(This post was written almost three months ago. We now have made it through the worst of it with no major tragedy attached. This is good and reassures me that sometimes a string of bad luck is just a string of bad luck. I thought I would post it to reassure you, too, even though you are likely not worrying about this at the moment. Now you know, just in case you ever do wonder. You're welcome.)
My mom (whilst she was sitting in a condo in Ketchikan overlooking a harbor on a beautiful afternoon) said to me (whilst I was sitting on my unmade bed looking at my unputaway laundry looking at a refinery. Also lots of dust) that it would be good for posterity to write down a list of all the things that have gone wrong in my life in the last month or so. I said to her that the first time I wrote a list like that, Brent died two days later, so I feel a little jinxed. Also, a little fearful, because I honestly haven't had the same kind of string of bad luck since that summer.
But to heck with fear. Maybe this list-making business will help me put things into perspective. You will see my attempts to find silver linings attached.
5 1/2 weeks ago, the inner glass door of my LG washing machine shattered. Spontaneously. Overnight. While it was empty, with the door slightly ajar (to avoid that nasty mold-and-mildew smell these front loaders have, dontcha know?) (Silver lining: I figured out how to rock the laundromat. Also, my friends Emily and Stacey (and Holly, too!) opened their homes to me and my laundry in my hour of need. I also learned I like Emily's Arm and Hammer laundry detergent and it is pretty cheap.)
LG has taken their own sweet time trying to not deal with my washing machine with its explosive glass. Right now we are in "We want proof of purchase" "I have no proof of purchase" "Well, find proof of purchase" "What, the model and serial number I sent you pictures of are not enough?" limbo land. (Major silver liner: A nameless but beloved person gave us money to buy a new washer this week. I bought one for not too much more than the estimated repair cost of the WasherILoveToHate. It comes in a couple of hours.(!) (I'm like a kid on Christmas morning. Washing clothes in my own house now feels like an enormous luxury.) (Three week later update: LG finally decided they would fix my washing machine. AFTER we bought the new one. Still trying to figure out what to do with this whole situation.) (Three month later update: The washer is still not fixed. Still waiting on parts, maybe? Who knows...)
Our outside freezer is leaking. Which is still a sight less painful than the results of the night a couple of weeks ago that someone put ice cream back but didn't shut the door all the way. (SL: I got to clean out my freezer!)
Broken sprinkles broken pipes broken sprinklers broken pipes and then a couple of different power outages resulted in a reset sprinkler system which then resulted in a few days of hours and hours and hours per cycle (like 5 and 6 hr cycles PER STATION, ohmergosh.) Until we figured it out. I'm not sure, but we may outdo our previous water bill record of over $600. (SL: I'm going to go with figuring out that we were watering for hours and hours within days, not weeks.)
The charger for my SLR has been missing for 6 weeks. (Silver liner: Smartphone cameras are better than they used to be. Well, Sophie's is, even if mine isn't.) (Three month later update: FOUND IT!)
Our built-in microwave broke. (Silver liner: We had an old one downstairs that now lives on our counter, and it heats things up, even if the latch falls off almost every time we use it!)
Someone knocked a container of Hershey's Syrup off of the top shelf of the fridge. It broke the light-turner-offer thing and makes the door-open-alarm go off all the time. (SL: I pulled a MacGyver and taped a button onto the latch thingie with blue painter's tape. So totally smart and handyman of me. And yes. It looks totally cheap and white trash.)
Our sweet 11 year old van started to stall a lot earlier this year. A. Lot. Our attempts at a cheap fix for said van did no good except for parting us with just under $200. We just have gotten pretty good at revving it up on the restart(s) and getting her where she needs to go. (SL: It still gets us there.)
And then the air conditioning went out in the car on Friday. Totally out. Kaput. Nothing like no air conditioning in a 100+ heat wave in July. (SL: ummmmmmm...it made me grateful for the air conditioning in my house? And then the week before our trip to Spokane, we finagled the $350 it took to fix it. So that's great.)
One of our cute little Adirondack chairs broke under the weight of a 13 year old yesterday. Sigh. (SL: Maybe they'll let us return it since it just randomly broke?) (Three month later update: YES! They did!)
Our tithing check put us in overdraft. Again. (SL: ummmmmmmm...it makes people laugh? And I had people who owed me money that I could beg to pay me so I could try to cover it? That's just embarrassing, though, so maybe it doesn't count.)
Josh's bike has been in and out of the bike repair shop since late spring. He's only been able to ride it two or three times. (SL: More time for video games! Just kidding. Just that his brakes ended up being covered by warranty. Total blessing.)
He was thrilled to get it back yesterday (not really yesterday...remember, this was three months ago), the day of his first mountain bike team practice, after he generously took his time to take neighbors, friends, and sibs to get free Slurpees. And then he drove home. Into the garage. With the bike on the top. It broke his bike (including snapping the fork clean off and also smashing those brand new brakes that he had just had installed to fix the problem that had been plaguing it) the roof rack, both bike racks, dented the van and dented and scratched the stucco on our house. (SL: Free Slurpees! Also, David was a rock star and handled it like a dream dad. Lots of love and support and positive thinking. Bike is not fixed yet. Sad.)
So here's the thing. I don't know why things go wrong in a series like that. I just know that we weathered this particular Mercury in retrograde (it ended July 22! Hooray! Although I'm not into astrology in any way, I will admit a particular prejudice against Mercury in retrograde) without quite losing hope. Well, maybe we lost hope a little. But we're still breathing. And the tragedies that might have happened (including some scary water moments in the Provo River at our family reunion) didn't happen. And I am breathing a huge sigh of relief. Sometimes things go horribly wrong. And sometimes they just go stupidly wrong. I don't mind the stupidly wrong things as much anymore. I'm not saying I love them. But I'll tolerate them, especially when I compare them to what could have been but wasn't.