Part 1 is here; part 2 is right here. AND part 3 is right HERE. Part Four, a Q&A session about this project, is here.
I'm going to really bear down and try to finish this in less than another 50,000 words. Hang in there, loyal reader (z?)
Step 22: Stay on track, here.
Right. We were at the ER, and when they finally decided they could take Sweetie back to get IV fluids and the non-barfing pill (NOT ITS REAL NAME), the boys and I got up to go with her. The rather severe nurse said "You can come and see where she is but it'd be better if you wait in the waiting room," which actually was fine with me because it's easier to keep the boys occupied and out of trouble when there aren't as many million-dollar machines they can knock over, all tied to Sweetie with lines leading into her veins, and so they showed us the room and she shooe'd us out of there and we went back out to wait for Sweetie to be better, watching 'Shark Week' and eventually just sort of sleeping against my shoulder while I, alone, watched "Shark Week."
Step 23: Try not to look like you beat your wife.
When Sweetie came out, about an hour later, full of fluids again and ready to go home, newly armed with a full prescription of AntiBwah (TM!), I asked if she could walk to the car or if I should go get it, and she said she could walk, and on the way to the car, which was (remember) roughly 13 miles away in the parking lot, she told me why we hadn't been able to go back to the room with her:
"She thought you were beating me up," Sweetie told me.
"What?" I said, mostly because this had interrupted me from telling her how Shark Week had talked about finding a Megalodon, which was lucky for me because that turned out to be a hoax.
"Because I have those bruises on my leg," Sweetie said.
Step 24: Make Your Wife Wear Shin Guards.
Sweetie had bruises on her legs as a result not of me -- not only would I never dream of hitting Sweetie but if I did she'd beat the tar out of me, as Sweetie works out four or five times a week in classes called "Body Attack" and "Death By Yoga" and, I'm pretty sure, one of the 'classes' at the club is simply Israeli Army Basic Hand-to-Hand Combat Training, whereas the closest I have come to working out in the past 2-3 days was yesterday, at the park, when Mr F went down the tornado slide and I didn't want to follow him down the slide because I hate that slide (Long story that has to do with gravity) so I began looking for a way to follow him down and nothing was near except a metal pole to slide down, so I grabbed it like Batman and slid down it like Batman and landed like Batman, if Batman kind of sprained his ankle when he leaped down the pole, and if Batman landed clumsily and stumbled into the pole and if Batman also kind of felt like he maybe pulled something on the slide down.
Step 25: So really nothing like Batman.
That is my motto.
Sweetie possibly could be Batman, though, and she had bruises on her legs because she sometimes bumps into the end of our bed, which has large wooden corners at exactly thigh level and if you're in a hurry you're going to smack into it, which both of us do on average about 1-2 times per week, and also because Sweetie plays with Mr F, who likes it if you tickle him while he's sitting on his chair.
"Tickle tickle," he'll say, and you are supposed to bend down and tickle him wildly while he laughs, and everyone is having a wonderful time but sometimes Mr F abruptly decides that he is done and when he does that he kicks his legs straight out as hard as he can and Godhelpyou if you are in front of them.
"She really thought I abused you?" I asked Sweetie.
"Yes," Sweetie told me. The nurse had, while they did the IV and gave her the pills, subjected her to a lengthy quiz about whether I -- the man who even as we spoke was sitting quietly in the ER helping one son play "Despicable Me" previews on the iPad and feeding Cheese Puffs to his other son, patiently and in wht I now hope was a nonabusive-seeming way -- beat her, and finished up with what Sweetie described as an unsatisfied look and a reminder that there were resources to help her.
That would have bothered me more if I hadn't been so tired by then, but I did vow to look as nonabusive as I could in the future. For example, I won't ever wear my "The Fifth Cylon" t-shirt again because most of the Cylons were evil and didn't like humans at all.
Step 26: Wake up, it's a brand-new day and everything's going to be fine! Also, don't get too near the garage door.
The next day was a Monday, and I'd decided to take the day off of work, or "work from home," as I call it to not use up all my vacation days on things that are not vacations. This was still the summer and Sweetie hadn't slept much and I was tired, too, and so I figured I could help out around the house, and the number one thing that needed to be done around the house was to leave it, with the boys, to go to the Bank.
We were refinancing our mortgage the next day -- I know, here comes the EXCITING part of the story! "Tell us about the points, Grampa!" -- my future grandkids -- and I needed to get a cashier's check from the Bank for the closing costs, which meant that I and the boys had to simply get into the car, drive to the bank, pick up a check, and drive home.
Step 27: That is certainly easy to do and should not take hours or endanger your life.
I know, right?
So I got the boys loaded up and Sweetie was upstairs trying to take a nap and we were all set to head up to the bank and all I had to do was open the garage door.
Step 28: Hit the button to open the garage door.
Step 29: Wonder what happened.
The garage door paused about 2' above the ground. That was not entirely surprising. Our house is somewhere in the range of 40 years old, and the garage door was, too, and it had lately begun acting up more and more, not closing the first time, so that sometimes you'd hit the button and the garage door would get 2/3 of the way down and then it would go back up, and you'd sometimes have to do that as many as 10 times to get it to go down.
I had looked at the garage door several times, and using all of my skill and education, had determined that it was:
So I'd spent some time using all of my tools, in a variety of different contexts, to try to tighten bolts, and loosen them, and straighten things, and bend them, and see if that helped, and it hadn't helped, so we'd decided that eventually we'd have to replace the garage door.
Step 30: Try to operate the garage door manually.
This was the first time it had paused going up, though, so all I did after it jammed was simply unhitch the little cord that attaches it to the automatic opener, take the handle, and pull the garage door all the way up, so it was wide open and I could back the car out without trouble.
Step 31: Try to operate the garage door manually.
That is, in my mind that's what happened. In real life, the garage door didn't buzz and I think I might have dislocated my shoulder.
Step 32: RISE OF THE MACHINES!
Since I was physically unable to lift the garage door, and since the boys were getting antsy, being all belted into the car while not knowing what new awful adventure this was. I simply hooked the door back up to the garage door opener and pressed the button again, letting the machine do my work for me.
Step 33: Like in the industrial revolution, right?
Right, only without all the exposes by Upton Sinclair, or robber barons. The garage door opener heaved and pulled and I saw the door start to go up and thought "Problem solved" until, standing only feet away from the door, I realized that it was only the upper part of the door that was going up: the lower part was fixed in place.
Your quintessential garage door, the platonic ideal of garage doors, as it were, has three or four segments to it, each a board the width of your garage and about 2-3' in height, joined to the segment above it by hinges, one of which in our case was a brass hinge that I put on to replace a rusted hinge several years ago. The brass hinge had been left here by the previous homeowner who also had messed up our electrical wiring, which we'll get to eventually in this story, too.
Step 34: Use some foreshadowing.
Yes, that always helps.
Our garage door tweaks that formula a bit, in that there are two wooden segments making up the bottom, and then a window piece, and then a top segment. So while I stood there watching, the top segment began moving up, pulled by the Mighty Garage Door Opener Of Fate, and the bottom two segments were not moving at all.
Have you ever seen glass bend?
Step 35: DUCK!
Too late, helpful guide!
The glass bent and pulled and twisted, and in the few seconds I watched that I thought "Boy, I don't think glass is supposed to do that" and part of my brain thought "get out of here" while the other part thought "lunge forward and press the button so that this impending disaster stops!" and my body worked out that impasse by standing perfectly still (hopefully at least with a manly expression on my face, but I don't think that's true) and the glass windows exploded.
LITERALLY: giant pieces of glass flew in all directions, some of which directions had me in them.
Step 36: See if the glass hit any major arteries.
Click here to go to part SIX.