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  • Martha Engeman

Fixing Things

Recently we received a brand new rubber ring for our front loading washer. Now for most people, this would be no big deal, but I am actually excited. After a number of years, the current rubber ring has gotten tired and moldy. I have tried all of the remedies--vinegar and water, bleach and water, lots of scrubbing, various cleaning cycles and the mold is still there. It’s time for a brand new rubber ring.

I get great satisfaction out of breathing new life into an aging appliance. This new rubber gasket offers the possibility of many more loads of laundry. It also saves the considerable expense of a new washer as well as the environmental impact of discarding my current one.

If we start to see our decisions about consuming and discarding resources through the lens of how it impacts our Earth Mother, I believe that we will start to make the changes we need to sustain our planet. For me, those choices include bringing my bags to the grocery store, fixing aging appliances and vehicles, composting vegetable scraps to reduce waste and planning the number of trips I take in my car to name a few. My goal is to reduce my impact on the planet so the planet will be here to support my Granddaughter.

What are some ideas that you have to reduce your impact on the planet? Email me at and I will compile them for a future blog post and put them on my social media accounts on FaceBook and Instagram.

My Dad used to say that anything slightly used was “practically brand new.” He would wear his old weekend work clothes until they were tattered and stained. It was a badge of honor to keep the old Gravely and the tin boat running. He was also incredibly generous with all of the “practically brand new” things.

I like to think that Dad is looking down and smiling on us as Dave resuscitates our washing machine with a brand new rubber ring. With that new ring, that part of our washing machine really will be “practically brand new.”


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