I had a post all good to go today. A post about how when I told you I was knitting a sweater, I should have clarified a little. I wasn’t clear enough. I made it sound like I had just abandoned my very reasonable Christmas knitting plan and hauled off and added a sweater to the plot – which would be in clear violation of the rule about not putting anything onto the Christmas knitting list… and for the record, this sweater was on the schedule, and Lene, the almighty keeper of the schedule didn’t even flinch when I put it there. I figure that means that she thinks it’s reasonable. (Or, I’ve finally gotten to her. One of the two for sure.) I estimate this sweater will take about 20 knitting hours (not including putting in the zipper, which I am going to get Ken to do. I haven’t told him that yet exactly.) I had this whole thing ready about how I was going to tell you that it’s not a big deal, that this sweater is possible and easy and no big whoop, and then the planet saw the cocky on me, and the planet decided that obviously I wasn’t having things be complicated enough… and the planet looked for a place to give me a come-uppance, and dudes, it hit me where it hurts.

See, I’m not just behind on the knitting. I’m behind on the everything. The shopping, the housekeeping – I’m perpetually behind on the laundry, and this morning, just after I started writing about how it was all going to be all right, that it was really just a matter of applying myself – keeping to the schedule (and maybe finding a few more hours in the day or night to get caught up) I realized that we’re at that place where soon people are going to have to stay home because they don’t have clean underwear, and so I tossed a load into Sir Washie, my faithful 30 year old washing machine. Now, Sir Washie is my dearest friend in the world. He’s done more to help me with this family than anybody else ever has, and we’ve shared many a fond moment together- doing what it takes to keep everybody clad. We’ve been together through my kids childhood puke-fests, where it was just me and him, cleaning up at 3am and hoping that we could get a load of clean sheets and towels together before the next tsunami of misery headed our way. He’s pulled his weight, and he’s a fine appliance I’m deeply committed to. (I admit, I’m mostly committed to him because there’s no way to replace him. We remodelled the kitchen many years ago and foolishly installed built-in’s in a way that means that we can’t get him up and out through the doorway to the basement anymore.) Still, even if I didn’t have to love him I would. (I also admit I’ve had some pretty warm feelings about a few sexy front loaders I’ve seen – but that’s like still loving your husband even though you think Pierce Brosnan is hot. Totally normal.) In any case, I tossed a load in and came upstairs and got on with my day, and just now I went down to switch things over to the dryer (for which I hold no affection at all) reached into his innards and discovered, with the sinking heart and feeling of impending doom that any laundry slacking mother can identify with… that the clothes are all sopping wet. Soaked. It would appear that the aged Sir Washie has suffered some sort of episode which has left him able to agitate and drain, but stripped him of his critical ability to spin. (I think that means it’s a belt. Can you knit a drive belt?)

I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you that this is a full blown crisis, and one for which I accept all responsibility. I had noticed that Sir Washie was making an odd noise, but truthfully I didn’t look into it because I thought it was just age – I mean, Joe makes all sorts of noises he didn’t used to when he was a younger guy and there’s nothing wrong with him. I should have known, after all of these years of appliance ownership, that washing machines don’t make odd noises. Washing machines make expensive noises, and I should have gotten him help right away. Instead, I looked the other way and now, because I am not just the sort of woman who ignores an appliance in need, but am also the sort of woman who doesn’t wash anything until people have no pants or towels, I am screwed. I personally am screwed while wearing yesterday’s tee shirt and pants with coffee spilled on one leg. (Admittedly, I work from home, where it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing strange clothes, but this is going to be harder to break to Joe and the kids -who have to leave the house each day wearing something other than last years elf jammies.) I looked at the budget and what with Christmas and the fact that things are slow on all fronts, I realized that unless this sucker is fixable for about $1.46, somebody’s Christmas present is going to have to be the gift of this family not smelling funny. That bummed me out for about six seconds, and then I thought about it, and considering how I feel about Sir Washie and his contribution to the family….

I’ll take it. Wrap it up a fixed washer and stick a bow on it. I’ll be thrilled. Anybody in Toronto know a reliable repair company?

(PS. Do you think wanting a repair guy who would like to be paid in sock yarn is too much to hope for?)