Life is full of surprises that sometimes throw a monkey wrench into the best-laid plans. It can also provide topics for columns. Take the past few weeks at our house, for example. First it was the mysterious water leak from the great unknown. It appeared at the edge of our house next to the back fence. At first we thought it was just rain pooling up in a low spot. We’d had a lot of rain lately, so it made sense to blame it on that. No such luck. We called a plumber, who confirmed it was indeed a leak, location uncertain. As of now, after major repairs, the origin is still uncertain. Stay tuned – maybe next week I’ll have the answer to this mystery. Or not. Around that same time the clothes dryer conked out. This wasn’t a total surprise, as we’d had problems with it a few months earlier. The repairman recommended fixing rather than replacing it. That didn’t turn out to be a good idea, and we now found ourselves having to buy a new one. We also had to wait two weeks to get delivery, but we figured we could manage that long. The night before it was scheduled for delivery, we learned it was on back order for several weeks. Not one, not two, but SEVERAL. We promptly cancelled and are once again shopping for a dryer. And you regular readers know how I just love shopping! The worst part of all this was the difficulty we had getting information on the status of repairs and replacements. Anyone who has ever tried to find out the delivery date, order status or availability of any order will know exactly what I’m talking about. You call any national chain that sells appliances to inquire about an order. Good luck reaching a human being. You’ll find yourself on hold, listening to the worst music ever. Forever. Luckily – or maybe not so luckily – that was when I had the Allergy Attack From Hell. I coughed, choked and may have even hacked up a hairball or two. But at least it took my mind off plumbing problems and dryer woes. At times like these, I try to remember the immortal words of Scarlet O’Hara: “Tomorrow is another day!” Bless her trusting little heart. And on that note, I wish all of you a happy new year. May your pipes stay leak-free and your appliances need no replacement. And may you enjoy 2019 allergy free!