It's no secret that funds in the Sixbears household have been pretty limited for some time now. We haven't missed any meals. Some of those meals have been pretty basic, but we certainly haven't gone hungry. A little food storage certainly does come in handy.
It's other things that slowly fall apart. When it became clear the car wouldn't pass state inspection without a lot of expensive work, we retired it. Since then, we've gotten by with just the old truck. Inconvenient at times, but not too hard to live with.
The washing machine is slowly dying. Over the years, I've taken it apart and put it back together quite a few times. Eventually, machines just wear out. It still washes the clothes, but everything is slowing down. The heavy duty cycle isn't working right. My guess is that the electric motor is wearing out. Doesn't quite seem to have the same power it once had. Laundry can still be done on the normal cycle, so we make do. Even there, it doesn't spin the drum as fast as it used to and the clothes are wetter than they should be. At least they are clean.
One solution is to just run the dryer a lot longer. Of course, that strains the dryer, which had a major rebuild itself last year. Also uses more energy. Good thing I put in nice long clothesline outside. Saves energy and extends the life of the dryer.
The machine I'm really going to miss is the dishwasher. It's one of my vices. Yes, I know it's possible to hand wash dishes using a lot less water and energy. There are only so many hours in the day, and I don't want to spend any more of them than I have to washing dishes. My wife hates this machine as the noise drives her crazy. For me, it's the restful sound of me not hand washing dishes. Anyway, this machine too is slowly fading away. The gasket around the door is starting to leak. The top rack fell out once, but repairs seem to be holding. Wheels occasionally fall off the bottom rack. When this machines goes, it will not be replaced, in spite of my hatred of hand washing dishes.
My household infrastructure is a bit like the national infrastructure. My appliances are like the nations, roads, bridges, canals, railroads -the machinery of a nation. It takes investment to keep everything running. Patch jobs only work so long. The nation has neglected investment in its "machinery." The infrastructure of the nation is slowly wearing down. Just like me, the nation is going to have to struggle along with things that aren't as good as they could be.
One thing that tough times does for me is it makes me focus on what's important. What things in my life are truly important and worth the effort. Maybe the nation as a whole, after going through a rough patch, will figure out what's important and what's not. What machinery is worth the trouble and what isn't.
I'll tell you guys one thing. If my wife won't let me replace the dishwasher when it finally dies, she's going to start washing a lot more dishes her own self.