I don't have much news. It snowed. I stayed home and worked on all those chores that had been left unattended. Hearing about me cleaning closets would not be very exciting.
Harmony United Methodist will have an Open Communion on Dec. 24. Everyone is invited. Blessing of the Elements and Advent Reading will begin at 5 p.m. Communion will be prepared and available from 5-7 p.m.
Folks are reminded to bring items for the Christmas baskets. Harmony Methodist was able to help six families at Thanksgiving. Monetary donations can be given to David Brinson.
Tony Thompson, wife Jenny, and new son Hayden will be home from Bethesda, Maryland for the holidays. Sister Leslee MacDonald will host an Open House on Dec. 23, from 2-4 p.m. All friends and relatives are invited to attend. Tony is the son of Bob and Sue Thompson. Tony and Jenny work in Bethesda.
Happy Birthday to Warren Bell & Betty Evans (22nd), Amaya Jones (24th), and the Christmas babies Jodi Green, Brad Pell, and Chris Pell (25th).
The Roach family is looking forward to Erin coming home for Christmas. She is flying in on the 23rd. Dad knows about it this time so no surprise visitors at the front door like she did last year. She will have to get back to work at Disney World in 3-4 days but it will surely be good to see my niece.
We are still trying to coordinate work schedules to have sons Rusty and Josh and granddaughter Auriel here for part of the Christmas holidays. John and Eva Kay are hosting us this year on Christmas Day. Denny and I will do New Year's Eve at our house. It is so great to get together with family. We wish all of you and yours a very Merry Christmas.
Soapbox: I quit complaining about the old washer/dryer and bought a shiny new set. After a year of numerous trips through appliance departments, and measuring to be sure they would fit, I bit the bullet and signed the check. It is a good brand, and the store where I bought it is great, but the government regulations have ruined the washer.
With all the environmental sins we Americans inflict on the country, washing machines have been deemed one of the worst criminals, I guess. Reformation has been forced on the industry. The new machines use a couple less gallons of water on every cycle. That sounds good. Remember how they always told us to do a full load because it wastes less water? Try that with this new model.
My new, long awaited prize is the culmination of green technology but it just isn't as great as a washing machine. The top section of the agitator never gets wet. I sometimes have to run the extra rinse cycle just to make sure everything is clean and fresh. That uses more water than the old model. I would hate to have to do a mountain of dirty kid laundry in that thing. For the two of us, we'll manage. They tell me it will do as big a load as my old model but that same basket full of dirty clothes just doesn't get as clean in the new model.
The worst of the new advances is that the water does not come in at whatever setting I choose. It switches back and forth between cold and hot. Some little sensor says too cold and it switches. Then it says too hot and switches back a few seconds later. Except for towels and sheets, I like everything washed in warm water. Fine washables get hit with too hot a water and then too cold, back and forth. Cold is never totally cold and hot is never totally hot. When full, the water in the tub is close to the right temperature but the garments have been hit repeatedly with bursts of hot water.
Apparently clothes don't wash well in such a small amount of water (manufacturers admit this) and the constant switching of water lines is supposed to make sure the exact right temperature is in the machine to mix with the detergent when it actually agitates. It makes the best of a bad situation.
The store was nice enough to send someone out to check when I complained about no warm water. It is working fine according to the new government guidelines for washing machine manufacture. Since it is only the warm, most-used setting that is really a problem, the technicians tell me to fill the tub first and then put in the clothes.
How many real people stand and watch a tub fill to put in dirty laundry? You throw in the clothes, poke some buttons, throw in some detergent, and go do something more interesting. I have now opted for cool wash but the clothes just don't seem to be as clean on that setting as they used to on warm. I do like the new little buzzer that tells me when to come back and unload the machine.
I can exchange my pretty, clean, white-shiny washer/dryer matching set for the more efficient front loaders (for almost twice the price) and have actual warm water enter when the setting is on "warm". The government allows that on front loaders. A set of those probably won't fit in my very convenient hall closet. Front loaders used to be the cheaper sets because no one liked them. I still don't. Who knows if I would ever live long enough to get my money's worth out of a front loader.
For an extra $200 you can also buy front loader pedestals so that you don't have to stoop over so far to put in the clothes. Now that's double the dryer, double the washer, and pedestals times two. But you can get them in all the latest colors. They are the rage after all. Funny how this new regulation just happens to favor the higher priced machines.
We used to expect a washer to last close to 20 years with normal wear and tear. Now they tell us 10-15. I'll give that new temperature sensor about five. We Americans know how to chuck things in the trash. I hope I grow to like my shiny new set but it hasn't happened so far.
If you can put off buying a washer, and you like top loaders, I would try to wait before making a purchase. I figure it will be like those puny showerheads the government mandated a few years back. They were like standing under a water torture trying to get clean. Homeowners soon learned to take out some little thingie and it would work like a regular shower. Hotels were stuck with them for awhile longer because they had to install them according to regulations. Now hotels and homeowners have good showerheads that don't make you stand for an hour trying to rinse off. Unfortunately, there are no little adjustments to make the new washer work as well as an old one. Everything is built in -- no chance for repair.
Don't get me wrong. I am very pro environment when it really does make an impact. With the tons and tons of trash Americans throw away everyday, I would think regulating product packaging and trash mail would have a much greater impact on the world than ruining the new washer I had looked forward to for a year.
Dec. 22 -- Toys for Tots
Harmony United Methodist Calendar:
Dec. 23 -- Worship Service 9 a.m., Sunday School 10:30 p.m.
Dec. 24 -- Blessing of Elements and Advent Reading 5 p.m., Open Communion 5-7 p.m.
Give me a call at 448-8734 if you have news.