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September 28th, 2016

Reiss’s Pieces


By Judy Reiss

This morning I put a load of clothes into my washing machine and then I forgot about it. When I got home after tea and conversation, I was just thrilled to see it, all wet but clean. So I took a huge handful and threw it into my dryer. And almost worse, when it was all dry, I knew I had to fold it all and get it ready to go upstairs and be doled out to the person to whom it belonged. But before I was finished, I always prepare the machine for the next time it is needed. And that job is mainly cleaning out the filter. And here is my question.

Actually it is really two questions. And number one is what can you do with all that lint that the filter catches every single time you use the dryer. I don’t know about you but every single time I wonder what productive thing could be done with all that soft and clean fuzz. I know that over the years I have asked for suggestions but I have to admit that I usually just wrap it in the Bounce sheet that I use. And every single time in the winter and cold days, I am sure there is some cold bird that would like to use it to make their nest warmer. But I am usually in a rush and it is a lot easier to throw it out. But I still feel guilty, for a few minutes!

And here is my second question. As you all know, I am 76 years old, soon to be 77 and I wash all my clothes in a machine. And although I still hang all my clothes when we are at the Cape because we don’t have a dryer, I “do” a wash about twice a week. And like you, the clothes that I wash are mainly ones that I have washed before. Now, here is my thought or question, After being washed heaven knows how many times, how can there be lint left? Wouldn’t you think that there would be areas on each and every article of clothing that would have—if not holes—than very thin places where the fabric gave its all to make lint? Actually, I would think that after being washed so many times, it would look so worn and thin that you would be able to read through it! I know that inexpensive clothes often lose their color, but that isn’t affecting the lint question

As I scraped the lint from my filter today, I started to wonder just how much lint I would have had if I kept it, like in a pail or something. What I got today was a good handful of lint and if I got that much, and I usually do, just imagine how much I would have after say, a week, a month or a year! I know that I am wasteful about many things, but the lint bothers me more than you can imagine. Actually, I brushed my “wonder boy” Victor the cat last night and I was able to get two huge handfuls of wonderful, soft fur. And because I am a sloth, I threw it away. But today I started to think about the lint and if it was possible to combine the lint and the cat fur and make something with it. What could you make with it you say. Well, I don’t spin but I bet if you were a good spinner you could make quite a bit of yarn with it and then on the cold winter nights, knit a very interesting sweater or mittens. The only reason I think you need to combine the lovely fur from the cat is his fur probably would give the lint a little more body, or something!

There are a lot of things that make me wonder if we have lost our minds these days. Here in Vermont we have been told that no longer will we be able to put food scraps in our garbage. Now, I always thought that food scraps were garbage! Malcolm and I have been composting our food scraps for most of our marriage, which means about 51 years. So, now I want to know if you are mandated to compost, what can you put in the garbage or landfill? And if we are supposedly trying to keep our dumps or landfills smaller, why can’t we recycle the furniture, tools, clothes, etc. like we used to do?

If you think about all the new rules about waste, recycling, etc. it probably isn’t too far away that it will be mandated to use your lint whenever and wherever you can!

We brought an old rocking chair from the dump before it was illegal! And we used it on our porch for years. And it turns out that this chair had belonged to a neighbor and they were thrilled that we had rescued it and used it. Rescued it from what you ask, being either burned or buried and never to be used again.

Although it has noting to do about lint or recycling things that others throw away, I think that the people who are making these rules about just about everything are the same people who know nothing about the managing of our rivers and brooks and are stopping those Vermonters who know how to keep the silt from building up to frightening sandbars. And believe me, when the snow melts and the rain comes down and the rivers boil with too much water to handle, floods will come to Vermont and none of those guys will know why!

Maybe we should all gather together for a weekly coffee/tea klatch and spin our lint and cat fur and then sit and knit during the cold winter months when the rivers are frozen and appear to be asleep. And then we can make sweaters and vests for the jerks who say that taking silt from the rivers will keep the fish from finding new holes to live in. After all they deserve to have a new sweater that embodies the rules of recycling.

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