On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Published in the Rains County Leader on September 28, 2021:

In March of 2020 I wrote a column titled The Brendles Unplugged about a weekend when both our Wi-Fi and our clothes dryer went down for an eight count. Thankfully, my resident handyman knew what to do, and after a short wait for parts to arrive, he fixed both issues and had us up and running in short order. His repairs were faultless, and everything was working smoothly – until last week. David had been working outside and came in to take a shower.

“There aren’t any towels,” he yelled from the bathroom. “Should I grab one out of the linen cabinet?”

I was on the computer as usual, so I yelled back. “The new ones are in the dryer. Use one of those.”

“These are still damp.”

“Then I guess you’ll have to get one out of the linen cabinet.” We sometimes have deep discussions.

I reached a stopping point, so I went into the laundry room and set the dryer for a short cycle. When I went back later to empty the dryer, the towels were still wet, and déjà vu bells went off in my head. I turned the dryer on again, and when I opened the door a few minutes later, my suspicions were confirmed. No heat. I told David, and he shifted easily into handyman mode.

“I’ll order the part. That dryer is over 16 years old now. The next time it does this, we’ll probably just replace it.” Of course, that was before he checked prices on a new one.

In accordance with Murphy’s Laws, dryers never stop working when you have a small load of underwear that can be hung on a 16-pin octopus clothes hanger. It always happens when you have an extra large load of wet towels. By Friday, I still hadn’t made it to the laundromat – and we haven’t added a clothes line since the last time this happened –so the towels were still damp and beginning to smell a bit musty. In true Beverly Hillbillies style, I hung them over the porch railing and resolved to rewash them once the dryer was fixed.

Saturday morning I was sitting on the porch studying the next lesson for our Women’s Bible Study when Connie called. She knew we were considering buying a freezer, so she wanted to let me know about a good deal she found at a garage sale. The short version is that we now have a small freezer sitting on the back porch filled with our tenant’s food. That version might be a little too short, so I’ll add a few details.

Our laundry room features a small nook that is intended for a freezer, but that space is currently filled with a 7-foot shelf unit that is being used for pantry space. There’s space in the small bedroom where the shelf unit would fit, but a Schwinn 815 Foldable Treadmill is in it right now. I was planning to give it to a friend, but her husband said it was too heavy to carry upstairs, so she joined a gym instead. But if I fold the treadmill and move my book inventory and pictures that have been waiting ten years for me to decide where to hang them, there’s room for the shelves.

Before we move the shelf unit, however, it needs to be unloaded to avoid scattering canned goods and jars of garden produce across the kitchen and living room floors. At this writing, the contents of the top half of the unit are packed in boxes and/or lined up neatly on the dining table and the kitchen island. The bottom half is still full of tools and half-full paint cans waiting for us to get around to organizing the shed.

So, I think that explains why the freezer is on the porch, but what about the friend’s food in it? First, let me explain that the friend in question is currently renting our RV. Saturday night David and I went to the American Legion for dinner, and when we arrived home, our friend asked David to come look at the refrigerator because it was beeping. We had trouble with this fridge a few months back and thought the problem was taken care of. Apparently not, and the issue is too complex for David’s skills, so we plan to call the repairman to come back as soon as the weekend is over.

That’s my explanation of why I have a basket of semi-clean towels on top of the washer; an overflowing laundry hamper; a folded treadmill in a bedroom; boxes of books and pictures lining the hallway; cans, jars, and boxes of food covering most available surfaces in the kitchen; a large, half-empty shelf unit in the laundry room; and a freezer full of a neighbor’s food on the back porch. We lived through something similar eighteen months ago, so we’ll make it through this with flying colors. However, two weeks after the 2020 post, I wrote about the COVID shutdown. I pray we don’t have to go through that again.



Kitty’s Story

Fallen Angel Salvage

Tatia’s Tattoo

Mom’s Long Goodbye

A Long and Winding Road

Comments on: "Appliance chaos | by Linda Brendle" (2)

  1. This sounds complicated. Can the raccoons open the small freezer?

    • It was complicated. I never thought about the raccoons, but they didn’t seem to get into it the one night they were out there. We did an amazing amount of work Monday, and got it into the house. We could hardly move Tuesday morning, but it was inside and working.

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