Congratulations to @beingkeri for winning a copy of Jonathan's children's book Woodward and McTwee! Keri, just send your address to Jennifer (jennifer AT fatandappy DOT com) and I will send a hardcover copy to your attention. Thanks to those who shared, followed and tweeted!
On a completely different topic...
Are you experiencing broken things? We feel you. We know your pain.
A few months ago, we unwittingly entered a season of broken things. And we're not talking about small items. In no particular order, this is what failed, broke or burned in the last few months:
> Car AC (our mechanic broke it when he repaired something else but we still had to take the car back to be fixed, gratis. This involved Jonathan biking forty miles back and forth from the repair place in Denver in one day since we car share.)
> House AC. Not even kidding. This is a BIG expense. Currently, we are saving to replace the unit. So, this summer, we enjoy the great outdoors, indoors. All of our windows look like this:
This also means we buy allergy medicine. Having a lot of open windows is actually kind of fun; it's not too hot here in Colorado and you can hear the kids playing outside. You can also hear your neighbors discussing trimming their hedges; yelling at their dogs; and jumping on trampolines. This part is a little weird.
As a southerner, not having air conditioning seems like not having a lung. Or a dinner table. It just feels like a major THING is missing. But once we realized that saving up for the replacement compressor unit was really the only option, well, I just kind of accepted it. And cranked open sixteen windows.
> Garage Door. The torsion springs were apparently put in by the neighborhood builder using the cheapest product available. So, along with all of our neighbors, our garage door broke down like an old donkey.
> Dryer. When we moved into this house almost seven years ago, we purchased a very pretty middle-of-the-line Whirlpool washer/dryer combo. At some point, the heating coils overheated, tripping every fail safe inside the dryer. Melting ensued. Jonathan YouTubed the heck out of that thing and then ordered $125 worth of parts online. After watching videos over and over, he was able to get the dryer back on its feet.
> Dishwasher. Again, another nice Whirlpool appliance. Something plugged and whatever...I stopped listening. A few dollars online, another YouTube video and Jonathan had the dishwasher up and running again.
I know these are all first-world problems. I know I am blessed to have a newish house filled with modern conveniences. I know all of this. And hopefully, things are about to stop breaking down around here.
But when you are facing hundreds or thousands of dollars of repairs you weren't expecting, it can get a little panicky. So, if this is you, take heart. We're going through a Season of Broken Things. It's not fun and it's not cheap. I hope that your brokeness passes quickly. And I hope our story encourages someone, somewhere.
Also this: if you stop by for a visit, dress in layers.