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Always Lucky in my Bad Luck

Sunday, December 18, 2016

If anyone follows my blog they know that I'm a pessimist and an unlucky one at that. I started this blog with the death of my dog, then I mentioned my well water (drinking and bathing water) becoming contaminated, I have been through many weeks of my husband being hospitalized off and on since September, and then our water heater starting to overheat and leak, my car started acting up when engine light came on and then I needed to buy new tires. Well it just isn't ending, now my washing machine is giving us error codes so my bad luck continues, the codes are alternating between F20/F21. It's been doing this for a while randomly so its nothing new, but now it does it all the time, so it won't complete a load. According to what I’ve found on the Internet it means there is either not enough water coming in or going out of the tub or there could be too many suds. The machine has a device that monitors how much water is in the tub and if it fails it could be the cause of the problem and since I know that water intake or outflow is not the problem the solution would involve service to our machine. It's a front loader and about 8 years old, we purchased it at the same time we bought this house, so I don't think it's really worth hiring somebody to come service it, its just too old. There is no way it's still under warranty so between the time the replacement parts are ordered and installed we will end up having spent as much as it would cost us to purchase a new washing machine.  


I don't like the idea of having an inconsistency between the washer and dryer or a mismatch. I know this means I'm slightly OCD (what next, Panic Attacks, General Anxiety, now OCD), but it would drive me crazy having a different type, style, or model of washer than dryer, right now the two matching devices look so good next to each other. At this point we are not financially prepared for such notions as buying expensive appliances just for consistency. We just cannot afford a new dryer so my hope is to keep this washer working as long as possible, our money situation is probably the worst is have been in years so I'm doing my best  to keep it going and have figured out a work around which will delay our either getting this one repaired or buying a new one.


It took me a few repeat loads to figure it out. Usually I use the regular load and that's the cycle where I generally get the error. First I tried every other type load, ("quick wash", "whitest whites", "heavy duty", etc) it didn’t matter, every type cycle I used resulted in the error but for some reason it makes it through the “delicate” wash load cycle option with no problem, the only thing is I don't think the clothes come out as clean, actually one of the bath towels smelled slightly of mildew but for now I’m using delicate for everything as its my only option (unless I want everything half washed, once the code appears the washer stops before the spin cycle so everything is still sopping wet) I told my husband is our only option until the machine stops working altogether and once that happens and our hands are tied we will have to buy a new one. As for the clothes that don't seem to come out as clean (like the towel I just mentioned) I will just throw it back in with the next load, that seems to do the trick.


My husband doesn’t want a front loader anymore, he blames this distinction for the problem. This is the first front loader we have ever had and I really don’t think we’ve ever had a washer last as many years as this one has, in the past long before we ever needed to replace that appliance we have either we moved to a new house or apartment or in at least one instance upgraded to a new machine simply because we wanted one (we must've had the money through a tax return or something). We have never had one so long that it actually started to break down so I don’t think it’s fair to blame the fact that it’s a front loader, 8 years is a long time for a machine to work (although my mother had one that lasted 20 years). I think that they have gotten pretty techy with the new top loaders so as far as effectiveness I think they are pretty much the same, whether front or top load, and we did get our money's worth out of the current machine so in the end it really won’t matter to me which style we get. But for as long as possible I'll just keep on washing in delicate mode until that option stops working.


Even though money is tight we have renewed the lease to our camping site and sent off the $300 down payment which is required along with the signed lease and now before May (when the campgrounds officially reopen for the season) we have to come up with around $2,500. I'm hoping I get at least that much in March from work for my bonus, if they are still giving bonuses (in my past experiences I have had companies suddenly stop bonuses with a last minute announcement that times are too tough so until the money is in my bank I won't count those chickens). Even though we are very financially strapped now I think we should be able to manage as there is no real cost involved once the lease is paid whether we are at the camper or at home it will cost us the same with the exception of the gas in the car to drive up and back. We will be eating food we bring from home so whether we are here or there it doesn’t really matter but there are other minor expenses like electricity, cable, internet, and stuff like landscaping and things that are added costs that we wouldn't normally have but that’s all part of the fun of having a permanent lot, making it your own, planting flowers, decorating, etc., so if it costs a little money here and there its not so terrible and we do still live within our budget so if it mean no flowers one year then it mean no flowers. 


This past years has been a bad year. We have had a lot of unexpected expenses lately what with all of the medical costs between the two of us, our animals and their health, and just the fact that we don’t have the financial reserves anymore largely due from losing my husband's income, realistically we may end up having to give up our campsite, which will be sad since we've been doing this some 12 years now (this will be our 13th year). Putting aside financial reasons my husband's health issues alone might keep us from being able to continue camping. I don't want a repeat of the situation we were in last year when his defibrillator went off on a Saturday night during a party in front of hundreds of people. I was half drunk….correction....I was totally drunk and he had to be rushed by ambulance to the hospital. I didn't go with him because we were becoming accustomed to his being taken away and generally after a diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure he is released in a day or two, in other words even though it looked horrific to everyone that witnessed what was going on it had become pretty commonplace for us so I was no in a panic. 


Now being in the middle of the woods there were all sorts of problems that we normally didn't face when this sort of things happens at home. In this instance there was the logistics of concluding the weekend on my own, the next morning finding a hospital some 45 minutes from the campgrounds, one I had never been to before in a town I had never visited. I was not able to go home early because the hospital was 2.5 hours from our house so I had to stay at the campground to make visiting him viable which mean going back and forth leaving the dogs at the campsite alone. The whole debacle was made much worse when they gave me the news that this particular event was worse than normal so they were anticipating a long hospital stay. When my work week started I had to leave him there, in another state and go home as I needed return to work (now mind you this has been happening so much that short of going on FMLA I had to maintain my job, our only source of income other than his small disability check) and there was no way I could visit him each day between because that would involve a round trip of 5 hours of driving. Luckily they discharged him earlier than they expected as they were anticipating at least a 10 day stay and that Thursday as I was on my way home from work he called me to say I could get him so that evening after work so I went home, gave my dogs a bathroom break, fed them, and immediately began the 2.5 hours drive to pick him up and of course there was the return home drive which was another 2.5 hours so we didn't get home until close to midnight. The whole experience was just a nightmare of a situation that I do not want to revisit.


Our conversations have lead us to determine that should such an event occur again we will have to bite the bullet and sell the camper. I will miss camping terribly but all good things eventually come to an end (like America's freedoms under the Orange Hitler) we just have to accept change.


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