Lesser Evils: Lessons from the Universe

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Passion to the Third Degree .

It’s been a series of coincidences that just kept me from having to have major, major repairs to the house. At least several thousand after insurance, if insurance covered any of it at all. The coincidences make it almost pleasant when I think of what could have been. I do believe my angels were extra busy last night.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

I’m really glad I went ahead last November and had all the Pergo flooring ripped up and replaced with beautiful tile. If I hadn’t, I’d be crowbarring it all up right now for certain.

Because the seal on the toilet in the little “powder room” bathroom broke and all the Pergo in that room had to be replaced and my allergies went into overtime because of it, I learned that most insurance companies will laugh at you if you put Pergo particle-board floating flooring in any place where there’s running water…which would be the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. In other words, everywhere we had Pergo in the house. Insurance companies will laugh at you because they won’t pay it since it’s an accident just waiting to happen.

So I had all the Pergo replaced with tile I loved. I said at the time to the girls that it would just be so easy for the washing machine to overflow and the Pergo have to come up then and in a massively uglier mess than when dry. I didn’t mention the dishwasher or the sink or another toilet. Nope. Just the washing machine.

So last night about 11:30, the washing machine exploded, dumping ankle-deep water in the laundry room, kitchen, pantry, through the garage door and down the driveway. It could have been so much worse.

Let’s just say that this catastrophe was “well contained.”

I had finished the laundry for the weekend but knew a load of sheets would be done the next day when I wasn’t home…this could have happened then.

After Shannon got home from work, we readied for a long walk when Aislinn discovered several loads of dirty clothes in her room and dragged them to the laundry area to dump out. It’s probably a good thing there were so many dirty clothes on the floor because they soaked up much of it and corralled some of the deepest water, preventing and slowing its spread.

Aislinn started the offending load of laundry as Shannon and I were walking out the door. Normally, it would have been an hour-long power walk but Shannon’s back was hurting after standing all day, so we cut it to 20 minutes. If we’d done our full hour, we would have had serious repairs.

Aislinn and I gave poor Shannon an intense back massage on the floor in the hallway of all places, near the kitchen. Doing this kept Aislinn up longer than usual or she wouldn’t have found the beginnings of the disaster.

The puppy started whining like crazy, enough to get Aislinn’s attention, or we wouldn’t have found the problem before it became a huge problem.

Both girls and I were up and were able to stop the water’s flow, get the fans aimed at the floor, and get things dried out. The washing machine is still under an extended warranty insurance plan I’d been strong-armed into last October when an overflow valve got stopped up. The repairman felt bad at the time about charging me $160 or so for a 5-minute job that Sears knew was a 5-minute job when they told me I could buy the extended insurance or pay even more for the repair. The repairman groused about this practice and did a few non-required maintenance extras for the washer. So I’m getting to use that insurance after all. Hmmmm.

As it is, it’s a bit of a mess in the kitchen right now but tons better today. We threw out a few things in the pantry, but Aislinn had recently moved things around so very little got wet. We might have lost a lot of food otherwise.

If the events of the evening had occurred any other way—if Aislinn hadn’t forgotten her dirty clothes or Shannon had been up for a longer walk or I had gone to bed when I’d originally planned to—if any of the annoyances had not happened, then it would have been so much worse.

How much worse? Well, if we’d discovered the problem no more than 10 minutes later, the water would have crossed the tile and into the family room and dining/living room area as well as into the office. It would have meant tearing out at least 2000 square feet of carpet. It would have meant damage to furniture in at least 3 main rooms, as well as the office furniture and destroying at least 3 computers and a project we’d spread on the office floor to put in the right order.

So it’s a big inconvenience that’s costing me a couple of days at the office when I’m really needed there, but it’s also a lesson from the Universe. We may not like the little evils have to deal with and may not understand why things get thrown in our paths.

And sometimes, we just may understand exactly why the lesser evils have to happen.


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