Monday, August 30, 2010

Little House of Horrors

Our garage door broke earlier this month. The spring just snapped. For this I am thankful. We had no idea, but the garage was trying to kill us.

My husband came back from running errands, and told me the garage door was no longer working and I'd have to park in the driveway until it was fixed. It's summer in Central California, which means that I either have to find a way to cool down the car before getting in, or risk needing skin grafts as the lava hot car seat melds itself with my thighs. Not only do I have to deal with the lava, but my children do too.

Okay, so those of you that live in normal areas may just think to turn on the air conditioning, go inside the house, get the kids, and when you come back out, things will have cooled to boiling - good enough. Well, did I also mention we live in the car theft capital of the WORLD? Oh yes, our county and those surrounding us regularly rank in the top five in the nation. Seriously. No one around here even leaves their doors open to cool off the car, much less turns the thing on and air conditions it for the theives just waiting around the corner.

I finally decided to bring Gracie to the car first, and chance leaving the windows open to help cool the car down. I figured she'd get used to the phrase "I'll be right back" and any thief worth their salt would know better than to try and steal a vehicle with a toddler in the back seat. Then I'd run back in to get Mark and my purse...

Errands would need to be kept to a minimum until this was fixed.

Thankfully, the landlords had the garage door fixed in just a couple of days. Before the guy got here, our garage door spring looked like this:

Snapped right in two. The repair man said he called about the warranty and could replace the left side with no problem, and it looked like the right side was... hey, what's this?

The right side of the door had this attached:

Apparently, holding together your garage door spring with a few bolts and a spare piece of steel you found lying around is frowned upon.

When the repairman saw that, he said "This could have killed somebody!". Not exactly what you want to hear when cradling your four month old in your arms. He needed to call the warranty guys again.

Please, please do.

In less than thirty minutes, the springs had been replaced, and I was summoned to sign the work order. "By the way," the repairman said "You also have these two fluorescent lights plugged into the overhead door opener. It's a fire hazard, and if anything ever went wrong with your garage door opener, the warranty would be voided because you're not supposed to rig the thing like this."

This was said very politely, but with the slightest hint of a smile that said we weren't the brightest people on the block. I felt the need to explain that we had only been renting a few months, and that none of these contraptions were our doing. He smiled smugly, unplugged the lights and then went on his way. (I would have taken a before photo of the lighting menagerie too, but was already too embarrassed and didn't want to ask him to wait so I could take a picture of our fire hazard for my blog.)

I now park in the garage. Gracie is still the first one to the car, and our seats are only habanero hot, as opposed to magma. But, I am most grateful for the fact that we no longer have fire hazards and guillotines awaiting our every move. Who knew the garage could be so hazardous?


Mama Hen said...

Welcome to Mama's Little Nestwork! Make sure to visit each week and comment in the Nest! Bloglove. It is such a great group of bloggers! Thank goodness you got your garage door fixed before anyone got hurt. I guess one would not even think about something like that until it did not work! Have a great day!

Mama Hen

Jill said...

Hello! I found your blog through Mama's Little Nestwork. I also have 2 kids less than 2 years apart. Although they're 3 and 20 months now. I'm looking forward to reading your future posts. I'm your newest follower.


Tracey said...

Oh, Honey. I am so glad I stopped by. You must always, always tell the smug young man that you need to get a picture for your blog.

So glad the death trap was fixed.

Sunshine SAHM said...

Jill, I love your site and have already bookmarked the butterfly collage idea for my daughters room. I'm wondering if you were a photographer in a former life. (Coveting your talent!)

Tracey, I will keep that in mind for next time. I'll get a picture of the electrical hazards AND Mr. Smug. That'll teach him...

Jennifer said...

I'm glad everyone is okay and that you no longer need to burn the skin off of your legs! What a funny post! :)