working! Until…well, I let it sit a couple of days to allow it to think about all we’ve been through in the last 21 years. What we’ve meant to each other. All the rooms we’ve spent time in over three houses and an apartment. Hoover got its shit together, thankfully, for now, because even at Costco, replacing it won’t be cheap.

Then the heat pump decided to wrap itself, inside and out, in a thick layer of ice. During one of the warmest Decembers I can remember. The hell, heat pump? For serious? So I got that fixed. It was thirsty for freon. Paid the guy. Momma ain’t getting a new coat this year.

Then the bread maker decided to bury one of its paddles inside the bread loaf because the sticky-up prong thing it’s usually attached to decided to just say “fuck it” and not stay erect. Can you fix a bread maker with Viagra? Doubtful. It was a freebie, this wonderful bread maker that I’ve used dozens and dozens of times over the past couple years. And even though it’s always been tempermental and has to be monitored closely (the pan disengages from the flange that holds it in place), I’ve loved having it. But now it apparently wants to go to appliance heaven.

I won’t even discuss the blender that blew up on me the first time I used it. That almost doesn’t count. It wasn’t old enough to join the hospice and most of the other appliances hadn’t decided whether it deserved a bed. Clearly it was sick before it arrived. I’ll live without a blender for a bit longer.

Now the roof is leaking. The same spot next to the chimney where the addition was built around it. I’ve had it fixed before but it didn’t last long (well, almost 2 years so I guess that’s not too terrible). So, if it ever stops raining, I’m hoping that fix won’t cost too much.

So, I’m not feeling particularly merry right now as I bake and clean. I’m almost afraid to touch anything, especially the things I have left – my mixer, my food processor, my washer and dryer. I’m being extra nice to them, including them in all my cooking and cleaning this week, to show them as much love as possible without wearing them out. Because I can’t take another appliance funeral right now. I just can’t.

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