alpaca princess (renniekins) wrote,
alpaca princess

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Garage problems

So I was driving home tonight, and they predicted freezing rain for later. I naturally wanted to put my car in the garage, even though I've been having trouble with the door recently. I stopped in the driveway, got out of the car, and pressed the opener while standing right next to the door. What's been happening in recent past is: it will get maybe 1/3 of the way open and then stop. This time, I had the brilliant idea of helping it along - I figured a little push when it started to get stuck would give it the "oomph" it needed to go the rest of the way up. Then once my car was safely inside, out of the freezing rain, I could adjust the tension on the thing so it would open on its own next time.

Sounds like a great idea, no? Well, I gave it that extra little push, and it still stopped anyway. Irritated, I gave it an extra-strong little push. The damn thing popped off its track on the upper-left side, and refused to move at all, either direction, completely stuck. I went in the garage through the human-sized door in the back, disabled the automatic opener, and started struggling with the door, trying to get the little wheel thingy in the upper corner back onto its track.

The door is huge. It's only a single-car garage, but obviously even a door to accommodate a single car is way bigger than I am. The door is not sectioned; it is made of one enormous piece of metal and is incredibly heavy; I don't even know how much it weighs. I wouldn't be able to move it at all I'm sure, if it weren't on springs. Even so, it's unstable and unwieldy since the one side is off its track.

I just spent a good 30 minutes struggling with the door, to no avail. I tried standing on my ladder, and trying to wiggle the wheel back into its track. I tried standing below, kicking and lifting the door simultaneously, trying to angle it back in. I moved it up and down, having all kinds of horrific visions of it falling down on top of me, but it stayed stubbornly out of the track.

I used to be afraid of this door. I was always sure it was on the verge of collapsing on me. One good thing about this evening's struggle is that I am no longer afraid of it. Now I'm pretty sure it won't fall. I am just pissed.

At one point, I decided that if I got the door fully open, I could maybe try it from a new angle. So, huffing and puffing, kicking and pulling, I lifted the door open. Unfortunately when it's not in its track, it's not balanced right to just stay open, even when fully up. Once I got it raised, I was holding the bottom of the door up over my head, but it was the top of the door, a full garage-door's length away, that I needed to work on. No way to reach it without letting go of the bottom of the door. I got over to one side, pushed the edge up as far as it would go, trying to get it to stick open. It would almost pause, then start wobbling downwards. There's a rope attached to the bottom, so I grabbed it and pulled the rope toward the inside of the garage, to keep it balanced open. Pulling hard provided just enough balance that the door stopped moving, so I started walking inside. My theory was to climb up the ladder holding the rope, then grab the top of the door, balance it, and start trying to work the damn wheel into its track.

Then the rope broke. The door came crashing down. Fortunately it was still in track on the right side, so it still followed its appointed path, just way faster than it was supposed to. I had brief visions of trying to slow or stop it, then decided that was pure lunacy. So I jumped back and watched it fall, cringing. The noise was incredible: I'm surprised my neighbors did not come charging out of their houses, wielding firearms and crying babies, demanding to know what had happened. Nobody did, but now the door is firmly stuck in the down position, and it is still just as off-track as it ever was.

By this time I was sick of the whole thing, sore and tired, and hated my garage door with a passion. I glared at it, while it stayed smugly down, then turned off the light and went indoors. This is one of the frustrating things about living alone: some tasks would probably be a lot easier with another person helping. I'll have to scrounge up an assistant who is also not afraid of garage doors, and see if between the two of us we can get the darn thing wrestled back into place.

Tomorrow morning, I will probably have to scrape ice off my car, as it will be spending the night unprotected, just a few feet away from a nice car-sized shelter.
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