Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is The Shower Running?

Those that know me best know that I appear to continually be doing laundry. I'm not sure if that is a sign I'm extremely clean or extremely dirty. Though the taunting may come from friends that I never stop doing laundry, I really don't do it quite as much as it seems. I try to whip it all out on a Saturday, but when life gets too busy, my chore leaks over into the work week causing the "one load a day " syndrome to slow me down. This very thing happened to me a few weeks ago.

I had worked a long day, came home, finished dinner and decided to sit down and watch a movie while my final load of laundry was doing its thing. I loaded up the washer, started it up and headed to the den to wrap up in my blanket while Whirlpool did my work. I hadn't been relaxed for long when I heard the oddest noise. It didn't sound like the washer running, but the shower running. Since I lived alone I deduced that either a stranger had snuck in my house and was showering or there was something seriously wrong going on in the laundry room. As much as a stranger in my shower would have freaked me out, I think I'd taken that over what I found.

My laundry room is located between my kitchen and garage. As I walked toward the laundry room to check things out, right at the door I was greeted with a flood of water. Oh happy day, my washer is overflowing. I slopped through the water (thankfully it wasn't sewer water, which I have encountered in my laundry room before. One word: Ewww) to turn things off and check out the situation. The washer wasn't draining and being the non-mechanically inclined girl that I am, I had no idea why. So what's a single girl to do? Call Dad and ask him how I should troubleshoot. After some wise direction, I sopped up the water with a ka-zillion towels and my mop and inspected the drains to see what I could see. Moving a washer full of water and soaked clothes is like moving a mountain. I felt very Hulk-ish that I could budge it at all. Nothing I could see seemed awry, so step one was to clean up the mess and call the plumber to first check for plugs somewhere. If there weren't any plugs, chances were good I was on the road to purchasing a new washer. Granted my washer is 11 years old, but in my world those things should last for at least 30 years.

Two days later the very nice plumber came to check things out. I always try to act very confident about things when repairmen come calling. I figure if I play too dumb, they'll take me for an easy target to sell me ocean front property in Tennessee. Of course, this could be why no single, cute repairmen have ever asked for my digits. I appear to independent and strong. I probably should twirl my curls more or at least play up my sweet southern voice. But I digress. I explained to Mr. Plumber what had happened, what I had done and where things stood at the moment. He was very nice and as he drained the washer it didn't it was some magic plumber Midas touch that made Mr. Whirlpool too frightened to act up in front of a professional. After checking all the various drains and ensuring they were fine, he surmised that this was a fluke. He informed me that older washing machines were equipped with lint traps, similar to dryers. But, a few years ago they quit including lint traps in washers and sometimes a plug of lint will get stuck in the pipe drain and requiring a good flush to clear. Since he was able to run my washer through two cycles without a drip of a leak, he was pretty certain it wasn't the washer. I was relieved. And happy to pay the plumber's fee to not have to pay for a new washer. I've run the machine quite a few times since without any flood faux pas.

After the slight interruption to my life was over, I began to reflect on the experience. I see every experience as a great time for learning. Even in a flooded laundry room, I ask God, "Ok, what are You trying to teach me?" I was reminded that as I go through my life, if I don't have a good flow of the Living Water through my spiritual veins, I'll get plugged up. When I'm not spending time in prayer, in His Word and seeking His Will for my life, it's like the icky lint that got holed up in my pipe drain. That lint is like my sin that keeps the water from cleansing me and refreshing just flows out and I get no benefit. Just a mess to clean up. Thankfully, His Living Water is refreshing and can cleanse me if I'll let Him really flow through me. From there, my heart is what a very good way. Though our sufferings here are simply light afflictions, may my heart overflow with Living Water and be refreshed so that others may see Him.

"For as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so our comfort overflows through Christ." - 2 Corinthians 1:5

Monday, January 03, 2011

Ringin' in the New Year

I have spent New Year's Eve in a myriad of ways over the years. As a small child, I remember watching Guy Lombardo with my parents and thought that's what everyone did on New Year's Eve. As I got older, the evening's events got a bit more exciting. Except for the one year I had the flu and watched the ball drop while wrapped up in a bundle of blankets and robes shivering to death. I've danced in parking lots in single digit weather...I've videotaped the evening that would have certainly earned my cohorts in crime a shot at America's Funniest Video...and other assorted antics that would require blackmail money provided by one of my handlers who could provide the dirt (Right, Alisa?). Very rarely have two years ever been the same, and that makes for great anticipation of the fun to come.

This year I was invited to a couple of parties, but had a friend (Ashley P...the "P" because I have many Ashleys in my life...and because she is a "P"sychiatrist) call to let me know she'd be coming to town for the weekend and wanted to get together for the evening. I met Ashley back in the Spring and shortly after she unfortunately moved back to her hometown of Owensboro to take a job there. Much was my delight when she was game to spend some girl time with me and our friend, Christie, for the new year. Ashley misses Louisville and the city life here, so it was win-win for all of us. And so began another New Year's Eve unlike any other.

Ashley's only request was that she remain "blissfully unaware" that it was New Year's Eve. You see, for those of you out there that are married, or dating and haven't spent many New Year's Eves solo, this is much like the junior Valentine's Day. It's a very couples-oriented holiday. My celebrations have all been so random and quirky, I've not thought too much about that, but completely understood Ashley's request. You don't want a kiss at midnight to be from a family member or some stranger who is looking for a good time. If it's not a meangingful kiss from your beloved, you prefer the "blissfully unaware" plan. We started the evening at Macaroni Grill for some delicious Italian cuisine. What tops off a good meal? A trip to the Homemade Pie Kitchen. For those of you outside of Louisville, this wonderful local franchise provides delectable treats from pies to cookies to ice cream. We enjoyed some Dutch Apple with Caramel Pie, Chess Pie and Peanut Butter Fudge ice cream. Diets didn't resume until 2011, so we had a guiltless indulgence.

From our food ventures, it was a complete girl evening as we were off to the movies to see Tangled, the latest (and supposedly last...sniff, sniff) princess movie from Disney. In classic Disney style, this movie was well done. The story line was engaging and the music was simply beautiful. Disney seems to always get it right with matching voices to characters with Mandy Moore as Rapunzel and Zach Levi as Flynn Ryder. I could see it again, and bought the soundtrack on iTunes, if that is any indicator of my love of this movie. It was a wonderful way to ring out the old and bring in the new.

After the movie, we all parted ways "blissfully unaware" that in about 45 minutes the clock would strike midnight and a new year would be upon us. I drove home dodging drunks and made it home about 10 minutes before I watched Dick Clark countdown the last minute of 2010. Thanks to technology I was able to ring in the year via text and cell phone with those nearest and dearest to me that I couldn't be with at midnight. And another new year is here.

It was a great way to ring in the new year and different from all the rest. I strive to be unconventional. Look out New Year's Eve 2011!