Friday, May 22, 2015

come to my window

Note: this post is best read with Melissa Etheridge's "Come to My Window" playing in the background. 

Just inside our kitchen door, the one we use as our main entry into the house, is a double closet that some previous owner had turned into a laundry closet.  It is nice to have the laundry in the room we spend most of our time in.  Because five dirt loving people create a good deal of laundry.  

But it is not nice to have no place to put the shoes, jackets, athletic gear, backpacks, and collections and everything else five people bring in and out of the house each day.  Or to have no place to sit to put on one's shoes.  And so, we decided to move the laundry upstairs to the kids' bathroom, which is quite large and had a perfect place for the machines.  This would also allow Jonathan and I to build a mud area in the space where the laundry is now.  

But first we needed new machines.  The washer sprays water onto the floor.  Consistently.  And sometimes also at the clothes.  Occasionally.  It would cost more to repair it than to replace it.  And with the new furnace using gas, we wanted to switch to a more fuel efficient gas dryer at the same time.  And so, arrangements were made.  Machines were ordered.  Workers came and went from the house for a week taking out a closet, installing the electrical, gas, plumbing and ductwork necessary for the the machines to have a new second floor home.  It was going very well.  We love our contractor and his crew so.

Jonathan and I actually did a dance in the kitchen together the day the appliances were due to arrive.   I had the three hour window of possible delivery time in the calendar.  We were getting a washing machine that worked!  We had even thrown in a new dishwasher since our old one had decided to kick the bucket the same week as the washer.  And our disposal had developed a large gash in its side and had sprayed water into the cabinet below if you used that side of the sink.  As is often the case, these rapid declines all seem to happen at once. But now things were looking up.

And as we danced, hopping over lacrosse sticks, and muddy boots, making lunches and tucking them into three backpacks propped against the broken washing machine and definitily also in the way of going out the door, we were...elated.

Everyone headed off to school.  When you get home...I grinned at each one of them after kissing them on the head as they tripped and tipped and struggled out the back door.

And then.  Screech.

Things went awry.  The dishwasher did not fit in the space.  Measurements had not been made precisely enough and the 24" standard washer could not squeeze into the inexplicably nonstandard 23.5" hole.  Apparently we have a rare beast of a dishwasher, the measurements of which have "never been seen before" by our experienced appliance people.  The dishwasher came in the back door, and then...headed right back out to the truck.

And then...

The laundry machines came in the never used front door facing the busy street. And made it into our front hall.  And there they sat for five days. Askew.  For they would not go up the stairs.  Let me show you why.

Pay no attention to the smashed radiator cover, the one that has been this way since moving day three years ago when the crew struggled to get our furniture up and over the railings and onto the second floor.

But let's walk up this sweet little stairwell, shall we?  Four steep and narrow steps up.  To the first landing.

Turn a sharp left.  Five steep and narrow steps up, to the second landing.

Then turn a sharp left again.  And four more steep and narrow steps to the top landing, with a window out onto the roof over the front door.  And even more narrow doors at each end, each into a bedroom.

Looking down.  Isn't it lovely?  In the historic house that is now a museum down the street, there is an incredible mural painted in their similar stairwell.  And having seen the stairwell in the house in the Paddington movie with Elliott this week, I have aspirations.

But for now, my aspirations were set on getting the washer and dryer into the space we had created for it.  There was much head scratching.  And silent staring with arms crossed.  And eventually, laughter.

I promised to take no pictures of the actual people who solved this conundrum.  But let's just say it involved machinery.  And muscle.  And a good deal of Yankee ingenuity.

And so, the laundry machines have arrived in their new home.  I have run my first load.  It is wonderful.

All's quiet here now.  With just a few signs that prove that these events did indeed happen.


We are working on the dishwasher.  The strange and unusually rare breed we had before seems to be replaceable if you look hard enough.  The interweb. It is an amazing place.

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