I’m sure that someday, I will get to enjoy an entire Christmas season. This one, however, is not that one. 

First, the internet continues its spiteful game of hide and seek, leaving after a few hours in the morning, and then jumping from its well-kept secret spot to yell “ALL-EE ALL-EE IN FREE!” at 2:45 a.m. the next day. Charter/Spectrum swears that it will be able to fix the problem this time. I had planned to switch our mobile phone carrier from AT&T to Spectrum, and Emily looked at me as if I were crazy. “Why would you consider that when they can’t even keep the wi-fi going in the house?” she asked. I had no good answer, and so here I sit with AT&T and Spectrum, both of which take joy in providing me with hours of expensive frustration.

Then, I pushed the button on one of the dishwashers, and nothing happened. That necessitated a call to my favorite repairman, Greg. Dolores answered the phone and told me that, great as Greg is, he doesn’t work on the type dishwasher we have. She very helpfully gave me the names and phone numbers of two people who work on Bosches. I chose one, called her, and she told me she’d be here in a couple of hours. She was Susie-on-the-Spot, took one look, told me what was wrong, and said she’d fix it the next day.

Sure enough, she showed up right on time, and, with little fanfare, put in the new part and started it right up. Unfortunately, as she was doing this, she discovered a leak in the dishwasher, and not a new one. So now we wait until Monday for the new part and installation. Oh, well. A couple of new parts and some labor are much more affordable than a new dishwasher.

I patted myself on the back for having the good sense to install two when we re-did the kitchen a few years ago. At the time, I told Max that because we cook so much for so many people, it would be to our benefit to be able to put everything in the dishwasher at once because the kitchen would be clean more quickly. Little did I know that the second one would keep us running when the first one broke down. 

Next, we have lost our minds and are installing a laundry room upstairs. We’ve talked for years about doing it, because we have a perfect place for one, but we haven’t gotten around to it. And now I know why. It takes a lot of time to install a laundry room, and as with every modification we’ve made in the house over the past almost 30 years, we have been surprised by what we have found hidden by the walls. In this instance, it was a formerly undiscovered – and fortuitous – water line, as well as a couple of floor joists that cannot be cut to incorporate the floor plan we had anticipated. So we adjust as we go along. Someone asked why we were doing this now, and I responded by asking, “Why not?” Though we want to sell the house, no one has bought it yet, which means we are still doing laundry here. Let’s make it easy. 

Finally, it is simply not smart to be an English/writing teacher at Christmas time. And yet, here I am, trying to grade what seem to be thousands of papers online, which I cannot do because the internet keeps playing hide and seek. So I must go elsewhere to grade, which kind of ruins the convenience of being able to work in my jammies and without make-up.

Well, after all this, I realize I’m pretty lucky. Charter will fix the wi-fi, so I can send my column in.  We have one working dishwasher, and the other one stopped working AFTER Thanksgiving instead of before. Soon we will be able to do laundry without going downstairs. And I am fortunate to have a job that I like. All in all, even if our Christmas season is short, it will be good. We have much for which to be grateful, and so I will be.


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