Better than boredom

Sept. 19, 1994
“You never have a dull moment at your house, do you?” someone asked me after reading about our truck party. Well, no. When things start to get dull, we make some excitement. Like the time we watched the ice maker dump the ice.

It was our first automatic ice-maker. For days we startled when it clicked hummed and filled with water. I decided to see what had replaced the plastic trays, the balancing act and quick twist of the wrist once necessary to produce ice cubes for our cool summer drinks.
The next time I beard the faint click that preceded the dumping of the ice, I called the boys to come and watch. We all crowded round the open freezer door. Breathlessly, we watched while the plastic paddles rose up, slowly made a half circle turn, carefully lifted the ice up and shoved it with a clatter into the plastic tray beneath. As we closed the door, we could bear the surge of water entering the hidden ice chamber ready for the next batch of ice.

It was a most satisfying experience.

I thought about that recently. My daughter assured me that life was B-0-R-I-N-G around our place. I looked at her astounded. Out of the 12 weeks of summer vacation, she was gone six or seven weeks. Off on trips, to camp or visiting friends. With all that traveling around, packing, unpacking and clothes to wash and sort when did she have time to be bored?

I suggested she wash a few dishes and vacuum her bedroom to break her boredom.
She rolled her eyes at me and told me that was not high on her list of exciting things to do.
When she finished the work, I offered to take her swimming. She suggested going shopping. I rolled my eyes at her and asked “Who’s buying?” Her eyes twinkled knowingly as she smiled and looked at my checkbook.
We went to the library.

I introduced her to some interesting books she checked out. It took her several hours to read them and took absolutely nothing from my checkbook.

But recently my child who sings “I’m Bored” informed me that she had had the most exciting afternoon watching the washing machine wash the clothes.

I raised my eyebrows and asked, “You did what?”
“I opened the lid and watched the clothes go through all the wash cycles. I had to close it during the spin cycle though. The water was flying out on me.” She looked rather pleased with herself.
I thought she was kidding me. I didn’t think the machine would run with the lid open. But the next time I had a load in, she showed me exactly how to do it by carefully balancing the lid away from the switches.

I might have realized watching the clothes wash would intrigue her. When we were at an appliance store recently, she wished we owned the demonstrator dishwasher with its glass front. She thought it was fun to watch it wash dishes.

Watching clothes wash one time was not enough. She had to share the fun. She invited her brother to come watch. They had so much fun, that next week, I think I will invite them to hang the clothes out on the line and watch them dry.

Like I said, we never have a dull moment at our house. If it even hints of boredom around here, we find some way to entertain ourselves.
(Joan Hershberger is a news clerk at the News-Times.)