Blessings in the Bird’s Nest

For the past several weeks, I’ve been hating the Houston summer sun just a little bit less than usual, all because of this:

clothes hanging on the line

You see, load after load of clothes were coming out of the dryer still wet, even after 60+ minutes of tumbling in “high heat.”

My husband cleaned out the dryer vent and vent holder. He cleaned out the vent hose behind the dryer. Still no improvement.

The dryer was incredibly hot to the touch – and still the clothes were wet – and we worried that we were going to burn our house down.

With no immediate money to replace the dryer, we took to hang-drying our clothes. Which was novel and quaint for…about…2 seconds.

Because although the Houston summer sun was doing us a huge favor by drying our clothes licketysplit, we still had to stand in the Houston summer sun to hang and retrieve them. Blech.

Fast forward to this weekend. We spied a great deal on a used dryer on Craigslist. The amateur appliance repairman even took our old dryer (and an even older one that had broken down two years ago and was still in our garage!) and gave us a credit on the new dryer.


I stayed up late that night, ready to get LOADS of laundry done. Except, it took 90 minutes to dry the first load.

Not good.

It took the same to dry the second load.

Did we get a raw deal here???

The next morning, still longing for a good, honest load of laundry to be done, I had a bit of divine inspiration.

We rent this house, and I’m embarrassed to admit that even after 3 1/2 years of living here, I hardly know where the Important, Every Homeowner Would Know This places are. Like, for instance, where the dryer vents out of the house.

A quick tour of the side yard, and I found it. See, there it is!

dryer vent outside of house

EXCEPT, that’s not how it look WHEN I FOUND IT.

THIS is how it looked WHEN I FOUND IT:

birds nest in dryer vent

Divine inspiration is pretty reliable. I just knew I was going to find something, and that something happened to be a very. tightly. packed. bit o’ nature.

birds nest from dryer vent

Before successfully extracting the $100 bird’s nest (what we paid for the new-to-us dryer), I had quite a scare.

You see, the dryer vent was sorta high.

height of dryer vent

It required a ladder to reach. A ladder I scaled with much apprehension while my 10yo son steadied it for me.

I could not get the bird’s nest out with the broom handle I was using, so I decided to try something else.

Which was when I happened to FORGET THAT I WAS STANDING ON A LADDER.

Instead of stepping down, I simply stepped back, falling about five feet to the grass below.

I felt muscles twist this way and that as I readied for impact. I had the wind knocked out of me. I scared the daylights out of my son.

But I put on a brave face, got up, and steadied the ladder while my son went up to try his luck at extracting the nest. Which he did, the little hero.

So…now we have a working dryer, a lighter wallet, a musty old bird’s nest, and a dwindling supply of ibuprofin as I tend to all my aches and pains from the fall.

The one true, shining, undeniable bright spot in all of this? Everything about this story could have been so much worse. In a very real way, I feel blessed.