It was stacking up to be a perfect Sunday morning. With my monthly volunteer obligations nicely tucked away a couple of days early, I had the weekend free to tie up loose ends. And I mean that literally - I needed to snip loose ends from my craft fair quilts, wash the second-to-last one, sew the last one, make a few more gift tags, photograph four quilts and my latest hat creations and post them on Etsy.
And…washing machine drum roll please…the washer broke Saturday morning. It had an error message that read OE, flashing incessantly with a full load of whites. Why do washing machines always break down with full heavy loads of towels? Never with just a little quicky load of rags, no, machines must come to a crashing halt with at least seven or eight sopping wet full-sized bath towels. After restarting several times hoping the OE would just go away and things would start spinning in the right direction, it was time to call in the expert. But before that, my husband looked at it. After Googling what OE meant, (it appears to mean that there is a washing machine full of sopping wet towels going nowhere) he set to work trying all the easy fixes. First we drained the machine out, mostly into a bucket. The hope was that what Ernst fondly calls my “quilt kr@p” was clogging the filter. Nope, it wasn’t that. Next was draining the hose, hoping we would find the nasty clog of fabric fuzz. No fuzz, clean as a whistle.
Now came the really fun part - Googling how to take your washing machine apart in 47 easy steps. Thankfully Ernst is super good with tools and broken things and not getting too worried about 8 sopping wet towels being held hostage by a flashing error message that makes no sense. OE? We still don’t know what it stands for. Overworked Engine?Outrageous Expectations? Is it Korean for Get a Different Hobby, Anything But Making Rag Quilts, You Fool? A call to our expert friend who owns River City Appliance moved Ernst on with confidence to Step #48, removing the pump to see what was stopping up the works. And what do you know, quilt kr@p! Putting the washer back together of course took 53 steps, but it appears all is well and I promised on a stack of folded white bath towels that I’ll clean the filter every time I finish a rag quilt. Every. Single. Time.
Moving on to Sunday morning. Perfect, a rainy day in the forecast, the big Sunday paper waiting to be delivered to me in bed by our adorable dog, some serious puttering ahead, including postponed laundry and all the things sidelined by the Attack of the Giant Quilt Blob. Then the phone rang at 5:20ish am. Ernst got it and mumbled “San Juan” as he handed it to me. Oh, the joy of being a substitute anything. The money is unexpected and always welcome. But that moment of lying in bed, trying to remember What day it is? Where I am? What am I supposed to be doing today? Trying to sound perky to my desperate coworker who just wants to hear a definite Yes, of course I can come in! I decided a bird in the hand is worth two quilts in the bush, so I said yes. I made two travel mugs full of coffee, threw on some clothes covered in threads, put together a pathetic but healthy bag of food and stumble/drove into work. I decided against hauling in my sewing machine, the fabric fuzz would be a dead giveaway. On this perfect Sunday morning, I don’t want OE to stand for Ousted Employee.