Cleaning the Lent Trap

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Cleaning the Lent Trap

Today is the first day of Lent. I established in my last post that I’m not Catholic. I’m one of those silly girls who flips my hair off my shoulder and says breathlessly, “Hi. My name is Raine. I’m not overly religious, but I’m very spiritual” okay, except that, obviously my name isn’t “Raine”, but I think you get my point.

I pray, I feel close to God, I do everything in my power to be a good person, treat people as fairly and kindly as possible. Abide by the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments. In fact, I think above anything else that can be said about me, I think it might be agreed that I am kind, unless you are not kind to me or someone I love, but I think that’s most anybody.

We had a very fancy front-loading clothes dryer until recently. It was top of the line, had all the bells and whistles. It tumbled, it buzzed. It did everything except dry our clothes. If I washed even a small load of clothes, I would have to run them through three 90 minute cycles and would still end up with a load of considerably damp clothes.

We replaced heating elements, tried everything. Finally, our fancy dryer died. Flat out died. No bells, no whistles, just a hunk of metal and fried electronics. So, we got a new washer and dryer (the fancy washer that matched the fancy dryer had been limping along for years)

When the new set arrived, I excitedly (yes, excitedly) set to sorting clothes. I washed my first load and it was like the first load of laundry there ever was. Everything clean and fresh. I tossed it all in the dryer and ran the first cycle. The timer buzzed to indicate the completion of the cylcle and… Huh. Everything was still damp.

The first thing that crossed my mind was, “We got a dud!” Figure the odds, swapping one crappy dryer for another. My husband and I troubleshot and although we were faithful about cleaning the lint trap, we felt that might still be the root of our wash day woes.

We finally bought a duct cleaning contraption that cleaned the full length of the duct. Things were better, but still not right. My sweet husband, Tim got on the roof to clean the duct from the roof side and this is what we found

If you can’t tell what that is, it’s felt. Not lint. Felt. A one inch thick layer of dryer lint so compressed and mashed, it became felt. So much dryer lint had accumulated in the trap on the roof, there was no hope of any damp air escaping. We had essentially asphyxiated our poor dryer, and a similar fate would have befallen our shiny new dryer.

Looking at that lint, I realized that is how my mind feels most days. So full of mashed, compressed information my brain and spirit is suffocating. It takes me three times the effort to wade through the lint between my ears. Today is the first day I’ve cleaned my mental lint trap. When I got home, I practiced yoga, cooked dinner, cooked a dish for Tim’s potluck tomorrow, sorted though a mound of documents to shred and cleaned the kitchen. Over dinner, we talked about our day. It was a very nice beginning to this lint-free journey.

Over the next forty days I hope to share some projects and some accomplishments, some ideas as well as some thoughts. I’m also going to encourage you to clean your lint trap.


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