Well, I am back on the mainland after vacationing with my family in Edisto Beach, SC. I haven't quite gotten back to normal, but I suspect I will eventually. It was an enjoyable trip for the most part, but there were some adventures along the way.
It all started on Thursday. I went outside to move our van out of the driveway and the tension pulley decided to break free sending the belt, a few parts, and a spring into the driveway with what I am told was a loud "bang". I didn't hear it for some reason, even though I was in the van. I suspect it was because I was watching the gauges on the dashboard doing things I had never quite seen before. I didn't have to hear the noise to know something was terribly wrong.
Fortunately, my brother-in-law who can repair practically anything that has moving parts and some type of power source, was also along on this trip. We made a trip to the nearest auto parts store (approximately 30 miles away), returned, and he was able to have it repaired within about two hours of the initial "explosion". On this day he was actually "good for nothing" because his work probably saved me between $50-$100 in labor costs, not to mention towing. I can't thank him enough. Unfortunately this was not the end of the adventures for him.
On Friday evening, the washing machine decided the time was right for a work stoppage. We were due to be out of the house by 12 noon the next day for the next week's renters to move in, so needless to say, it was not the right time. Since we are friends of the homeowners, my brother-in-law decided that we could replace the washing machine for them and settle up on the expenses later.
My brother-in-law and I got up the next morning at 5:30am to drive to the nearest Lowe's (approximately 45 miles away) to pick up a replacement washing machine for the owner and install it before the new renters arrived. To add insult to injury, this was the first day all week it rained. We aren't talking about the common pop-up variety storm here. We are talking about the type of rain that shows up and actually says "Get used to it! I'm gonna be here awhile!"
In the meantime, arrangements had been made to use the washing mashine at a nearby house to complete the duties required before checkout. We were fortunate that my brother-in-law has family who are related to the homeowners about three houses down who agreed to let us use their facilities. We were not quite as fortunate when the shut off valve fell apart in my sister-in-laws hands as she tried to turn the water off upon leaving. My brother-in-law was able to shut the water off at the main before the yard was completely flooded and we made a trip to a local, yes local, True Value Hardware store to buy the parts to replace it.
Unfortunately, they had all of the parts with the exception of solder. Like I said earlier, my brother-in-law can fix almost anything, but he is not a miracle worker. After a few phone calls, my brother-in-law decided the owner would have to call their local handy man to repair the valve. I would be willing to bet he was the same one who bought the last of the solder at the hardware store, but I can't prove it. We finally made it off the island about an hour late, but before anything else was destroyed.
Am I bitter? Absolutely not! I enjoyed the trip to Edisto Beach just as much this year as I have every year. Sure, I could have done without the problems, but these things can be expected in any location near salt water.
It's quite rare for a number of things to fail at one time, but it happens and we lived through it remarkably well. I would be willing to bet by this time next year I will be anticipating the trip just as I always have and these small inconveniences will be a thing of the past. The memories are what count, and the good ones definitely outweighed the bad.
The good memories are the ones that will keep bringing me back year after year, but there's nothing wrong with packing a few extra tools next time just in case.