Friday, Paul returned home after being gone at a training for almost three weeks. THREE WEEKS PEOPLE!
Thankfully trips like this don't happen often and comparatively they are short lived to what some other military spouses have to go through. This trip was pretty special however as pretty much as soon as Paul left, things just started to go WRONG.
The day he left the tire light came on in my car. I've had some tire issues lately (two new tires and then I drove over a razorblade...) so the fact that another issue with a tire was happening was exhausting me to no end.
Now, I'm sure I could figure how to change a flat tire if I REALLY WANTED TO, but I just don't really want to. Like ever. So obviously I wasn't excited about a tire light being on. I was terrified that the tire was going to be flat every time I walked out to the car until I could get it to Costco for a check. Luckily I was able to get it fixed within a couple of days but then......
The ice in the refrigerator started to taste bad. It was subtle, but there was definitely a "taste". We changed the filter like a month ago, so I didn't think that was the problem. I googled the issue and the consensus was that I needed to take the filter out for a few days and then put it back in. It would result in the ice tasting like tap water, but this was the solution. I did this and the next day the refrigerator stopped making ice all together. I put the filter back in. Nothing. No water either. URG. Paul thinks he might be able to fix it but its bottled water and bags of ice until then. Could be worse, but still, it's annoying.
Two days later I am at the back door letting the dogs out and what do I see hiding in the screen door track?
Thank goodness Kyle unexpectedly came home almost right at that moment and he took care of that for me. I honestly had no idea what to do. Oy.
Then on Thursday, the day my good friends came into town for a weekend visit, I loaded up the washing machine to do a load and the thing fills up with water and then just stops. Nothing. Won't turn on. I mess with the outlet, hit the breaker...change the settings. NOTHING.
So now I have a washer full of water and clothes floating around. Great. I text Paul and we start troubleshooting. We both come to the conclusion from our searching that the lid switch is probably broken. The video on how to fix it looks slightly complicated and where am I supposed to find a lid switch for a Kenmore 80 series anyway?
Amazon of course.
So anyway, we hem and haw a bit about what to do...do we call someone out to come and fix it for who knows how much? Do we get the replacement and I try to fix it myself? What do I do with a washing machine full of water and clothes?
Why does Paul have to be gone right now?
So I take all the clothes out and squeeeeeeze them and put them in the dryer and proceed to scoop out all the water in the machine and empty it into the nearby sink. I find my pink tool set, (because somehow I couldn't find ANY of Paul's tools) I start taking the thing apart. Before you know it I have the entire front of the washing machine off and lifted over the sink.
I decide to fix it myself. I order the part and enjoy the weekend with my friends and Kyle heads to the laundromat to wash his work uniform.
Monday comes and the part arrives and I watch a YouTube video about four times while I'm replacing the part. I get it all done and get the front back on the machine and snap and screw everything back together, convinced I had done everything right. I hit the switch.
My spirit broke. I sat in the laundry room and sobbed for a good 5 minutes.
I texted Paul and told him that it didn't work and for some strange reason at that moment I decided to look at the outlet again. I had messed with the breaker and I thought maybe I had left it in the wrong position or something. I hit it and pulled the knob on the washer and it started WORKING!!!!!
I couldn't believe it. I was still a little weary and didn't believe it was actually fixed until I did an entire load of laundry, but you know what? I've been doing loads for the past two weeks with no issue.
I fixed that thing.
I texted Paul back and sent him a little video of the washer spinning. Later when he talked he told me how proud he was of me and how he bragged to the guys at training that his wife fixed the washing machine all by herself. It was killing him not to be here to take care of these things, but he was brimming with pride that I handled it.
This is the real stuff guys. Things go wrong. At all the wrong times. I didn't love the fact that Paul's work took him away from me during a time when a lot of stuff was malfunctioning. For better or worse. He wasn't there in person but he was in spirit. He listened while I cried and prayed for me and cheered for me when that laundry got done.
This is marriage.
And I love it.