Friday, June 6, 2008

Season of Repair

Everyone experiences Seasons of Repair: those times in your life when everything you own seems to break at the same time, or one thing after another. We're in one right now. Remind me, please, that this is just a season, and it won't last forever.

Awhile ago, Mr. Peevie broke the key off in the ancient deadbolt lock of the basement door. It wasn't a huge deal--we hardly ever use that door, except when we need to empty the laundry room trash, or in the event of being trapped in the basement by a fire. Which hasn't happened. Yet. So we didn't bother to get it fixed.

Several weeks ago we started having trouble getting the key to turn in the ignition of the minivan. We felt proud of our ingenuity--in light of our pathetic lack of mechanical skills--when we figured out that the problem seemed only to occur when we used the remote to lock the doors and set the alarm. So we avoided using the remote, and reverted to the primitive hand method of locking and unlocking the doors.

The day before we were scheduled to go out of town, the key started acting all finicky again, even when we hadn't set the alarm remotely. The next morning I called our mechanic, Mike. "It doesn't have anything to do with the alarm system," he said confidently. "It's probably the lock cylinder."

Also, "I wouldn't drive it when it's having that problem," Mike warned. "Especially not out of town. You'll get stranded somewhere."

"Can you fix it?" I asked. Of course he was super-busy, and had about 40 cars ahead of us. "I don't know," he said. "Let me make some calls."

Three hours and a $300 lock cylinder later--and an hour before we were scheduled to leave on our road trip--Mike called. "The car's ready," he said. I felt he should be canonized. I'm looking into it.

The next car issue we have to deal with, now that Chicago has, as usual, hopped briefly over spring and zoomed into 85+ degree summer temperatures, is to fix the dang air conditioner in the van. Today the outside temps were registering over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and we were simmering in our own juices.

And last Friday, the clothes dryer stopped working. It was original equipment in the house when we moved in; it was probably 20 or 25 years old. But still. Timing is everything, and before we could accept delivery of a new dryer, we'd have to get the basement door lock fixed. Tuesday morning the locksmith came and replaced the ancient keyed deadbolt, which was a totally illegal fire hazard, anyway. Wallet, say goodbye to $168.

Saturday we bought a new dryer online--a cool one (and the fact that I'm calling a clothes dryer cool means that I am really, really old and about as uncool as a human being can be) that has a moisture sensor which shuts the dryer off when the clothes are dry. Smart! (BTW, thanks to Mr. BZ for all your dryer research!) It arrived on Tuesday afternoon, and promptly started earning its keep. I was secretly--well, until I wrote about it on my blog--excited about doing laundry that day.

So that's almost a cool grand in unbudgeted repair and replacement costs, plus whatever the ding-dang AC will run. I'm guessing it'll be another $300. That's usually what car repairs round out to.

Hmmmm. Somebody better dig up some new clients, mmmmmm?

2 comments:

JK spike said...

I'm in a season of repair, too! 9.5 years in the same home and BLAM -- freezer drips liquid all over floor, carbon monoxide sensor chirps & squeal incessantly and light fixture is dangling from tiny stretched springs from the 12-foot ceiling. Where's my handyman???

JK spike said...

I'm in a season of repair, too! 9.5 years in the same home and BLAM -- freezer drips liquid all over floor, carbon monoxide sensor chirps & squeals incessantly and light fixture is dangling from tiny stretched springs from the 12-foot ceiling. Where's my handyman???