But there was no explanation. No fire, sirens, four horsemen riding across the sky, nothing.
So, this morning, usual routine of going for our walk, the boys and I go downstairs, I load them in the car and hit the garage door opener...and nothing happens, there's no movement, just a grinding noise from the gear box. Damn and blast. I get the ladder, dink with the release cord, try the opener again, the door moves up about 3 inches and locks. Repeat fifty more times because, well, because...okay, because I'm stupid. Accepting defeat, I then attempt to physically lift the door; wedge a 2X4 in the 3-inch space and torque as hard as I can, pound on the door, jiggle the mechanism, curse. Oh how I cursed. But that frigging door will not budge.
After I stab myself with a sharp piece of metal, bleed all over the garage floor, down my arm and all over my sweater, I give up and call my neighbor for advice on why this goddamn door won't open manually. I end up with three neighbors--the word spread down the mountain there was a damsel in distress (their words)--and between the four of us, we still can't get the door open. Finally one of the guys points out that the spring has broken, which is what has virtually locked the door down. Hercules couldn't lift the thing.
I thought the large black tube was some kind of PVC pipe for insulation or something, but no, it's actually the spring that not only runs the whole operation, but acts as a counter balance, hence why--it turns out--the door can't be lifted manually. Then another guy asks me if I've heard a really loud noise recently, like an explosion; the sound the spring makes when it snaps.
Ah. Mystery solved.
So, after some standing around, various suggestions, some neighborly small talk...the general consensus? Call the professionals.
Within an hour--seriously, the fastest response I've ever had to a house emergency--and this very nice guy showed up, assessed the situation in two seconds flat, and within 15 minutes had jerry-rigged the door so I can use it until the new spring arrives next week.
While the door guy and I are talking, I tell him the garage opener is old, makes too much noise, and by the way, how much is the spring going to cost? Well, for a few bucks more, I can get a brand-new, quiet and efficient, totally new opener. We shake on the deal, so next week he'll be back to install the new mechanism, not just a spring.
You know, there was a time when I got breathless with excitement over a new pair of shoes, or a beautiful new purse. How far I have sunk when the thought of a new garage door opener gives me palpitations...sigh.
Oh, almost forgot: The other day I bought a box of fortune cookies. They're low fat, low calorie, low everything, and I love the taste of a good crunchy fortune cookie, so after the door guy left, I made a cup of coffee and grabbed a cookie.
Then I had to laugh...
Determination will get you through this.
Yeah. That and a professional...