Garage Door Springs

This week I had the unprecedented pleasure of using a vacation day to have something fixed at the last minute at home. Oh, things were going along just fine to start off. Hubby got up early like normal and took the doglettes for their early morning walk (exiting and entering through the garage door), then I got out of bed and got myself ready while watching the news. I took Hubby to the train station (exiting and entering through the garage door), then continued with my morning constitutional, lunch packing, and doglette scratching/cuddling before I left for work early. As is typical for us, as soon as I walked into the garage, I hit the button to open the garage door so I can see if anything is in the way before I get into the car. And so, I hit the button.

The door struggled to open 5 inches.

Perplexed, I hit the button again to stop and lower the door. I assessed the situation and let both the door and the opener sit for a minute to rest (perhaps it was just tired from being used so much so early that morning), then hit the button again.

This time the door opened to about 10 inches.

Again, I hit the button to lower the door and let it rest. Thinking something was wrong with the motor of the door opener, I pulled the emergency rope to allow me to open the door manually. I struggled with the full weight of the door (I didn’t remember it being quite that heavy before), and it looked like there were some cables dangling in the way and possibly being the reason for the door not going up properly. So I let the door go (*BAM*) and worked the free cables out of the way of the rollers (has that cable always been there?) and attempted to open the door again. This time it went all the way up, but felt like I was lifting the entire weight of the door over my head. That’s when I noticed the giant spring was detached and not beautifully stretched like the spring on the other side.

I surveyed the situation and thought of a plan to get out of the garage. I figured a mere spring was easy to re-attach – it was nothing more than a slender Slinky. I located our step-stool, firmly planted it under the cable and crawled up the steps. I grabbed the spring in one hand, and the cable in the other and attempted to stretch the spring to re-connect the two.

There’s a reason why they call them springs.

Reassessing the situation, I figured I could re-attached the spring if I didn’t have to pull on it, and decided to open the garage door all the way to lessen the distance. Unfortunately, every time I opened the door all the way and let go of it very gingerly, it would just fall closed. So there I was. Stuck in the garage and I can’t even keep the garage door open long enough to get the car out – I guessed the only other option was to call Hubby and bitch that I had to take a f*ckin’ vacation day to get the f*ckin’ garage door fixed so I could get the f*ckin’ car out and get the f*ck to work.

As you can guess, I was a tad less than pleased at having to use vacation time for repairs. It’s like taking vacation time for a colonoscopy.

The way I remember it from days long gone, vacation time was used to go away; to recharge your batteries; to visit other lands and meet other people and see things you’ve always wanted to see and do things you always wanted to do – emergency garage door repairs and colonoscopies not being numbered among them. It seems the older I get (29… remember that…), the more I find I’m using a vacation day here to get this fixed, or a vacation day there to get that installed. It’s gotten so bad that the one time when Hubby and I actually, willfully took a vacation day and did something locally (I think we went to see a movie), I felt like we were doing something wrong!

I seem to remember these home repairs, installations, cleaning, laundry, yard work, etc., are not why vacation days were invented. But at least I have them. and for that I’m grateful.

But let this be a lesson to you all: Garage door springs are not like Slinkys.

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