Southern Man

Thursday, July 06, 2006

In Hot Water

My schedule allowed for a lengthy break today, so my mother and I had arranged to meet for lunch at one of our favorite local diners. Much to my surprise and delight, my teenage daughter was with her (I do not get to see my children nearly enough) and the three of us had a lovely meal together.

Afterwards, we all decided to head over to my place to kill some time before their next errand and my return to work. Mom hadn't yet been to my new place, so I gave her the nickel tour while my daughter jumped on the trampoline (a gift for her birthday a few weeks ago) in the back yard. After a bit, it was time for all of us to get back on the road, but as we were just about to walk out the door it sounded like the washing machine turned on by itself. At least, that's what it sounded like; you know, the sound of water pouring into the drum that you hear when you start the wash cycle.

Now, I generally prefer for my major appliances to wait for some sort of manual input before doing their job, so I went over to the laundry room to investigate. However, when I opened the door I was greeted by a huge cloud of steam! No, my washer had not developed a mind of its own - the hot-water hose had split. Scalding hot water and steam were spraying everywhere and the water on the floor was already half an inch deep.

I tried to reach the spigot behind the washing machine to shut off the water. Unfortunately, the spray from the split hose was directly between me and my objective. Did I mention that the water was scalding hot? Yes, I believe that I did. Fortunately, there were a couple of bath towels in the dryer. I grabbed one, wrapped my arm, and managed to get the spigot closed.

Note to self: when there are two water spigots, the hot is on the left side. Shutting off the cold water had little effect and by now my laundry room was doing a pretty good impression of a Turkish bath. I grabbed another towel, re-wrapped my arm, and went for the correct spigot. This was a mistake; it was way too hot to touch and I had to beat a hasty retreat. I grabbed a t-shirt from the dryer, wrapped it around my hand, and once again forced my aching arm through the Spraying Curtain of Scalding Hot Agony. Thankfully, the third time was the charm.

By now my forearm was beet red and hurt like hell. My mother (a retired RN) made me hold it under cold water for a while "so it won't blister as much." Thanks, mom. She and my daughter left the house, which left me free to curse and scream for a while (just kidding, mom) and then mop up as much of the water as I could. By then I was half an hour behind schedule so I had to leave most of the mess behind and get back to work. Now, work is done, I'm updating my blog, and I'll pick up a new hose on the way home this evening.

There's a lesson to be learned here: when you go to the hardware store to buy washer hoses and are shocked at the price, don't call your dad and ask him to dig up some old ones from the back of his barn - just pay the money and buy the new hoses. Trust me on this one.

Today's adventure has also caused me to reflect on luck, both good and bad. I frequently have "good" bad luck - that is, I've noticed that unlucky things happen around me in such a way that the damage is minimal and I'm able to deal with the situation with relative ease. So my hot-water hose split without warning - that's bad luck. What are the chances that it would happen when I'm standing ten feet away instead of sitting at a desk ten miles away? I'm never home in the middle of the afternoon - but I was today. That's "good" bad luck, and I seem get a lot of it. Not every time, mind you, but more often than one would expect. It almost makes me think that Someone is watching over me.

May all of your bad luck be good and your good luck be great - and trust that Someone is always watching over you.


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