Just Life / Life and Pets

Lessons …

We need them. We really never quit getting them whether we want them or not.

A couple of weeks ago, while visiting my renter Rose, who recently lost her friend and housemate Linda, I saw a bare space in the back porch where her washing machine should have been. I asked, “Where is your washer, Rose?”.

She said, “Oh, I wasn’t going to tell you. When I used it, it made a horrible sound … like ‘blubbity blub blub blub’. So I moved it out. I’ll buy another by myself.”.

I replied, “Well that should be my responsibility, and let me give this some thought. I just paid taxes and utilities, so I have to decide what to do.”. At that point, Rosie wagged her finger at me, eyes flashing, and admonished, “I didn’t say YOU should get it, I said that I would get it!”. I wagged my finger in response, saying, “I KNOW what you said, but it seems like something I should take care of.”

For a month, I had been thinking that my friend was a month behind on the rent. We have since cleared that up, and it was my mistake, and understandable that I was mistaken, but it was one of the lessons of this month.

I started looking at laundry pairs online, and it seemed like the familiar top loading washer and matching dryer were getting terrible reviews in Sears. Then I saw that a deluxe pair … front loading washer and dryer, with pedestals, were on sale at a phenomenal price. It seemed foolish to wait for a “used” washer and dryer to become available locally, so I ordered the cadillac of laundry pairs. (It was after this that I realized that Rose had moved her dryer outdoors, not the washer, and indeed it probably could have been repaired, or replaced cheaply. Another lesson. I should have asked for clarification.) It also occurred to me that our local Home Hardware probably had a pair “on the floor” that would have done nicely.

And then anxiety set in. Rosie and Linda have a LOT of stuff in their house and yard, and Rose built, in recent years, a railing halfway around her back deck, which doesn’t even enclose the space but certainly serves as a barricade to moving large appliances into the house.

I also remembered how ungodly heavy the same machines were, as I bought the same pair, without pedestals, for the brand new house across town. What was I thinking? It was fairly straightforward to move those appliances into the new house because we could back up to the back door and really just tip the machines out and then “scootch” them into the nearby laundry room. Even so, I remembered it being an onerous task … loading them at Sears, unloading at Gary’s shop, loading back up when we needed them and installing them at the new house.

Yesterday, the appliances had already arrived at our Sears catalogue office, and they needed to be out of the way. Gary and I fetched them from Sears, and because Gary might have needed my big truck for hauling hay, we needed to deliver them to Rose’s house. We borrowed Sears’ furniture dolly, and got them all the way to the yard and onto the deck, not through the tiny gate, but through the opposite open side. Gary trucked those machines across the lawn with the dolly and with little help from me.

I had arranged for some help for the early evening, because there were pedestals to lift the machines onto. I got to thinking… I should go back early to at least remove the packaging and read the instructions.

So I returned in mid afternoon to slice and take away cardboard and attach brackets where necessary. When it started to rain, I was glad not to work outside, and Rose and I had coffee instead of working! Then the rain stopped, and soon after, Gary texted me offering to help. I accepted, and he brought a level and all his strength for the project.

There isn’t any way to make this long story short, but to summarize, Gary and I were there for hours, sorting out the packaging, the brackets, and administering the brute force it took to install those machines in Rose’s porch. Somewhere in this performance, I remembered that those front-loading washers are supposed to be installed on concrete or a 1″ plywood base. OMG … the porch at my older rental home is nothing of that kind. I only hope the floor has enough strength for … the lifetime of the machines.

(In the end, we also didn’t need the help from high school grad students that I thought we would need, but I donated anyway.)

I went to bed (and stayed awake for hours) thinking that Rose was not happy with the new fangled appliances, but I heard via the grapevine today that she is thrilled. Hope so! I have thanked Gary for his great patience through this whole deal … he wasn’t in favour of getting that kind of laundry pair for that home, and I have apologized for my stubbornness (and that I was agitated when my decision was questioned!). More lessons.

So there you have it, and there Rosie has it. I hope nothing more is needed in the way of appliances at that house for a VERY long time.

Rosie's laundry pair

Another lesson of minor importance … I took in a pleasant stray tom cat that had been trapped by friends, really just to get the poor fellow out of the trap. I actually thought that he would be picked up by a founder of our local cat rescue society by the end of the day, but it seemed like that would be too difficult for them, so I offered to see about getting the cat neutered and sent back out to a good home or barn. It is not our friends’ fault, and in fact they made a generous donation not only to the Robson Valley Spay & Neuter Society, but also the the Pet Hostel. I had been thinking that I should do more volunteer work for the RVSNS anyway. The only lesson might be that things are never as simple as we’d have them.

Stray tomcat

The humorous thing about taking in this cat is that I placed him in a very large run that no cat had ever got out of. He was out of there in about 10 minutes, and after I “repaired” the netting that he had stretched in order to escape into the kennel building, he got out again. I moved him to a smaller run with a more solid roof, and he has been unable to escape from there for a full day. He has complained loudly about his loss of freedom. I suppose there is a small lesson in cat confinement there for me.

I had a pleasant day of dog grooming today. Not a long day of work, thankfully, as many of my muscles are screaming after yesterday’s exertion. I groomed a schnauzer, Bandit, of whom I didn’t get a new picture. After lunch I shampooed and blew dry the dog, “Sparky”, who is especially special and sweet. He is a happy boy, but not very comfortable with baths, blow dryers, or pushy cats. Lucky for me, he jumped right up onto my lift table when I needed him to.

Sparky Sparky


Above is an old picture of Bandit … today he looks very much like the good looking schnauzer he is.

I wore a somewhat different hat in mid-afternoon. I had Sparky in the bathtub, all wet and sudsy, when a good friend phoned saying that she was stopped on the highway near us. She had got hold of a dog who was running down the road (presumably as a result of the thunder today), but she already had two dogs in her car and wondered if I could come get the “stray”. Within minutes, I had Sparky in a dog run and was jogging down our driveway. I knew the dog that Monica had caught, so I took him back home and phoned friends of the owner. Grizzly was picked up from the Pet Hostel shortly thereafter. Monica and I felt we had saved Grizz from getting run over! I missed my big chance to hold Grizz for ransom however, as his owner has a delinquent boarding fee. Pfft .. better to do the right thing … save a life and wait for the funds.


Okay, I’m all talked out. Regarding yesterday’s laundry appliance lesson, I keep singing these lyrics in my head, silently to my husband. The meaning is out of context from the original song, but this didn’t stop the words from coming to my mind:

And you were absolutely right
You’ve been right all along
You’re absolutely right and I’m wrong.


Love, Ann




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