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When it rains, it pours

At gymnastics on Wednesday night, people’s cell phones kept exploding with flood warnings. As if we didn’t know – the gym is in a huge warehouse with a metal roof and when it is monsooning, you can’t even talk to the person sitting next to you or tell Amelia to STOP HANGING OVER THAT WALL RIGHT NOW, the thundering rain is so loud. It’s a lovely feeling, scary and safe all at once. I love the rain.

But we’ve had too much, and roads have been flooding and I’m so so glad we waterproofed our basement two years ago even though it’s part of our up-to-our-eyeballs-in-debt debt. In a brief reprieve yesterday, I tried to mow the lawn, but the grass is so thick and wet that the mower kept stalling out and eventually I just stopped. I’ll try again today.

Metaphorically, we are also in flood warnings. We have lived in our house for six years now, and everything is breaking. Maybe it’s planned obsolescence, maybe we are hard on our appliances. Maybe it’s sending me into a panic.

This summer, our push lawnmower broke. That thing has earned a retirement, as we didn’t have a riding lawnmower for the first few years here, and we have an acre of thick, constantly wet grass. But who cares about what it has earned, we can’t get a new one right now and we can’t not have one. My neighbor, who is super handy, took a listen and said it was probably done for. My husband took it apart, down to the screws, and put it back together. It was not fixable. My other neighbor, who is even handier, took a look. And fixed it. Oh hallelujah.

Our dishwasher broke. Our dishwasher is crappy and I hate it. For whatever reason, the people before us put in a portable one, which means we have to hook it up to the sink every time we use it; this pulls on the faucet, causing a leak. When it dies, we have agreed to get a permanent one – but that involves a lot more than just swapping a new one in because it’s a totally different type. My husband mentioned getting new countertops at the same time, which is a hard no from me – but we are going to have to figure out what we can manage because it doesn’t make sense to cut out new pieces of counter for this new sized dishwasher. I wonder if we can’t use plywood. This is a hard no from my husband. Thankfully, my husband pulled it from the wall, took it apart, fixed it, and put it back together.

I’ve taken the vacuum cleaner apart at least ten times in the last year, so at least I’m getting fast at that.

I worry that we are at this stage in so many appliances’ lives – grateful that we have been able to fix them, but that other shoe is hovering just inches above the floor, ready to drop. If we can make it one more year, we will have so much more room in the budget to take care of big surprise expenses.

On Thursday, as the rain hammered against the windows, the blender broke, the motor burned up just as Viv was practicing making smoothies, and ten minutes later, I went to check the laundry and the washer had stopped, and the basement, too, smelled of burning motor. The dual burn-ups is a coincidence, both have been threatening to go for months (truthfully, the washer has been threatening for years). Neither is fixable.

A $30 blender isn’t going to break the bank, although it’s not a part of the budget (do we need it? Well, given how often we make smoothies, and how strongly I feel that kids need vitamins and the only solid food they seem to accept from me comes in the form of chicken nuggets, I consider it pretty important). But a washer?

Lowe’s has a 12-month no interest thing for the washer. A new one will presumably save us on our utility bills. We can fold this into our already massive no-interest payments plan. There are rebates available because it will save on electricity and water use. It’s “on sale” (aren’t they always?). We can make it work. We have to, because we have six people living here, at least four of whom (I count myself among them) spill ketchup on themselves every few hours.

But gaaaaaaah I need the rain to stop.

8 thoughts on “When it rains, it pours”

  1. We actually have a retired neighbor whose hobby / side hustle is actually to repair lawnmowers, so when ours finally died and couldn’t be fixed we bought one from him.

    And I hear you on the house stuff – we’re eight years in and things are definitely more expensive than they were the first couple of years.

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  2. Oof, that’s a nasty confluence of dying appliances! I’ve definitely had periods of time when it felt like everything was breaking at once. Or the time I finally broke down and bought a new dishwasher (the old one’s prongs had been rusting and snapping off for a while). Three days later, the water heater died. Or the month when we had to have the plumber out three different times for three different issues.

    I hope it stops pouring for you soon! (And I agree that a washer is a must, especially in a household that size. And especially if your clothes attract that much ketchup!)

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  3. I don’t know about your area, but over here people often put relatively new washers and dryers on Craigslist for very cheap (sometimes even free) when they buy a new set in an effort to get house ready for sale. It’s worth checking it out.

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    1. That is definitely worth checking out – I have to admit, when we were looking at them, we considered buying the set because that’s something my husband cares about (I do not), and we would have sold the dryer for cheap.

      But we fixed it! So all is well.

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