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The Rain Came Tumbling Down

August 6, 2015

We were in that never-ending stretch of hot steamy weather known in Minnesota as July…  86 degrees with humidity to match.  Folks slept poorly;  tempers grew short.  Everything was sticky.  The smell of overheated, unwashed bodies permeated the air everywhere we went.

Jim and I were no exception.

This was the hottest, most miserable day of all.  It was also the day that Jimbo picked to move our extra fridge from the laundry room to the garage.

I gave birth to the idea of relocating the appliance some months ago, so I felt obligated to assist.  I did not feel a desire to help… I felt pure obligation.  I tried to fight it and failed miserably.  With a sigh of resignation, I dragged my hot, sticky, miserable body to the laundry room to report for duty.

Jim shinnied the beast away from the wall and I began sliding the laundry cupboard, one of those tall narrow cabinets with a small footprint and a fair amount of shelf space, into the spot vacated by the fridge.

It went smoothly for a second or two…  then the cupboard got hung up on something and refused to move another inch.  I looked down at our narrow bird’s eye maple flooring and saw the problem.  The floor was a bit uneven at the joint where two floorboards butted together, end to end.

“Dang it!  It’s stuck.”  I hissed as I gave cupboard the tiniest little shove.

WHOOSH!!!  The red water supply valve for the washing machine dropped to the floor with a clatter and a splash, propelled by a stream of hot water at full-power.

Had the refrigerator not run interference, the spare bed might have been forced to absorb gallons upon gallons of hot water.

Once the initial shock of the event passed, I ran to the basement to stem the flow of water as quickly as I could.  I slipped and slid through the pouring rain in my dungeon and made my way to the area beneath the laundry.  I stood on my tiptoes; my fingertips just grazed the valve but I couldn’t grip it strongly enough to make it turn…  so I did what came most naturally… I screamed, perhaps unintelligibly.  “ICAN”TSHUTITOFF!!  I.  CAN.  NOT.  SHUT.  IT.  OFF!!!

Then my inner four-star general commanded;  “GET.  DOWN.  HERE.  NOW!!!  RIGHT NOW!!!  HURRY!!!  FAST!!!  (I pride myself in my ability to stay cool in emergencies).

Jim’s size fifteen Reeboks thundered down the dingy gray stairs;  his right foot nearly lost purchase as he pivoted off the bottom step and barreled toward the rain room.

He, being a full foot taller than I, had no problem reaching the valve.  He gave it a quick, confident twist.  Soon the rain let up, turned to a drizzle, and then a mist, finally ceasing altogether, leaving steam laden air, reminiscent of a Finnish sauna, in its wake.  Just like upstairs in the laundry room, as we would soon learn.

We returned to the scene of the incident.  He grabbed the mop and I threw towels down to sop up the water, grumbling about having washed that very floor less than 24 hours earlier.

Once the floor was as dry as it was going to get, we returned to the task of moving the white beast.

Jim slid the thing across the floor and into the dining room where he secured it to his two-wheeled cart and proceeded to back out the door and on to the deck after bracing the screen door open.

“Okay, just give it a little nudge to get it over the threshold”, he directed.

I hesitated a bit, then complied and together we accomplished that step of the process smoothly.

The task was nearly finished, but not quite…

“Damn,  it’s stuck again,” Jim muttered as he forcefully tugged it toward himself.

I heard a popping noise and all movement ceased.  Jim exhaled with frustration, “What next?!”.  He reported that the latch on the storm door was now broken.

*Sigh.*  Small potatoes compared to broken water pipes.

We moved on with the task at hand.  The fridge was out of the house.  We needed to turn it ninety degrees clockwise and bring it down three steps to the sidewalk.  Then it would be clear sailing to the garage.

“What do you want me to do now?”  I asked.

Jim scratched his head.  “Well… go down the steps and help me lower this thing down to the sidewalk”.

I paused, reading the headline that flashed through my mind’s eye…

“Local Man Accidentally Drops Refrigerator On Wife”

I opted to assist verbally, from a safe distance.  “Ten inches to the edge… six inches, now two.  Okay, easy now…  one more step.  There.  You made it.  Good job, Jimbo!”

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5 Comments
  1. Margaret permalink

    You guys make a good, if comedic, team!

  2. Thanks, Margaret. Humor is a good thing.

  3. Diane Hyland permalink

    I can see the two of you in my mind’s eye. Wondetful😀

  4. Anna Schrock permalink

    Fantastic! Would love to sponsor your next book….

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