Hi,

We are quite pleased with our semi-automatic washing machine.

It’s pretty much just what it sounds like. It performs a few onerous tasks, such as tumbling the clothes or, spinning out the excess water, but it requires human intervention at each step in the process.

Here in Las Galeras we’re pretty water-conscious and so that human touch is even preferable to the super-duper automatic front-loader that I’ve used for over a decade in Washington. It gives one the opportunity to assess the condition of the water and make an informed judgment about further use based on relative turbidity, among other things.

We treat water very differently here on our little hill in the Caribbean.

The dowser predicts that water is 47 meters below the surface of our property, and is pretty safe in that prediction because the big well-drilling rig can’t make it up the road to our place. So we’ll never know if 47 meters really means 45 or 47.3. I do love the specific measure though, tied as it is to a hunch and a feeling. I suppose that we’ve all seen “by guess and by golly” presented as gospel before.

There IS something vaguely familiar about a guy delivering the deadpan verdict while brandishing the tool of his trade, in this case a stick.

So we collect rainwater in a cistern. Some months a lot and others not so much.

This provides the basis for Barnaby’s water-hauling business. I can see his truck on the farm below, and know that he can deliver a tank of water for 900 pesos if you are Dominican, 1,000 pesos otherwise. I don’t claim Dominican status yet, but am working on it.

Those of you who have endured these little notes since late November will recall something of my troubles with the failed roof coating on our concrete roof, which is inexplicably flat. A flat roof in this climate makes no more sense than one in the maritime northwest in the United States. And we’ve now owned one of each, eyes wide open.

Anyway, the old roof is off and the new is on and we’re ready for that rain. Maybe the dowser guy has a special stick for calculating up, I dunno.

We’re in a “still water” culture now, rather than the “running water” culture in the US. So we pay attention to how we use water. The least-dirty laundry goes in first and the rinse water from one load becomes the wash for the next. And everything finishes up in the garden.

Try that with your automatic Maytag.

Bill
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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