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The best $10.25 I have ever spent

This week has been very…loud. And messy. All that loud and all that mess has made me a little grouchy.

Oh, how far should I back up? It’s been such a long ordeal.

So about 2 weeks ago – right before my wonderful trip to Austin – I was in the shower late one night when Michael announces that water is pouring out of our washing machine. I had been doing laundry all day, and we were on our last load when the water drains onto the floor instead of into the hose that leads it outside our home where it can return to its own home in the great blue sea.

Water does not belong on the floor of someone else’s home. It needs to go back where it came from.

We were up way past midnight cleaning up water from the utility room, the bathroom, the hallway, the family room, and our master bedroom closet – because water sees a wall and has no fear. It goes under the wall to the other side of the house.

After removing all the books and knick-knacks from a very large bookshelf in order to move that bookshelf in order to pull up the wet carpet, we then had to dig the sopping wet padding off the concrete slab with our fingernails because apparently whoever laid our carpet decided that pouring glue onto the slab was a really good idea at the time.

And, oh yes, it was midnight.

God bless the Shop Vac.

Twenty-four hours later, the carpet was dry, the padding was in the trash, and my house was a mess.

Grouchiness enters.

We put off calling anyone to repair the carpet before we knew that the washing machine was not going to pull a repeat performance. We ran the rinse cycle again and – wouldntcha know it – it was fine. So I washed all of our laundry the next week and, again, nothing. So we’re thinking, ok – problem solved.

Jump ahead to this week. I finally call The Carpet Guy, and he comes out to give me an estimate. I was expecting a few hundred dollars, tops – if it were really bad.

Oh, fates – what humor you bestow.

I need to disinfect the concrete, the top of the carpet, the bottom of the carpet, he says.

OK, I think. I’m all for killing germs.

It’s going to be soaked, so I’ll need to bring in three fans and a dehumidifier, he says.

Really? Well, all right. I guess the carpet needs to be dried properly.

Then I need to seal the concrete and the carpet, replace the padding, and then clean the carpet.

Um. OK?

That will be $730.

Holy crap.

I’m sure I got taken for a ride, but really – what are you going to do? I have stinky, moldy carpet and no padding. Fine, whatever. Just do it.

So for the last two days, we have been yelling over the cacophony of three very large, very expensive “air movers” and one very large, very loud, very expensive dehumidifier. The noise is deafening.

Oh, and he said to stay out of the family room because the disinfectant blowing around in the air could make us sick.

Great.

For the first day, I swear my mouth felt like it had been sprayed with Lysol.

I don’t even want to think about that.

So this morning, The Carpet Guy is back. The fans are unplugged (I think I can hear crickets chirping), and he is in the process of finishing the job and cleaning the carpet so more lovely toxic chemicals can circulate throughout my lovely home.

I was supposed to do laundry yesterday, but the fans were blocking the utility room, and I was not so confident in the reliability of my miraculously healed washing machine after shelling out over $700 for carpet repair.

I decided to call The Washing Machine Guy. He can’t get here til Monday.

I know. I should have called Washing Machine Guy before calling Carpet Guy. 20/20 hindsight and all that.

Where was I? Oh yes. Laundry Day. So I’m mentally calculating how many pairs of underwear everyone has and if we can indeed skip Laundry Day and still have clean clothes to wear when I remember a beautiful, retro-ish kind of idea that my friend Lara experienced when her washing machine broke last summer.

A laundromat.

I decided to give it a whirl. Ahem. No pun intended.

I grabbed my quarters, my books, and my laundry detergent, along with my four baskets of dirty clothes, and headed north to the nearest coin-operated, industrial strength washing machines, grabbing a decaf iced Funky Monkey coffee drink on the way.

Lara told me that there was a trend several years ago in upscale, plush laundromats with coffee bars and comfy chairs. This is not one of those places. No air conditioning; wooden benches, concrete floors.

But there were seven empty washing machines waiting for my dirty clothes. I’m choosing not to think about the cleanliness aspect of such a place. They’re washing machines, right? Soap and water cycles through them, so how bad can it be?

That’s what I’m choosing to focus on.

After a week of unbearably loud fans, whiny kids, and oh yes, hormones (of course there were hormones. When else would there be hormones?) – I needed to escape and recharge. And do my laundry.

I sat and finished one book, then started another. (I’m seriously avoiding this book, which several friends have insisted I read – and I will. Later. I’m just putting off the child abduction/murder thing and postponing the inevitable nightmares.) I sat for an hour reading and listening to the beautiful hum of washing machines and dryers simultaneously clean and dry my clothes. At one point, the seven washing machines I had employed reached their final spin cycles, one after the other, in this grand crescendo of hums and rattles, as if to put an exclamation point on all that was being so quickly and gloriously accomplished.

One hour. Seven loads of laundry in one hour.

One hour of simultaneous solitude and productivity.

I did rush home (and naturally hit every single red light between the laundromat and my house) and ran inside just in time to see Allison’s AI montage. Sweet relief…though I would have been even happier to see Adam’s exit.

Nonetheless. It was a good night.

The end.

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5 thoughts on “The best $10.25 I have ever spent

  1. 1. You fell for the old sealed concrete trick. Sorry.2. Do NOT read the Shack (http://www.worshiptrench.com/?p=966) as the author denies a substitutionary atonement (you can hear in his own words). I can give you much better inspirational stuff to read like Tozer’s The Pursuit of God or if you want a novel, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.3. As usual, great writing.4. I am praying your washing machine stays in broke mode until you see a soul harvest in the laundromat. You could start a church plant there.5. I am always nervous commenting on your blog for fear of the virtual red pen.HAHAHAHAHA!

  2. Ah, Jordan. I knew my mention of The Shack would bring you out. I remember reading your FB thread last month, and my eyes quickly glazed over from all the seminary words. Serious case of Mommy Brain going on, which made me seriously reconsider the idea I have about going to grad school. But I will check out Tozer or Bunyan. I’ll probably read The Shack anyway with an awareness of theological incongruity (that’s the best I can do at intelligent-sounding seminary words!)Otherwise, I may stand on my sealed concrete and stab myself in the eyeball with a red pen. Maybe the good folks at the laundromat will take up a love offering for me.

  3. Ahhh, the joys of home ownership. That happened to us, too, only it was the FIRST week we moved into our new house. I thought I was gonna go NUTS after all the fans, and replacing the hardwood floors not once, but twice. This is why home ownership is not for the faint of heart…or pocketbook.Glad the fans are off. I was seriously going insane yelling over them!Read the shack and really enjoyed it. I took it for what it was- not trying to glean my belief system from it, but taking it as one man’s interpretation of his faith. It really gave me a perspective of God that stuck with me.

  4. Hi Jennifer, By Michael’s recommendation tonite, I finally made my first visit to your blog. Great to experience the wit and humor of your writing more than just once a year at Christmas! Have a great Mother’s Day.

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