That machine-hum, a whir of mechanical frustration, alerts me that all is not well with our garbage disposal. From my desk in my office off the kitchen, I pause as I hear my husband flipping the wall switch, turning the water on and off as the sound continues—and then doesn’t.
When we’d moved into this house, I acquainted myself with my first appliance of this type and decided that we’d use it infrequently. We compost, and anything that doesn’t work can go in our town “Yard and Food Waste” containers for weekly pick-up. However, after researching the environmental impact, we decided that we could use it sparingly and do…even more often than I want to admit.
This has been a bad two months for us in terms of dysfunctional material things: the dishwasher, the food processor, car tires, and the topper, last week, on the coldest night and day of the year, our furnace. It is with some resignation that I enter the kitchen, pretty sure that we’ll be retiring our relationship with this grinder of remains.
My husband has grabbed a bamboo skewer and is wrangling the assemblage blind, trying to cure whatever ails it. Seeing him occupied, I return to the computer and bring up YouTube. There are so many options when I search “garbage disposal not working,” but I go with “Video Joe Knows.” In a mere four minutes and 56 seconds he provides two courses of action for our own home repair. The first doesn’t work, but I’m holding out hope for the second, because…the tool he says we might find under the sink to unjam the jam, there are TWO of them. We are not the first people to wrestle with this disposal.
My husband says he’ll tackle it later; he has to take the car to replace the tires (see above). I clear out beneath the sink, lie prone on my back tool in hand, and do exactly what VideoJoe recommends: first, I unplug the disposal; then, I insert the tool gently and wiggle it until it engages; finally, I gently nudge the 3-inch arm back and forth until it moves freely.
Now, the test: I plug it in; stand up to turn on the water; flip the switch and, oh, music to my ears, the disposal growls to life, seeming to say, “Now where’s some brown romaine?”
Much ado about nothing here, but the greater point? Education is everywhere. Motivation is often a result of relevance. There is nothing like knowing, “I can do this.” This, I tell my teacher-self, is worth remembering!