The year the appliances went on strike

Our appliances went on strike this past year.
First, the oven refused to work regularly … said it had had enough already with baking an onslaught of desserts, casseroles and skillets of cornbread. It would not do the job any longer. We took away its major heating element and replaced it with a more cooperative element that promised if we would just let it stay, it would produce golden brown cornbread.
Then the washing machine got all agitated about being asked to do some heavy work and “bust a gusset.” My husband found some quick replacement that danced and jiggled around every work assignment whether it was light or heavy. I wearied of its song and dance, so when I saw a quiet, regal looking machine sitting at a yard sale just begging to go home with me, I told it to come along. I sent the other machine away without a second thought.
The regal washer has quietly done its job, only stopping and posting a beacon of light to announce when it can not work efficiently until I balance its work load.
I do not remember what issue the microwave had with our establishment. I just remember that it rolled up its energy and took a permanent vacation one day. With a bit of judicious looking around, we found a much better employee for microwaving our food. This one even promised to do a bit of convection work if we pushed the right button and nicely said please and thank you. It even welcomed a humble buddy: “Orville Ridenbacher’s microwave popcorn popping dish” and began producing crisp, tasty popcorn for our evening snacks.
Then there was the dishwasher. Now THERE was a recalcitrant appliance. We talked and talked with it about its job output. We gave it extra special care cleaning out its workspace. We tried to keep its load light, but I guess the old thing simply couldn’t keep up with the demands of a two-person family. It did not clean the dishes. It sprayed a fine layer of dirt on clear glasses and then baked it in place.
The day it I had to tell it 20 times to empty out the dirty water before it completed the job was the day I determined it had to go. It was no longer a worthy servant. A shiny new replacement arrived to take its place. It had a dent that lowered its appeal to some but did not damage its work ethic. My husband promised to give it some TLC, fix the dent and install it as the reigning dishwasher. It took him a couple of days, but he did it. We carefully filled up every nook and cranny with a backlog of dishes. The new guy in the dishwasher hole sort of yawned, flipped its levers around and produced racks of sparkling clean dishes.
Now that’s what I’m talking about.
I suppose the furnace may not want to be classified with the appliances, but it does work for us. We have long passed the furnaces of our childhood which we filled with coal or chopped wood. We have become quite accustomed to central heat with the flick of a switch on the thermostat. So, after a couple of life-threatening gestures from our aging furnace of 30 years, we determined it too had to go.
It went. The new one arrived carrying a handbook that made rocket science look easy. After an expert installation the furnace quietly purred and began warming our house just in time for the winter cold to descend.
We hope that’s the end of the appliances on strike. There are a couple of other appliances still hanging around hoping to gain a pension: the dryer and the refrigerator have not been here that long, but the freezer is older than our house. We hope it gets cold feet whenever it thinks about not doing its job for us. It should. We definitely have demonstrated these past few months that we are merciless when it comes to ridding ourselves of non-workers.