I think I've blogged previously about our neighbors and how they've been really great. From helping us cut down a tree that fell on (and debilitated) my car to helping with packages, trash and other neighborly things, they've kind of stepped up to it this week.
Last week, a day before a bunch of family was supposed to visit, as I was getting the house ready for visitors, our laundry machine broke. Flat out, broke with water sitting in the drum and not draining. I tried everything to clean the system out and touched slime and yuck more than I care to remember. I went on a late night trip to Home Depot, which taught me that 9:30 PM is the perfect time to go shopping there. There's hardly anyone there, there's plenty of staff who are helpful and everything moves efficiently, even finding a parking spot. I'm filing that away in my memory. My brother in-law even tried to take part of the machine apart and see if he could fix it- No luck, but I was appreciative of his try.
With scheduling of work and our visitors and the fact that repair people have to give you a window of "the whole day", we couldn't set up the repair until a week after the machine broke. I was not a happy camper. I used to have to help a group of nuns hand wash clothes and I knew what a hassle it is and how hard it is to get soap out of clothes. We tried to get through the week and I only bothered one of my neighbors once to let me do the tablecloth and bathroom towels before our visitors arrived. I thought that maybe, just maybe we could make it through the week. It actually turned out to be an interesting exercise in finding items in my closet I didn't even know I had. My son was rather confused when he told us he wanted to wear several of his sports hero's shirts and we told him NONE of them were clean. He was confused and saddened. I actually dug out my hand washing skills for a couple of his favorite shirts and my shorts. In hot weather, I really don't own enough pairs of nice, non-exercise shorts to make it through the week.
We almost thought we had made it until the end of the week. Of course when I was at work we were too busy for me to put my white coats in the laundry and OF COURSE I had to see patients with fleas and other issues that are infectious and communicable so they can't be re-used.
Between that and an unexpected accident in the household, we had to do some more laundry. My husband offered to go to a laundromat, but we actually didn't even know where one was! I had asked a neighbor to pick up a package that I couldn't re-schedule delivery for and it needed to be refrigerated and so when I went to get that from her, she asked how things were going. I casually told her of our peril and she stepped up and not only did our laundry, but even folded some of it! My husband and I were impressed by her folding skills.
Thanks to our neighbor being inquisitive as to what we had gotten in the mail, "What fabulous thing did you get in the mail, we know you love to bake, so what are you up to now?" I had the perfect idea for a thank you- chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting.
It's sure nice to have good neighbors. Some days I think about living out in the country and having a farm, but it's certainly nice to just run across the street for an egg or twenty feet for laundry...