Doing it Myself


Not so long ago Laura and I were doing laundry just like any other week. As usual, there was too much to do and not enough time. We filled the washing machine with clothes, turned it on and forgot about it. It wasn’t until many hours later that we realized it was full of water, and the machine had not washed a thing.

We immediately went into panic mode and did…nothing.

As much as I hate to admit it, the clothes sat there for 24 hours before we did anything about them. I finally pulled them out and we were able to wash them at our neighbors’ house. But, of course, there was still the washer. It sat there for another 24 hours while we discussed our options. We called Sears who kindly offered to come take a look for upwards of $200, without fixing anything. At this point we decided that it was time to take the situation into our own hands. So I went straight to Google. After some searching I felt confident the problem was our lid switch. And after a few more searches, I found instructions for dismantling the machine and removing the broken lid switch.

It was unbelievably easy to do. As a matter of fact, the only hard part about the entire process was paying $50 for the switch when it was $20 online. Sometimes being committed to buying local is harder than we’d like, but we also couldn’t wait for it to be shipped.

When Laura and I first started dating we were both riding bikes which were more than 25 years old. Old steel bikes are great because everything was made to be repaired or rebuilt rather than replaced. I learned how to rebuild a hub because I had to–it needed to be done, and I couldn’t afford to pay someone to do it. Since then, we’ve become much more Do It Yourself, and less “buy something new.” More often than not, we will find an alternate way of doing something or work together to find a solution to the problem. It feels more genuine somehow. Laura, particularly, is certain we can figure out a way to do just about anything. This is part of the “Live slow” in the title of this site. So much of our time is spent working so we can buy new stuff so communicate faster and find out what everyone’s doing and where they’re doing it. Granted, I’m as guilty as the next person of doing it, but sometimes you have to stop and try find a better way.

Walk instead of drive. Call instead of text. Write a letter instead of an email.