Monday, August 30, 2010
The Giggling Washing Machine and the Car from Heaven
We really want for very little in our lives in Israel. We have virtually all of the same luxuries that we had in America, and we don't pine away for anything in particular. Or so I thought....
Two new items have come into our lives that have really made an enormous difference. Fortunately, one is here to stay...while the other is being returned as we speak.
When we made aliyah, we arrived with a European washing machine. There were many sound reasons that we made this purchase, but I had no idea what a transition it would be for me! I honestly don't know how the rest of the world does it. The European washing machine gets clothes much cleaner than does the American model - but each washing cycle takes exactly two hours to complete. The machine itself also holds less than half of what an American washer can hold.
This means that my laundry process has been.......a continual and never-ending process. With five children, and an adoptive soldier in the house for the past year and a half, there was rarely a moment when the machine hasn't been on. Changing the sheets on the beds could bring me near tears, as I knew that the machine would be tied up for a day and a half with the linens.
With that said - a ray of light came into our lives recently, as Josh's parents asked, "Can we buy you an American washing machine to ease Romi's burden?"
The machine arrived last week, and I have literally been giggling my way through my laundry. I throw in a load (an enormous load!), go to eat breakfast, and actually put the load in the dryer before work! The laundry baskets are empty each night, and I find myself staring at them in amazement. It's incredible how one small item can change the efficiency of one of your chores - and add a spring in your step at the same time!
The other item that we enjoyed for the month of August was a second car. Cars are astronomically expensive in Israel - in real dollar terms and in comparison to salaries. Having one car is a great luxury, which we are certainly thrilled to have. While some of our friends do have two cars - many do not, and it is one of the few items that I miss having from the States. This month, we were able to rent a car with my dad's generosity. Rather than just keeping it for the time that my dad was on vacation with us, Josh had the brilliant idea to see how much it would cost to keep it for the whole month. We have both felt like new people as we enjoy our efficiency and mobility. The kids seemed to "get" how great it was, as well, and Eliav dubbed it the "awesome" car. He spent the whole month saying, "Are we going in the awesome car today?"
What a difference the car has made in my ability to go to work when I need to, in Josh's ability to get back from work quickly, and more. The day when we thought that Yehuda had broken his elbow - and I needed to be in ten places at once - it felt like a miracle that Josh was able to go in one direction with one car while I went in the other.
Oh well...most good things do have to come to an end, and we become a one-car family again this evening as we bid the car goodbye. It was good while it lasted!