“I Go Portable”


We moved onto the land when our daughter was just thinking about crawling around the houseboat. That would lead to her walking around the houseboat and one day walking off the houseboat into the river if we weren’t hypervigilant. So we bought an old house on 5 acres and moved in. We were totally clueless buyers, going only for the price, and overlooked some major problems. Such as our water supply.

The house was supplied by a spring attached to a pipe attached to our house. This meant that our water pressure was very low. We also had no plumbing for a washing machine. I bought a portable machine, similar to the more modern one pictured above. It rolled over to the sink where I used a hose from the faucet to s-l-o-w-l-y fill the little tank on the left side. The machine sloshed the clothing around as long as you wanted it to( no timers), then I put the hose back and pumped the water back into the sink. The right hand side of the machine was a tiny spin cylinder which again operated as long as you let it. Then, of course, the clothes had to be hung out to dry. Or, hung in on our folding wood rack when it was raining.(It was Oregon. We used the wood rack most of the time.)

While I realized that this would have been a step up from hand washing, it was definitely a step down from the all-in-one machine from the houseboat. It also had the capacity of a thimble, and I again was endlessly washing diapers and our clothes. When I moved back into the city to an apartment with coin operated washers and dryers, I gave the little machine to a student. She had been hand washing, so she considered this a great gift. It’s all in the comparison, I guess, but it proved I was a poor candidate for “going off the grid.”

9 thoughts on ““I Go Portable”

  1. I know of the joys of low pressure spring water and you may have just given me a thought on how we next procede with the laundry issue. An old twin-tub might well be an option we should consider !

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