Saturday, May 17, 2008

Washday Blues

When Mom moved in with us nearly nine years ago, she announced, "My job will be the laundry." That was the household chore I liked the most, but I let her take it over. Soon she had a routine. She did a load of our laundry on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This included folding it and delivering it to our bedroom. After awhile, she made a few restrictions: she wouldn't do king-size sheets or my husband's blue jeans.

During the past 6 months, she's started having trouble with the controls. After a minor disaster a few weeks ago with the washer, she said, "I am not touching that machine unless someone is at home to turn it on for me." Yesterday she was ready to take charge again. "WHEN are you going to call a repairman and get that machine fixed? I can't always be waiting around for someone to turn the machine on for me."

"I don't need to call a repairman. The washer is not broken, " I replied.

She shook her head impatiently. "Look," she said, shaking a bony finger at me, "I've run that machine for years and have never had any trouble with it before."

I noticed that the dial was still set at the end-of-cycle position. I had forgotten to reset it after washing the sheets and jeans that morning.

"I think I know why you had trouble today, " I said. " I forgot to reset the dial."

"I know how to reset that dial," she informed me, huffily.

This is the woman with advanced macular degeneration, so I said, "It was probably difficult for you to see that the dial needed to be reset."

"Difficult to see, nothing!" she snapped. "I can't see at all!"

"Well, there you are," I muttered to myself.