Back in September, 2010, my dishwasher started making a funny noise. A kind of groaning that made it sound as if it were in pain. I actually made an appointment at the time for a local repairman to come and look at it, but he didn't make it in time for me to pick up the grandkids from school, so I had to cancel. What with one thing and then another, I never got around to calling him again.
On Thanksgiving Day, with the dishwasher loaded to the gills with dirty dishes and silverware (thank goodness I decided to use paper plates for the very first time), it gave one last terrible groan when I turned it on, and died a horrible death. Everything that been carefully loaded had to be unloaded and washed and dried by hand, including all the stuff that didn't fit into it in the first place. I have to admit there was some brief cursing, and then tears. The next day, while everyone else was out braving Black Friday sales, I was at Kroger getting more paper plates and plastic utensils. Thank goodness there were no more big meals to prepare. We mainly ate leftovers.
After calling my handy repairman for a telephone conference regarding whether it would be practical to repair, he gave me the bad news. The cost of repairs would be approximately 1/3-1/2 the cost of a new machine. It wasn't a difficult decision to make. So, on Monday morning off I went to Home Depot to scope out a new dishwasher. David had told me (after nearly killing himself installing the dead dishwasher years ago) that he didn't care how much it cost for installation, but I lucked out; they had a special on appliance installation...only $49. Caught a break there! Choosing one wasn't too difficult. I went with a mid-level LG, computerized (what isn't these days), white to match the rest of my appliances.
When they pulled it up on the computer, it turned out there was a back-order time of three weeks. Okay, not too bad. With just David and me here, I could handle washing dishes for a few weeks, and it would be delivered two days before Christmas Eve...just in time for the Next Big Holiday. Two days before set delivery time, I received a phone call from LG explaining that it would not be delivered until January 18. It seems there was a shortage of Energy Star appliances due to the end-of-the-year rush to buy them before the Home Energy Tax Credit expired.
The only good thing I can say about washing dishes by hand is it makes arthritis feel better for a little while, but that benefit is offset slightly by the dishpan hands. Boy, am I spoiled.
The dishwasher was finally installed as promised. The computer is a little finicky. We have a well and sometimes our water pressure is a little low, so it reads as a "water leakage problem", or E1, on the computer panel readout. I just have to wait a few minutes for the water pressure to build back up and then restart it. Oh, and it plays a little electronic tune at the end of the cycle to let me know when it's done. Isn't that sweet?
So, off I headed to Verizon, thinking, "Now I can get the iPhone!" On arrival, I was informed that the waiting list was about a month long. I had plans to go out of town the next day for the weekend and didn't want to be traveling without my lifeline, so I agreed to give the LG Vortex a try...an Android...a Smartphone. Well, trying to learn its quirks, its ins and outs, its ups and downs, made me feel like a Dumb Robot. I could no longer type a text easily. I was used to the QWERTY slide-out keyboard, and I was getting pretty fast. The Vortex has a QWERTY, but it's all on the screen, and it is extremely sensitive. My daughter was cracking up every time she received a text from me. They were barely decipherable. And I thought the MacBook was difficult!
It has so many apps that I was just a "ball of confusion", and, of course, when you're standing in front of the nice young salesman who is explaining five hundred different "wonderful things you can do with your new Vortex", it all sounds so simple. Not. I had 14 days to return it for a different phone, and I nearly did about a hundred times. But each day I learned how to do something new with it. My fingers got a little less clumsy on the screen. I found out I can play Lexulous (think Scrabble) with my friends when I don't have a computer. It takes pretty good pictures and I can actually upload them directly to Facebook, which I couldn't do with my other phone. I can get Google GPS and give it voice commands for directions, and it will steer me around any accidents or traffic jams. All in all, it's a pretty jammin' phone. My sister Judy says when she goes into a store to buy a new cell phone or a new computer, she always tells the salesperson to give her the most complicated one they have. She says it keeps her brain from getting mushy. I think she's right. I can feel my brain getting firmer every day.
Postscript: The old phone actually survived after about a week of drying out, but don't tell David. It's the one he's going to get when he retires in November and he loses his company phone. Ssshhh.