Tag Archives: autism thoughts on greed

Autism: Sensing a Theme

A couple of days after my dishwasher went, the oven in my stove stopped working. A day after that, I realized one of the front burners on my stove wasn’t working. I am sensing a theme here… computer, dishwasher, oven, range… what will be next?


I am actually doing pretty well with the dishes. I mean, I have to really push myself to do them (that got old fast!) that is more due to my health issues and the overwhelming sense of exhaustion I have been feeling these days, but it only takes about 10 minutes after each meal, and I love how clean the kitchen is after. We didn’t often get that with the dishwasher for we had to wait for it to fill, and not all of the large dishes could fit in at once – meaning that most of the time, there were dirty dishes in the sink.

Well, dishes were my son’s job, but he can’t seem to get them clean washing by hand. So I do them, and he puts them away after a while, and the kitchen stays clean! Besides, on his own he offered to clean the basement (his ‘suite’) and has been doing it every week for at least a month. It may not have the frequency of the dishes, but it leaves me with only one floor to clean, and cuts down on how overwhelmed I feel with the size of our house. It is a good thing.

For the computer, I did a system restore back to about October 22nd. Not that I really understood what I was doing! My son suggested I do a virus scan, and told me it would be easy. I looked for that, but found the restore – with a note on it that said “try this first.” Okay. Feeling as if I was doing something I shouldn’t even consider, I clicked the button, and hoped it wouldn’t cause trouble. My computer hasn’t frozen up since, and it has been four days (considering it was freezing up something like 5 times an hour, this is a good sign.)

I am not sure how I feel about the computer thing. I had so much free time without it – but then I haven’t had any energy, and likely would have just spent these days watching Netflix anyway.

The oven, though. I guess that is something that will have to be replace. I do have a Nuwave infrared oven that I ‘won’ at a silent auction at the thrift store. I haven’t used it much as the timing is different, and things don’t seem to get as crispy – for things such as pizza, this can be an issue. Still I know it works – or at least it did the last time I tried it – so I guess we will use that for a while.

As for the burner… often I find that even having four burners isn’t enough – potatoes, gravy, corn, vegetables, and where do I make the stuffing? Since we don’t have an oven, however, I don’t imagine we will be making a lot of large meals, and three burners will have to be enough.

Considering that ovens, like fridges, dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers are no longer made to last, I hate the thought of buying another. Besides, they aren’t cheap. Once again I am frustrated by the greed of some people. My desire is that when I have to make these purchases, I would buy them once with the expectation that they would last the rest of my life. The idea that they might only last for five years not only doesn’t fit within my view of how things should be, but is beyond what I can accept.

So we will wait for a decent stove to come in to the thrift store. We will pay something like $25-$50 for it, depending on the condition, and we will hope that it will do for a few years.

Meanwhile, my head whirls trying to come up with an acceptable solution. I wonder if I could build a cob stove, or a rocket stove, or… There has to be something better than this.


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Autism: Breaking the Dependence

Maybe my desire to live a simple life is being met in ways I never considered. My computer is dying; therefore I am spending more of my time writing on paper, reading books, and doing crafts like making my dog a sweater from the sleeve of an old knit shirt: forgotten skills.


Out of necessity, I rented my first computer for college in 1999. I never wanted a computer; didn’t like them; didn’t trust them. Most importantly I hated the way they made me feel (drained, dull, and trapped.) While my son, who had just turned three at the time, seemed to have been born for computers, that was not the case with me.

When did it change then that a necessary evil, which I used to serve a specific purpose, was suddenly something I depended on for constant entertainment? When did a machine I didn’t even want become something I couldn’t live without?

As I scream in frustration while my computer freezes up for the fifth time in about an hour, I contemplate the question: What do I need it for anyway? I know that for my son, his computer is his connection to a confusing world. I think that in my case, I would live better without it. We do have a library after all, and unlike most public spaces, I enjoy spending time in there.

Then, two days ago as I was standing in the kitchen making my lunch, I heard the sound of pouring water. I turned to my left to find the dishwasher spraying water all over the now flooded floor. As I mopped it up, I again thought, “Do I really need this?”

So I cleaned the floor, and I washed the dishes by hand, and set them back in the dishwasher to dry. My hands hurt after because putting them in water makes them sting – but the kitchen was clean, and I felt really good about that.

The next day I went into town and bought myself a couple pairs of good rubber gloves. We had the repair person in (at my husband’s request) but since the seal was gone, he was unable to fix it. When I was a kid, appliances were built to last 20+ years. I am told that these days, we are lucky to have them last for 5. That makes me angry, for it isn’t about whether they can make them to last so long, but about whether they choose to – and out of greed, they don’t. It makes me angry because I save for 5-10 years, using thrift store appliances that don’t work great, trying to get enough to buy new only to find they die shortly after.

In that case, I don’t think I need a dishwasher. A good pair of rubber gloves, and a few minutes of my time, and the result is a simple solution that calms my senses. That is what I need!

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Posted by on November 28, 2016 in Experiences of an Autistic


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