New appliances trigger long list of chores

BY RANDALL RIGSBEE, News + Record Staff
Posted 12/13/19

We might’ve picked a better month than December — the whirlwind Christmas season — to take on so many household projects.

But part of our timing for undertaking so many household projects …

The News + Record is worth reading!

We’re all about Chatham County, and we welcome you to our site. You can view up to 3 stories each month, then registration is required.

Please sign in below if you have an account. If not, please register here to get an account and an additional 7 stories each month. It’s easy and takes just a minute.

Our staff works hard to bring good journalism, writing and story-telling to Chatham County. HELP US! You can get the News + Record mailed to you weekly by subscribing here.

Please log in to continue

Log in

New appliances trigger long list of chores

Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to the News + Record – you can do so by clicking here.


We might’ve picked a better month than December — the whirlwind Christmas season — to take on so many household projects.

But part of our timing for undertaking so many household projects was, ironically, the Christmas season. We snagged good Black Friday deals on a few new appliances and those purchases set in motion a domino-like list of related household chores.

For example, before we could bring in our new washer and dryer, we had to remove the old washer and dryer (naturally) but also repaint the small utility room where we keep the appliances and build new shelving around them. But before we could build the shelves, we had to cut and sand the wood for the shelves, stain them, go purchase brackets to mount ... It seemed every simple task (install new washer and dryer) required a bevy of not-so-simple tasks before the simple task could be executed. In other words: one job was actually four or five jobs.

So for the past couple of weekends we’ve been working overtime.

I’m not complaining, of course. I don’t like lugging heavy appliances, but I like building things like shelves and we’re enjoying the improvements. And we’ve liked them so much we’re planning a few more, including repainting our kitchen and living room, removing carpet from the couple of the last remaining rooms that still have carpet, yada yada and the list goes on. Such activities may see us through winter.

So with so much to do indoors, it seems almost quixotic that on Saturday, I’d turn my attention to the yard.

Specially, taming the leaves in the yard.

It’s a task — and a territory — I’m intimately familiar with. Over the years, I’ve taken every conceivable approach to annual leaf duties.

I’ve raked them to the curb for city pick-up.

I’ve mulched them in place with a lawn mower.

I’ve set them on fire after stuffing them in old ink barrels.

I’ve stockpiled them for composting throughout the year.

One fall, I did nothing, leaving the mass of leaves where they fell and blew, determined to allow my backyard paradise to exist in a completely nature state (until spring, when I caved and eventually raked them anyway).

My years of experimentation with leaf gathering and disposal has confirmed one truth: I don’t enjoy working with leaves.

This year was no different. The raking wasn’t so bad and reminded me, as a kind of ancillary benefit, of several muscles I’d forgotten I had. But the disposal part proved the bigger challenge.

I opted for the simple solution: put them out at the street.

But that’s not the kind work you accomplish with a blink and a bewitching wrinkling of the tip of your nose. If only.

Using a tarp, I hauled, from back yard to front, all 30-something piles of leaves I’d raked. It took several hours and lots of trips from front to back yard dragging a leaf-loaded tarp behind me over the two-day weekend.

When I was finished — the ton of leaves triple stacked at the curb my reward — I felt like I’d really done something. Beaming with positivity for a job well done, I mentioned an article I’d seen somewhere recently urging folks to simply not rake. Better for the environment, the article said.

“So why do you rake them?” my wife countered.

There are lots of reasons, but the only one that really mattered — and it was the reason I’d turned my attention to the outdoors even though we had/have so much to do indoors — was that I couldn’t focus on improving the indoors when our outdoor space looked so unkempt.

Raking and hauling leaves was, I suppose, the ultimate of the many pre-jobs generated by the purchase of some new appliances.

I offer this simply as a warning: When purchasing new appliances, make sure you have all the tools you’ll need for a proper install. And don’t forget the rake.


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment