Sunday, October 8, 2017

Whoa, wait a minute

Our weekend actually began Wednesday morning.

That's when we hopped in the Volvo to run an errand in Winston-Salem, but when I pressed the ignition button, the car battery said, "Whoa, wait a minute. Not so fast."

Back in the day, (say, 1966) changing out a car battery wasn't much of an issue for me. But now, with cars resembling something close to computers on wheels, it's a different story (see here. Simple, right?), we opted to have the car towed to the dealership, where the battery was replaced (for a nifty fee). Easy peasy.

OK, OK. So we got that issue out of the way. On to Phase 2, which was a relaxing trip to the beach for two days.

I did say relaxing, right? When we got to the place where we were staying, the first thing we noticed was that it was rather warm. Like 90 degrees warm in the house. So I turned on the air.

"Whoa, wait a minute. Not so fast," said the thermostat. No air. Nada. Not even a hum from the heat pump.

We called our reliable beach handyman, who was on another job. He told me to check the connector box to see if the switches had tripped. I had no clue what he was talking about, but I found the box, reset the switches, turned on the electricity to the house once again, and presto! Air. That was close.

So I went to the kitchen to wash my hands and noticed we had no hot water. Cold water, yes. Hot water, no. Hmm.

Meanwhile, Kim wanted to go to the laundry room to check on the new washing machine that had been installed after the last one was ruined by flooding from Hurricane Matthew. We opened the laundry room door and instantly heard water running. There, in the corner, one of the feeder lines to the washing machine was gushing water, and probably had been for about an hour or so. I tried to shut it off, but the grip was already rusted in the on position. So I shut off the main water valve to the house.

We called the handyman again. He said he'd be there as soon as he could, maybe within an hour.

Meanwhile, we decided to go to the laundromat to take care of a few items. When we got there, only two other people were inside. One of them was leaving, holding a paper towel over his nose.

"What happened?" I asked the other patron. He said the guy that left told him he'd recently had nasal surgery and suddenly, it had all gone wrong. There was a trail of blood drops heading out the door. The other end of the trail led to the unisex restroom (remember, we're in South Carolina, which was once said to be too small to be a republic, but too big to be an asylum). Kim peeked her head in the doorway.

Whoa, wait a minute...

"It looks like somebody's been murdered in there," said Kim. "There's blood everywhere."

We couldn't wash our stuff fast enough. About an hour later, we were done. We headed back to the house and, fortunately, the handyman was already there.

The good news, he said, is that he put a new seal on the line leading to the washing machine. The bad news is that we needed a new water heater, because the heater we bought three years ago had been ruined by Matthew. He'd install a new one tomorrow.

Look, I'm not really complaining. Not after Las Vegas. Not after Hurricanes H through N. But life goes on. Our disasters are relative to the moment, big or small. We simply carry on. There's no choice.

Even if it's our 37th wedding anniversary...

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