I had lusted after a Vitamix blender for a long time so when my friend told me she would sell me hers, I felt as though I had won the lottery.
Smoothies, soups, hot chocolate (did you know that a Vitamix's blade spins so fast that it will actually heat up milk?), hummus, sauces... I think I have used mine almost every day since I adopted it. When I traveled, my friends and family used it. And for the first year and a half of living in Mexico, I missed the heck out of it.
Back in the US last summer, I was so happy to get reunited with it, even though I could tell something was not quite right. The sound was not as I remembered it, and small shards of metal sometimes flew out of the base. Still, I used it the whole summer, and still I gently placed it in the "Mexico" box.
Once here, it felt so good to give it a spot in my new kitchen. And still... I knew something was off.
I kept using it and using it until there was no way to ignore that well... it may be on its last legs.
My first thought was: "But it's not even that old!"
This is something I do. Not sure why. I do it about my little Mazda which still feels like "my new car" even though I drove it off the lot 11 years ago. Heck, I do it about ME as I go about my life and then catch a glimpse in the mirror or someone asks me my age. It's odd but there you have it.
Hearing myself think "It's not even that old," I quickly flashed about where my kids and I lived when this way cool powerhouse of a machine moved in with us. Hmm.... a quick calculation resulted in an estimation of something close to ten years ago. And I don't think it was new at that time.
Well, now what? Reality check: I have an old Vitamix that is making some bad sounds and not seeming too happy. Ten years is a good run. It just may be time to get a new one.
So I start looking at new ones. And then looking at other brands. They're not cheap.
I am very close to ordering one when I look at my OLD faithful machine, sitting there all dignified on the turquoise counter. What am I going to do with it? I can't imagine putting it in the trash.
The answer comes quickly: I will give it to someone and maybe they will fix it.
The thought immediately followed by - possibly superimposed: "Wait a little minute. If I think that someone can fix it, why can't I fix it?"
Oh, that felt good. It felt bold, too. And it felt as though it came from months and months of a gentle (and sometimes less gentle) training in something akin to self-reliance and a respect for economy.
I looked at my Vitamix and I got online. There was a really good chance that replacing the drive socket would do the trick. Not knowing what a drive socket was made it the more exciting. I would learn something new! Indeed I bookmarked what seemed to be a good YouTube tutorial.
Within ten minutes I had ordered a new drive shaft for under $20 and until it arrived, I talked very gently to my blender and assured it that we were going to try something.
It took about a week and finally, the small packet arrived.
I cleaned my whole kitchen before opening it, put on some quiet music, and then went to work.
I opened the package and there it was, a younger, intact version of this little indispensable piece of my machine, its teeth nice and shiny and perfect.
Between YouTube and the very helpful instructions that came with the small round part, a tiny wrench, my glasses, a bit of patience, and a reminder that there-is-no-reason-I-can't-do this ... I did it.
I DID IT. Really, I did it!
I FIXED MY VITAMIX.
I tell you what: When I turned it on and it purred sweetly as though it was ready for many more batches of hummus and french vegetable soups and hot chocolate, I felt like I had received a Ph.D. in Badassness. I was so freaking proud of myself.
The next day I called my son and told him all about it. He was very satisfyingly appreciative and he and I had a big conversation about self-reliance.
It all started to make sense. This house, this life, the challenges, the wins, all of it. The "Why" was starting to make itself better and better known.
And then yesterday, my water pump stopped working. Goodness.
I called my electrician who was two hours away. I called my son, in Hawaii. I wanted someone to come and fix it and make the whole problem go away. My son said: "Here's the cool thing, mom. Once this is fixed, you will have a better understanding of how your pump works." I knew he was right and I knew I didn't have much of a choice. Still.
With the remote support of these two men and my son's common sense and huge patience as the calls kept cutting off, we did it. I got sprayed more than once and I didn't get to have the day I had planned. Instead, I got to learn a little more about this vital part of my house.
In the end, more than the blender or the pump, I think what's being re-wired is me. I grew up in a home where when something broke, we bought a new one. As I got older, I shifted closer to when something broke, we called someone. While I still often want to "call someone," I am also aware that there has been a melting of a ... something. Of a belief. A doubt. An automatic assumption that I am lacking what it takes to ______________. At the very least, there is a new opening being created. A place where I can question my limitations.
I love love love this.
This afternoon, I am going to see if I can learn to do the maintenance on my ATV :)
SCARED OF THE SACRED