Lisa Kern

Lisa Kern
Pennsylvania, US
March 28
I'm a mom of three boys, a needy dog, and an insolent cat. When I'm not writing, vacuuming up pet hair, or cleaning pee off the toilet seat, I like to fantasize about jeans that actually fit and an all-you-can-eat-chocolate-and-cheese diet. Welcome to my party.


Lisa Kern's Links

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 20, 2012 10:05AM

The Jesus Dryer

Rate: 22 Flag

The Jesus Dryer  

I have long suspected that the appliances in my house conspire against me.  What else could possibly explain their uncanny tendency of dying in clusters and at the worst possible times? 

The refrigerator once died the night before we were to leave on a week-long vacation.  Three years ago, the coffee maker, the microwave, and the dishwasher all gave up the ghost within a two week period.  The following year, the oven breathed its final breath while I was cooking a pricey standing rib roast for Easter dinner.  A few months ago, the washer decided to leave this earthly realm in the middle of a large load of jeans.  Nothing spells laundry day misery quite like having to hand-wring the water out of several pairs of men's jeans.  There's also my cranky cook top which randomly chooses whether or not it will actually cook on any given day.  I imagine it being like Scarlet O'Hara in Gone with the Wind:  I'll think about cooking to-mah-row. 

Our latest appliance casualty is the clothes dryer.  At 13 years of age, it's far from new, but should definitely have had some years left in it.  My washer lasted 17 years.  Shouldn't the dryer have hung in there a while longer? 


Not only did it die with a full load of my son Evan's clothes in it, including every single pair of jeans he owns, but we didn't discover that it failed to dry them until 20 minutes before Evan's school bus was due to arrive.  We scrambled around, trying to find a pair of pants for Evan to wear.  Unable to find any, Evan had to wear a wet pair of jeans to school.  


Yes, it's inconvenient when your dryer dies, but it's even more of an issue if you can't afford to replace it right away.  In a month plagued with reduced income, property taxes, and a host of other surprise expenses, replacing a broken dryer won't be in our budget for another few months at the earliest.


As the Great Recession continues to march on, and I've watched income, savings, and safety nets disappear, it's been difficult to remain hopeful that our current situation will eventually improve.  Even though I tried to deal with this latest appliance demise as best I could, I felt utterly defeated by it.  I just couldn't shake the feeling that this was one more thing I didn't need, one more thing in a long list of disappointments, one more expense I simply couldn't afford.  I felt as if the Universe had kicked me once again in my financial gut and I wasn't sure I'd recover from it.


It had been three days since the dryer died and I was no closer to figuring out how to replace it.  The laundry was piling up, and everyone in the house was out of clean socks.  The idea of hanging up each individual sock to dry wasn't something I was looking forward to, but I didn't have hours to spend at the laundromat either.


Anyone familiar with me knows that I get these "nudges" from time to time, these whispers of consciousness that guide me in knowing how to proceed in my life.  They can be as small as warnings of a speed trap ahead while I'm driving to bigger things such as how best to proceed with an important decision.


I'd been pondering the issue of the deceased dryer all day and feeling quite depressed by it.  I was right in the middle of the mother of all pity parties when a nudge came to try the dryer one more time.


What a ridiculous idea, I thought.  I'd already tried the dryer a half dozen times with the same outcome:  it wouldn't tumble, it wouldn't heat, and it smelled as if it was burning down. It groaned loudly as if struggling mightily to tumble.  My husband Dan tried it, too, to see if it was something he could fix, and it wouldn't even turn on for him.  We both agreed that the dryer was officially dead.


Still, the nudge was insistent:  try the dryer again.


I opened the doors to the laundry closet.  If I was going to give this nudge of mine the best chance for a positive outcome, I did everything I'd normally do prior to running the dryer.  I cleaned out the dryer lint, I turned the dial to the normal time, and I pushed the start button.


Unbelievably, it worked.  To my astonishment, the dryer started right away and began tumbling normally.  There was no bad smell and no odd sounds.  I turned the dial to the off-position and opened the door. It was warm inside!


I don't know how it happened, but it did: my dryer apparently resurrected itself from the dead on the third day, just like Jesus. 


No matter how unlikely or inexplicable, this bit of grace was just what I needed to pull me out of my funk and restore my hope that maybe things will indeed get better.  Who knew that a dryer could heal itself and my sagging faith, all at the same time? 


Hmm...maybe there's hope for my bank account.


Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
Home voodoo--works every time.
I'm glad it worked. Now don't rest easy, check craigslist or freecycle. Often there are free or crazy cheap appliances on it. Get one when it's advertised, not when you need it so when yours does finally give up the ghost you're all set to go.

There's a shocking lot of free stuff out there. People get rid of perfectly good dryers just because they get a new washer and it doesn't match. Seriously. People do that.

Remembering when 20 wasn't an old age for an appliance ...
Con - You crack me up!

Jane - Thank you! You made me smile. :) I did actually look on Craigslist. The cheapest I found was $250 and I didn't have the funds so I'm thrilled that the dryer decided to heal itself - ha ha!

nerd cred - Freecycle - I hadn't thought of them. Thanks for the tip - and for stopping by. I am with you in mourning the youthful ages at which appliances pass these days.
By the way, is it just me, or does anyone else see a vague image of Jesus in the shadowy part at the top of the dryer?
Thanks for a wonderful read Lisa. You pulled so much into this piece that strikes a chord with readers. Here's hoping your (and everyone else's) situation changes soon, so the extremity is replaced with genuine prosperity.

Rated and appreciated
Some say that God works in mighty and mundane ways. Who knows the explanation of the dryer. I understand your doldrums. When it rains, it pours. So happy it's working! Love your writing style.
Jesus, what good luck!
I've also experienced the appliance resurrection. Our fridge died just as I came with a load from Sam's Club and just days after I had lost my job. I used our garage for a fridge for several days, overwhelmed at the idea we'd have to buy a new one. In frustration I plugged the fridge back in only to hear it hum and watch it freeze water within an hour. Miracles happen - it's great that we can learn to appreciate even the smallest ones! xo
Forget craigslist, work with the Jesus image. I think there could be a couple new appliances in that. Nice piece.
Lisa, I love everything you write. This was soooo good. ~r
Do I hear an Amen?!
Great post. Thanks for speaking on behalf of all of us struggling to keep it together somehow.

Yay! I am so glad the universe worked for you. Not having a dryer is a total pain.
"on the third day, just like Jesus." I love you :)
Great piece and I understand how you feel. We have our business next to a recycle center and you would not believe what people get rid of. All kinds of good, working appliances. Craig's list works believe me. Glad it started working again. Just be safe and check it out if you can afford that. Sometimes it is just something simple and inexpensive.
great story, lisa. i'm so glad the thing kicked back to life, regardless of who gets the credit.

oh, i see the face in the shadows too, but to me it looks like frank zappa. :)
I'm going to be on the lookout for your dryer on a tortilla.
Even when describing genuine problems, your writing just sings. Candace beat me to it but I swear the image I see is Bob Marley. Maybe Jesu sent him to blow smoke up the dryer's hose to get it going again. One image I can't get out of my head: Evan going to school in wet jeans! Did you at least spray some Axe on them?
Jesus did rise with a clean, April-fresh smell. Contrary to the story usually told in church, St. Thomas the Doubter wasn't doubting that Jesus rose from the dead. No, Tom couldn't believe that the blood stains came out.
This reminds me of the Far Side Cartoon of "Appliance Faith Healers." Maybe the Universe decided you'd had enough and to give you a break in the form of a self-correcting clothes dryer. and like Gracious Jane, I love the way you write, too!

I love to read your work. Always, always so happy when you post.r
very very funny.... i was drawn in by the title and you did not disappoint. i remember going to the laudromat for the week in between when my washer died and the new one would be delivered... a week i never want to do again. next time, light a candle for your appliances...
Oh my gosh - an Editor's Pick! I haven't had one of those in over a year!

Dennis - You are always so kind and thoughtful. Thank you!

Mary - So nice to see you! I agree; it can't be explained but I appreciate it just the same.

Myriad - Your comment made me laugh.

mamoore - What a great story! I wonder if the Universe thinks we can handle these things and then realizes, nope, we can't. Whatever the reason, yay us. XOXO

jlsathre - I know, right? I'm amazed by the image in the shadow. I just took that photo quickly this morning!

Joan - And I love YOU. XOXO

Erica - Amen!

Victoria - Thank you for your comment. It's nice to know that I'm not alone in this. Hope things improve for all of us SOON.
Funny! I'm glad you've had a personal experience with resurrection! My husband's best friend is an appliance repairman and I feed him enough that he's on call for the washer and dryer. Our stove is temperamental, however and will probably need to be replaced soon...I just pray it will last past these next few months of property taxes, income taxes, homeowner's insurance bill (in hurricane country -- three thousand dollars), car-tag renewals, etc.
Laura - Thanks for celebrating with me. :)

Jen - I love you, too. Thanks for "getting" it.

Sheila - I can't wrap my head around the knowledge that some people throw away perfectly good things but I suppose they do. Hopefully I'll be able to find such a deal before Jesus Dryer decides to ascend to heaven!

Candace - I'm laughing at your comment about Frank Zappa. :)

Susan - ...or a grilled cheese sandwich.

Sally - Thanks for the compliment. Thankfully, no Axe was involved in this particular miracle.

Stim! Best laugh I've had all day. You know that I'm always going to remember it whenever I see the Jesus Dryer, don't you? April Fresh? Bwahaha!
Shiral - I used to love The Far Side. I don't remember that particular cartoon, but I'm sure I'd especially enjoy it now. Thanks so much for always being so supportive. XOXO

hugs, me - Your comment made my day. Thank you SO much. XOXO

ellen - Thanks for the kind words. I love your suggestion about lighting candles for my appliances - too funny! But it just might work. :)

Bellwether - Sounds like we're both leading parallel lives. I honestly expected the stove to go before the dryer. Here's to both of us getting through this nastily-expensive time.
I hope you popped for a lotto ticket!
Maria - I did buy a lottery ticket! And I lost. Oh well. One miracle per customer per day it seems. :)