My parents lived about 2 hours away and Charlotte was their closest 'big city'. My Mom would come into town about once a month for one reason or another but I rarely saw her. She'd be there during the day while I was at work and scurry home to get back before dark.
But, she had a key to my condo and would routinely stop there first to pee or use the phone or just to get organized before she did her 'big city' errands. I loved catalogs (analog internet) and she got bunches. So often I'd come home to work and find a stack of new ones by the front door. Or I'd open up the fridge and the cheese would have a big bite taken out of it or the leftover chicken leg would have one bite taken out it. She always left little 'thanks for letting me use your house' clues.
One day, I got home and there was a stack of catalogs and, on top, was a small can of 3-in-1 Oil. As usual, no note or message of any kind. So I figured that she'd come across something in my house that squeaked and needed oil. I can take a hint.
So I opened and closed every single door, every single drawer, I checked and rechecked. I could not find a squeak anywhere. After a couple of day so just driving myself nuts, I called.
Me: What the hell is squeaking??? Tell me so I can oil it?
Mom: What are you talking about?
Me: The oil, you left me oil so I figured something needed it.
Mom: oh, no. I just had a spare can and thought maybe you might need it one day.
Good old Mom.
The first Christmas after my divorce, I decided to try a new tradition. I got the fuck out of dodge. I went to Arizona to visit my BFF from college, Heather. We had a great time. This is me, Heather's dog, and Heather.
The day after Christmas, about 3 days before my return home trip, my 2-doors down neighbor called me. Turns out they had had a big freeze and the pipes had frozen and some had burst. The neighbors had gotten together to hire a plumber to fix. Would I join? Absolutely and thanks for letting me know. Two days later she called again. "Are you sitting down". Oh fuck. Yep, when the plumbers finished for the day, they left a spark that started a fire. Mainly in the unit next to mine but mine was full of smoke and soot. Merry Christmas!
When I got home truly the place smelled like burnt popcorn. And everything was black. Not burnt, fortunately, but a layer of soot lay over everything - even the empty hangers in the closet and all the stuff in drawers. Geesh. The insurance company quickly sent over cleaners who did the whole house top to bottom. And that ended the burnt popcorn smell.
I cannot remember why but something in the process disabled my washer/dryer so for a month, I had to send over every bit of laundry out to be cleaned. Fine by me. I put it in a bag and it came back all sweet smelling and perfectly folded or on hangers. That was NOT a bad deal at all. My mother thought it was hysterical that I even sent my panty hose out to be cleaned. Well, I sure as hell wasn't going to wash anything while someone was paying for it to be done by someone else!
I do remember that on my birthday, that March, it was all put right back to new - just like before I left for Arizona. No harm, no foul.
To Be Continued