*Or at least of the week
Never a dull moment ’round here.
As I first reported a couple weeks ago, we’re having some major dryer woes. Long story short: my dryer stopped drying things about two weeks ago (it still runs, though). It’s part of a washer/dryer combo unit that came with the house we bought nearly 10 years ago now … we knew it was only a matter of time. I called the Sears number on the side of the dryer and discovered it’s 15 years old. On Friday, the repairmen came and gave us the good news: he could fix it but it would cost $300.
We eventually decided it wasn’t worth sinking that much into it, so we ordered a new washer and dryer online, thanks to a nice partnership my husband’s company has with Whirlpool. I’m really excited for them to arrive (apparently washers and dryers are now very fancy) but they don’t get here until April 5.
That means I had to head back to my favorite place this weekend — the laundromat.
On Sunday afternoon, I loaded my four loads into the machines and headed to my car to make some calls. And because there were some weird dudes who were drinking beers out of the back of a truck and making a lot of comments about E’s ladybug hamper. Weirdos.
As I sat in the car talking, it started to rain. At first, it was a typical Florida thunderstorm. No biggie. But then it started raining harder. And harder. Then, the winds picked up. I hung up with my sister-in-law and just as I was considering running back into the laundromat to switch my clothes to the dryer, I heard a weird noise on the car. I suddenly realized it was hailing. Hard.
A moment later, my car started to shake back and forth, almost rocking. That’s when I called DadJovi panicking a little bit.
“What should I do?? Should I get out of my car??”
“No, stay where you are.”
“But I’m afraid the car is going to blow over or one of these trees is going to blow onto the car. Then again, I’m afraid if I run for it, I’m going to die inside that laundromat, and that’s pretty much the last place I want to die.”
I ended up staying put. As I sat in the car, I watched huge palm fronds flying down our neighborhood’s main street. And all I kept hearing in my brain was “It’s a twister! It’s a twister!” It didn’t help that E and I saw “Oz” the day before.
Probably within 10 minutes, the storm had passed.
But it was violent.
Just as it was about to end, I saw a big flash of sparks and heard a huge boom right in front of my car. So much for power at the laundromat.
After the worst had passed, I quickly ran toward the laundromat to confirm that yes, they’d lost power. They gave me their card with the number and told me to keep calling, but my clothes were trapped iside the machines. Besides, what was I going to do with four loads of soaking wet laundry and no dryer at home?
I got back into my car and started heading home. I’ve lived through three major hurricanes and several tropical storms since moving to Florida, and this was one of the worst storm aftermaths I’d ever seen. Every street was filled with branches and leaves.
Along the drive, I also some some downed trees.
As you can tell by the sky and barricade, I took this shot later in the day.
After driving carefully home, dodging big branches and sagging wires along the way, I finally turned onto to my street. As I neared my house, I noticed a fire truck outside our friend’s house a few doors down. I park my car and was going to head down to see if everything OK when I was stopped.
He at least informed me that everything was fine at their house but that I couldn’t go any further because those wires down in the street were live power lines.
I headed inside and found E. sitting in the dark watching a movie on her Kindle (THANK GOD it was fully charged) as DadJovi looked for storm news on his phone.
We then went outside for a little bit to swap stories with the neighbors. I’m not going to lie — it was kind of fun. There’s nothing like a natural disaster to bring neighbors together. I talked to new neighbors and talked to others that I hadn’t spoken with in years … probably since the last major storm knocked power out to our block.
When round 2 arrived, I headed back inside. E had already grown tired so we found something else to pass the time.
Yes, I recognize the irony of working on a “Wizard of Oz” puzzle in the wake of major storm and in the midst of tornado warnings.
She also never tired of the game of trying EVERY single light switch and appliance in the house to see if they were working. So, to see if “they’re out of power, too.”
“Mommy, do you know the fridge light isn’t working either! Or even the ceiling fan!”
Each new discovery brought excitement from her and a faked “no kidding” from me. How did Ma Ingalls survive with no power? Parenting is way harder in the dark.
After the rain passed again, the blue skies returned.
Since we still had no power, E. and I decided to go for a ride and see if we could liberate our laundry.
Sadly, this was the sight that greeted us.
We then decided to partake in that most beloved of all disaster past times — ogling the damage.
Sometimes, we even had to get out of the car to inspect the tremendous power of Mother Nature.
What, you don’t point your sparkly shoe toes when standing next to natural disaster damage? Well, that’s your problem.
Eventually we made our way home, hoping against hope our power was back on.
It wasn’t. But the caution tape had finally been taken down so that we could walk up the street to see our friends and get the scoop. I couldn’t believe what we saw.
Oh, so that’s why we don’t have power. We started harassing the cop because the power company still wasn’t there — more than three hours after the storm had blown through. They’d initially arrived to secure the live wires, but then left again. The cop told us, “This is going to be a major project. Major. They’re going to have to dig that old pole out of the ground, dig a new hole, then get a new pole up. I wouldn’t expect your power any time soon.”
As I stood around gossiping with the neighbors, E. made some new friends and played kickball. She now LOVES storm days. It’s amazing how no power brings people out to their yards.
It’s also amazing what you learn about your neighbors during a major weather event.
Ummmmm, OK. I think I was better off not knowing that these are the kinds of things my neighbors toss in the trash.
When it started to get dark, we headed home because I wanted to bathe E while it was still relatively light out. Thank goodness for our gas hot water heater.
Then, the most glorious of all miracles happened. At about 6:45 — the power came back on! You would have thought the Jovis won the lottery with the amount of hooping and hollering that ensued.
The power company still wasn’t outside, so that means we’re apparently on a different grid (which we thought from the beginning and couldn’t figure out why our power was even out to begin with. But I digress).
Our joy was shortlived.
We made mad dashes to charge depleted batteries on the Kindle, laptop and phones, and just as it was getting going, the lights would go out again. This went on for a couple hours. We eventually decided to go out to eat since the power couldn’t be counted on.
Oh, and my laundry was still trapped.
Finally, by about 8, everything stabilized and best of all for DadJovi, he was able to watch Duke’s late game at home.
On Monday morning, I arrived at the laundromat by 7:30, hoping to finish up my wash before work. Thankfully, their power was restored overnight.
I tried to pay them to finish it up (a service they offer) but they said since the process was halfway through, they couldn’t. WTF? Then I said, “Well, why don’t you rewash the clothes anyway because I’m sure they stink from sitting in the wet tubs for 15 hours.”
“No I can’t do that either. And besides, sweetie, they’re fine. You don’t need to rewash them.”
Then, the laundromat lady (who should be an SNL skit, by the way) and a customer ganged up on me and told me the clothes were fine.
“Sniff it. See, they’re fine.”
My sniff test indicated that they might not be so fresh but then I caved to the peer pressure and just threw them in the dryers.
Big mistake. Huge mistake.
When the clothes were done, I quickly threw them into the hampers, then tossed them in my front room.
Somehow I only ended up being about 15 minutes late to work.
When I got home Monday night, I started folding them and started getting some strange scents. I figured maybe it’s just me and my super-sensitive nose and even wore one of the freshly laundered shirts to bed.
Big mistake II.
I spent all night Monday night dreaming about bad scents. Seriously, the mildewy smell haunted me.
Then, on Tuesday morning, DadJovi pulled on one of his undershirt and immmediately ripped it off.
“Gross! This smells horrible. What’s wrong with this??”
And this is a man who never notices that the cat litter box is full.
So now, somehow this week, I have to take ALL FLIPPING FOUR LOADS OF LAUNDRY back to the laundromat and rewash all the shirts, towels, sheets and E’s 1,000 outfits.
Did I mention my dad arrives for his anual visit on Thursday and I’m working every day this week? Plus we’re babysitting one of E’s friends tonight.
Shoot me now.
Where’s my Red Cross help?
OK, fine, we were lucky to not have more damage and that no one was hurt. Blah, blah, blah. But I still want my $20 back from the laundromat.