01 Apr Ring My Bell – Chime My Chimes
I love doing laundry. Perhaps it wasn’t always the case, but for at least the last decade or two, it has been a passion of mine. In fact, when we had an assistant who helped with household “chores,” I would often slip down to the basement before she arrived, sort the clothes and get them started just so I could take part in the fun.
I am not sure why I like doing laundry as much as I do. Maybe it’s that it is a simple puzzle to be solved – what colors go together, what wash cycle with what degree of heat. Or perhaps it’s that it’s an easy, measurable example of addressing entropy, of moving from chaos to order as I take the folded items upstairs and stow them or as I remake our bed to be a pristine, inviting reward for end of day rest.
Today I noticed that my game, the delight I take in laundry, just got a bit more fun. After close to 20 years of service, our washer and dryer had ceased to be effective, so sometime last year we bought a new set, complete with all the bells and whistles – figuratively and literally. I can now steam stubborn stains out of items and even steam wrinkles out as they dry. But these are not my favorite features of my cleaning duo. The best of all are the chimes.
On this washer and dryer set, I have the option to be alerted at the end of a cycle. I can choose to be signaled softly, loudly or not at all. I have set the alarm to be loud and when the wash is done or the dryer stops, a pleasant tinkling of chimes sound. Yippee. Now I can set a load and notate that I have one hour and twenty minutes, for example, or I have thirty-four minutes, etc., to accomplish something before my “timer” alerts me that the game is up. What fun to see how much I can get done in that timeframe. How cool to hear the bell and not treat it as an interruption in my day but a natural moment to take a break from whatever I may be doing. And sometimes what I’m doing is taking a break and reading a book on my Kindle or watching a show on TV. When the time is up, I can handle the laundry and then go back to my activity or choose another. Sometimes I have been working in the office and I realize as I run down the two flights of stairs to the basement, that the task I have been in the midst of has lost steam and it would be more productive to switch to another.
One thing is for sure, I never guessed when we purchased these machines that they would not only signal when my clothes are clean, but they would provide me with entertainment, allowing me to see when I am treating the things that crop up during my day as intrusions or when I am moving seamlessly between tasks.