Thursday when the kids and I arrived home from school, things did not look right. The couch cushions were thrown on the floor, the Christmas presents under the tree were opened (albeit left) and all the top drawers in the house had been opened with stuff thrown everywhere. Now nobody is going to accuse our family of being the spic-and-span poster family, but hey, we clean up a little better than that!I went to the basement and saw the window broken that the trespassers had crawled through. I noticed our laptop (actually my father-in-law's laptop) gone. Man, I worked long and hard putting all our music on that computer from CD's. Oh well.Our DVD player, gone. Noah's Gamecube, gone. Plus the thieves took all our piggy banks (even little Anna's) and dumped them out, apparently searching for quarters, since they did not take any pennys. I told Page that these thieves must have been disappointed if they were looking for anything really valuable!So the police came and filed the report and Page and I found ourselves, well, not very upset at all. I was fascinated by how okay we were about all of this. We prayed before dinner for the salvation of the robbers. The Lord must really be working in our lives!But I did have to temporarily repair the window downstairs with a big blue tarp that I use for just about everything. I drag leaves with it. I drag the kids around the yard with it. I use it to cover trash when I have to haul it off. This blue tarp has been the best tool I have ever had. So I got my duct tape and my blue tarp and I repaired the window. I even blocked the window up real nice with some extra wood, just in case our sneaky friends decide to return.In the process I noticed that lint was everywhere in our basement. I had seen it before, but now I began to think, you know, this could be a fire hazard. So I started cleaning all the lint up and it started making its way into my lungs. Since Thursday, I have not been able to breath! I feel like there's a pound of lint in each lung. Sleeping has been tough since I wake up wheezing like the Titanic (shrug).So I decided I need to repair the dryer and get the vent outside the house so my family and I can breath. We have been venting the dryer inside the house courtesy of Page's pantyhose. I thought this was the thing to do! When we moved into the house, people told us this was the thing to do - drape your wife's pantyhose around the dryer hose and shazaam. But friends it doesn't work. That is why lint was hanging from our ceiling downstairs like Spider man had paid a visit. I went online and every dryer expert in the land said, "Do not vent on the inside! You must vent your dryer on the outside!"But of course in order to vent our dryer on the outside you would have to drill a hole through concrete block. That is, until our sneaky friends broke our window! I decided since the window was broken anyway, to vent out the window. A stroke of pure genius! If I knew anything at all about venting dryers.I went to Wal-mart, home of everything in the world, and purchased the vent and the new hose. I brought it home. I pulled out my drill. And my saw. And at 9:45, kids in bed, Page thinking I am Jason Vorhees, I commenced to cutting and drilling and taping. It was an awful racket. Included in the vent kit was a big metal pipe-thingie which you are suppose to place inside the vent and drape the hose on. That pipe-thingie fell apart. It is cheap material made for people who know what they are doing. My frustration level continued to increase as I realized that my homeowner skills where much like a third grader attempting to play shortstop for the Orioles, it just ain't gonna happen. I ended up stuffing the hose through the hole in the wood that I had placed in the window. Then I reached down to plug the dryer back in, but the plug would not go back in the wall. I tried to manipulate it back in when all of the sudden - jooolt! - It wasn't really bad, but I felt it. I remember my grandparents had an electric fence and once when I was a kid I had an arrow (as in bow and arrow) and just simply laid that arrow down on the wired fence. I had that same feeling with the dryer. Couple hundred watts or so, making their way into my heart.But I got the plug back in, cleaned up the sawdust and extra lint, and turned the dryer on - I think it actually works. But my nose and throat are not working at all! I came upstairs a minute ago and took a swig of Children's Benadryl (after you have kids, there is no shame in taking the children's version of medicine).But I was thinking it will take a minute for the medicine to kick in so maybe I should blog about all this while it is fresh on my mind. The moral of the story is twofold - First, don't let thieves, vents, or blocked breathing passageways steal your joy. Christ is bigger and better than all of these! Second, I need to move into an apartment ASAP!
By Jason Dollar
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