Monthly Archives: September 2022

Fixing the Dryer

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A day of rain at the first of last week gave me the incentive I needed to finally fix my clothes dryer. It’s a terrible job that I’d been putting off. Something had fallen into the hole when I was cleaning the lint trap. It was rattling ominously against the fan whenever I tried to run it. So, the clothesline has been getting good use!

I don’t mind using the clothesline. The process is rewarding in many ways. There’s the extra exercise built in to simply getting the wet clothes out to the backyard, and the repetitive act of hanging them. I sort the clothes as I hang them: pajamas, underwear and socks – in pairs – go in the back; shirts, folded in half over the clothesline are next; and slacks hang on the front line where the clothesline pole will keep them from dragging the ground. I fold the dried clothes as I take them down. Things dried on the clothesline hold onto a fresh air scent that no fabric softener can compete with. Sheets and towels are especially wonderful after hanging outside.

Still, there are disadvantages, too. The clothesline doesn’t remove wrinkles the way the dryer can. Unless it’s an especially breezy day, it also doesn’t remove the dog hair that seems to coat everything. The dryer tends to tighten up the weave in jeans and sweaters, making them fit me better right now when I’m between sizes. And then there is rain to contend with. And, inevitably, winter.

Fixing the dryer, though, is not easy. It involves first wedging myself through an eight-inch space between wall and appliance, to get behind the machine, so that I can unplug it and push it out into the room. Then, the vent hose has to be disconnected, the back removed(seven machine screws), and the vent guard taken off(more screws). A million things could go wrong! Screws drop to the floor, roll away and sometimes disappear. The vent hose is difficult to remove, but even harder to reattach. And, there is always the possibility that, one of these times, I’ll get hopelessly stuck between the wall and the dryer!

But, with cold weather coming, it would have to be dealt with eventually. The rainy day gave me the motivation I needed. I had work clothes in the washing machine, and I needed them. So, with plenty of cursing and pacing the floor, I tackled the job.

In this case, the offending object was a short pencil from the golf course, that I had evidently found in a pocket and thoughtlessly tossed on top of the dryer. Once it was removed and everything reassembled and pushed back in to place, the dryer works like a charm. And, though I chastised myself for the carelessness that caused the problem (and repeated promises to myself to not let it happen again!), the completed job gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. Success!

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Well

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Lord knows, I can always find plenty to say when things are going badly. Sometimes I think the only reason I keep this blog going is so that I’ll have a place to voice my complaints! Many days, it seems like if I’m not grumbling about something, I have nothing to talk about. So, for everyone that endures the whining, I think I’ll get a few words down now when things are going well. And plenty of things are, in fact, going well!

Used to be, I’d fall into a terrible, self-pitying depression every year around my birthday. I’d take note of how little I’d accomplished in my life up to that point, how I wasn’t loved or appreciated, and how old I was becoming with nothing to show for it. No amount of well-wishes and birthday cheer could drive that blue mood away. And oh, if I had to work on my birthday, or if one of my children forgot to call, well…it was just that much worse. I’m happy to find that I seem to have outgrown that tired old habit. Now, my birthday comes and goes pretty calmly. This year, I managed to turn seventy without any melodrama.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having time to spend with people that I love. I took a day trip to the mainland to meet my best friend in Mackinac City. It was too short, but we had a good visit and a nice lunch in the time we had. I’ve had time to chat with several cousins when they were here on the island. Recently, my nephew and his wife came here on vacation. Then, my four sisters were here for a long weekend during the Emerald Isle Irish Feile’. I enjoyed the entertainment, some wonderful meals, good conversation and even puzzles and games, all in the company of some of my favorite people. The day after they left, four cousins arrived. It’s always a pleasure to see these women who I’ve known since they were small children.

Animals are active on Beaver Island this time of year. Wild turkeys walk in procession across the roads, and the migrating birds are starting to gather. The chipmunks and squirrels are busy, gathering acorns or just rushing around. I feel thankful every day that so far I’ve managed to get to work and back home without incident, though they seem to rush out in front of my car as if they have a death wish! On my daily walks, I often startle deer that are nibbling in the berry brambles.

My meager garden has been offering up loads of cherry tomatoes, and enough summer squash for my use. In addition, my cousin has shared the bounty from his garden. I’ve enjoyed lettuce, peppers and kale, and enough green beans to put several quarts in the freezer.

I repaired my clothes dryer. I was able to get my whole five pound bag of coffee ground. I cleaned the refrigerator, and the freezer above it. I started a new book. The dogs are both doing well. I won four dollars on a scratch-off ticket. I lost three pounds and, for five days in a row, at least, have not gained it back! There’s a hint of fall in the air, and that makes me appreciate every single warm day. Usually, I’m able to notice everything that’s going wrong. Right now, there seems to be an abundance of good things!

Coming Toward the End of Summer

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Here we are, one week in to September already. If the calendar didn’t tell me the end of summer is coming, the cold mornings certainly would. I put on my heavy, fleecy robe as soon as I get out of bed in the morning. It’s too early to light the pilot on the heater, but I think about it when I’m shivering in heavy socks and layers of clothes as I go about my morning activities.

The end of summer is always a mixed blessing. I love the warm, bright and sunny days, the bustle in town and the swarms of visitors enjoying our beaches. By the time September arrives, though, I’m looking forward to the quieter days of autumn. This year, these end of summer days bring special joy.

Right now, my nephew, who hasn’t been on Beaver Island in twenty years, is here with his young wife. They are both interested and enthusiastic visitors. Yesterday, we did a little tour of some of the businesses, beaches and historic sites. This evening, I’m joining them at the family farmhouse for dinner. We’re hoping to be able to entice my cousin Bob to join us for a couple games of Euchre.

On the same day that they are scheduled to leave on the boat, my four sisters will be arriving. They will be here for a long weekend. That is the weekend of Beaver Island’s Irish Feile, when we celebrate the heritage of “America’s Emerald Isle.” There will be lots of music and other activities that we are planning to take advantage of. Mainly, I’m really looking forward to spending time with my sisters!

When their visit ends, a couple cousins will be here. It’s always a pleasure to catch up with them, too. Late summer is an easier time for me to find time to enjoy company, as work is less demanding after Labor Day. Though the mornings are cool, the days are still pleasantly warm this time of year.

Though I don’t have much of a garden this year, I harvested enough tomatoes to cook up a kettleful to put in the freezer. I’ve had summer squash as a part of my dinner several times a week for the last month. Today, I’m going to pick beans at the farmhouse, and I brought cucumbers and kale home yesterday from that garden. My grapes are ripening, and so are the wild blackberries. I have an assortment of wild fall mushrooms brightening a corner of my front yard. As I don’t know the edible from the poisonous, I only enjoy the way they look.

The Northern Lights have been visible lately in our night sky, and the Milky Way can be very impressive this time of year, too. Next weekend, the full harvest moon will brighten the sky. Though I hate to have summer end, this end-of-summer time brings me plenty of joy.