There is an old wives’ tale that states…
“Bad things always happen in threes.”
There is a not so old military wives’ tale that states…
“When your husband deploys, everything breaks!”
This past week has seen the combination of these two wives’ tales in my life.
It all started last Friday, the 15th of February. I woke up that morning feeling full of vim and vigor! After a full week of Emily’s presence and my subsequent neglect, the house was in desperate need of cleaning, and so I decided to hop to! I told Emily to occupy herself for a few hours while I cleaned and polished. I began by picking up around the house and getting everything in it’s proper place and then went down to the basement to bring up the vacuum.
(I have to pause here to tell you that my vacuum is a Dyson. It’s expensive, but awesome, and with no kids to occupy our lives a few gadgets are affordable. Throwing them away, however, is not affordable!)
I hauled the vacuum and the transformer upstairs and began the task of sucking up the enormous amount of hair my dog can leave lying about in a full week. I finished Emily’s room and then moved out into the hall. Suddenly the vacuum stopped working… It was on but wouldn’t stand up. A little concerned, I laid it down and tore into it. I finally decided that I needed to stop or I wouldn’t remember how to put it back together! I figured that a vacuum that wouldn’t stand up was annoying and inconvient but I would just live with it until Ryan came home. I started vacuuming again and it quickly became apparent that not standing up was not the only problem. The vacuum no longer had any suction from the foot. That would not do. So Emily and I loaded up and headed out. After a few hours of shopping around I bought the cheapest vacuum I could find… 75$ I love having such limited access, I must say!
We returned home, I built the vacuum, Emily went back to her book and off I went to vacuum… again. When I got to my room a few moments later I decided to go ahead and wash the sheets from my bed while I was cleaning. So I stripped the bed, carried all the bedding down to the basement, and started a load of laundry. I then went happily (well more like annoyed but at least the problem was solved) back to my vacuum and the book loaded onto my iPod.
About 30 minutes later a boom reverberated through the house. Emily and I both heard it but because I was vacuuming both of us dismissed it as a fancy. About 20 minutes after the boom I went downstairs to check on the laundry. As I turned the corner into the laundry room I felt my jaw drop open in horror. My washing machine had committed washerside. It had leapt off of the pedestal it stood on and managed to land almost six feet from it’s original position ripping the plug out of the wall along the way. There was water, soap, and fabric softener everywhere! I stood there for a moment in stunned silence and then started hollering for Emily!
(Oh how I wish I had taken a picture!)
She ran downstairs and gasped at the sight. After a few moments of shock we wrestled the extremely heavy washing machine (German washers are loaded full of concrete to keep exactly this from happening) back up onto the pedestal and started cleaning it all up. Once everything was mopped up and cleaned we started the washer to make sure it still worked. It did! Fabulous… so I put my laundry back in, shored up the foot so it wouldn’t rock any more, started the washer, and proceeded to watch it for about 20 minutes to make sure everything was fine. Emily went back to her book and I, back to my vacuum.
An hour later the power went out. After hours of trial and error we learned that we had lost the following; the washer and dryer, the upstairs hall light and plugs, all the plugs and lights in Emily’s room, the lights in the upstairs bathroom (the only bathroom with a shower), the dishwasher, the kitchen lights, half of the stove top (someone explain that to me please!), all of the plugs in the basement, all the outside lights, part of the basement light, all the power in the garage, which included the backup freezer! Eventually we discovered that what we had was a blown fuse.
In a German power box there is a redundant system. You have both fuses and breakers. There are three fuses in a German house and each fuse controls a section of your breakers. I know you’re thinking that a blown fuse isn’t that big of a deal right? Just replace it you say? Not possible. Check this out!
Yep, you’re seeing that correctly. It not only blew it melted the metal box! It also fused all the wires and ruined the whole part which had to be replaced.
So my first thought was to call CE (to whom the washer and dryer belong) but of course this all happened on a Friday afternoon… and Monday was President’s Day!!! Emily and I stuck out the weekend and then I took her to the airport on Tuesday morning… Then began my adventures in trying to put my house back together again.
CE finally came out on Wednesday morning to fix the washer and dryer. Of course the power was out so they replaced the fuse. When he put the fuse in the box it started hissing and spitting sparks! He left it in just long enough to check that they had fixed the washing machine then took it out and told me that I could not put it back in. That this problem could quite literally burn the house down. So I set about getting ahold of our landlord. She was not able to come out with an electrician until Friday evening. He came, he fixed it, and everything worked again!
Until I went downstairs to run a load of laundry.
The washing machine leaked like a sieve. I had had my suspicions about how well the CE guys had fixed it. They were only here for a few minutes. I had suspected that I was getting pat on the head but chose to believe the best of them… Big mistake as it was still broken and here I was on another Friday afternoon!
CE sent two different men yesterday. After 20 minutes of ACTUALLY looking at the machine they simply gave me a new one, bid me a nice afternoon, and that was that.
Everything is finally back to normal (knock on wood) ten days later.
So, long (and boring I’m sure) story short? These two old wives’ tales proved true for me. Do you think I should start eating more carrots? Stop popping my knuckles? Stop going out without a coat? Maybe stop eating pop rocks and soda together? Hmmmm?
Ah well… That is where I’ve been all week… How about you?
In other news… Today marks one month since Ryan left. I’m actually amazed at how quickly this month went by!
Off to do my grocery shopping and catch up on my laundry,
With that I bid you Auf Wiedersehen!