There are so many things I have no interest in doing it’s a major miracle when they get done, which seems to be around every 20 years or so.
Like getting someone in to completely clean all the dryer lint from inside the dryer, inside the silvery accordion hose behind it, and (most problematic) from the pipe that runs up between the walls to exit on the roof 30 feet above. I can (and do) clean the interior of the dryer from the front, but I lost my super hero powers that once allowed me to drag the machines from against the wall, leap over them in a single bound with vacuüm cleaner and screwdriver firmly in hand (actually, that would be one in each hand), open and clean the back interior of the dryer and the silvery flexible accordion hose, after which I would reassemble everything and leap back over the machines (one hand being free after tossing over the screwdriver where it immediately rolled under the washer) and shove them into place. Being extraordinarily sweaty, a long shower and longer nap followed.
I faithfully performed this dangerous and daunting task until I bought a front loading washer and dryer set, which sit atop storage drawers that raise the machines to nosebleedingly new heights. Not even my supernatural leaping prowess could get me over those suckers! So for twenty years I dutifully cleaned the lint screen and vacuumed the front of the dryer, and was content (and exhausted).
Suddenly, last week, I became uncomfortably anxious over the possibility that my dryer vent pipe was going to self-combust and burn down the house, a fear that proved to be quite justified. It took the company I hired two tries (first from ground level to roof and then from roof to ground level, rinse and repeat) to clean the airway. That was some serious lint build up!
When I was scheduling the dryer vent system shakedown, I realized it was also time to bite the A/C and furnace vent bullets, another task gone undone over the past 20 years. Now I have freshly scrubbed air vents and no black dust clinging to the popcorn ceiling around each of my 9 vents, and the two intake vents are sparkling clean, too. Wanting to protect my investment (and hoping for another 20 years of vent-free worry, I purchased the most expensive filter devised to do everything every lesser priced filter promised to do plus remove black candle soot. I shall never see black dust on my ceiling ever again, free to burn all the crackling wooden wick candles my house can hold (and I can afford).
Last month I replaced my 20-year-old leaking frig, broken dishwasher, dying microwave and perfectly fine stove. Over the past twenty years I used the stove so infrequently that, despite the burnt offerings inside the oven, the stove has another twenty years of life left. So why replace it? I wanted it to match the other appliances, of course. Chances are, given the built-in obsolescence of all appliances made today, I can probably expect to get 6-10 years out of my new kitchen suite. Ain’t that sweet?
I also accomplished another task never performed in my home, which was to wash the DVR remote control. I accidentally fulfilled this task when I changed the bed-clothes in the master bedroom last week. After putting the dirty linens in the washer and placing clean linens back on the bed, I could not find the remote. It wasn’t until I’d looked under the bed (disturbing a thriving 20-year-old dust bunny colony) and on every undusted level surface in the master bedroom that the horrifying thought that it had to be in the washer seized and squeezed every muscle and nerve in my body. The washer, having just completed the rinse cycle, yield mounds of sopping wet sheets and a comforter, completed with matching shams, and a sparkling clean remote nestled right in the middle.
I took out the drenched batteries and grabbed my hair dryer, hoping for the best. My hopes, however, were quickly dashed and I now contemplated the humiliating but necessary service call that was my next task. Apparently I am not the only person to have performed this every-20-year ritual and arrangements were made for a replacement within the next two days. The tech did say that it might spontaneously start working again. In contradiction of my doubts, it returned to perfect working order the next day. I’m so thankful I won’t have to wash the remote for another 20 years.
My life is filled with other 20 year milestones that include waxing my car, cleaning the windows (inside and out), replacing the roof, dusting the plant shelves and all the fake plants, jars, stuffed animals and other bric-à-brac that were placed there when I purchased this, my first home, 20 years ago.
Who knew being a home owner would result in so much effort every 20 years?