Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Finding Money Hidden Inside My House In NoMi...

Photos By John Hoff

In keeping with my vow to write more about my wonderful house in NoMi, (damn the thugs, full speed ahead) I thought I'd tell the story of the pile of money I found hidden inside the dryer...

My $17,900 home--which I have dubbed "Willow Haven" due to the willow tree out front--was once some kind of low-end rental, judging by the scars left on the door frames from padlocks. Desperate characters resided there--judging by some of the mail which still arrives at my house and that one visit from a probation officer. (Who, I might add, seemed really reluctant to believe my emphatic assertions that I had NO IDEA where her parolee might live)

Some appliances came with the house: a fridge, which works well enough though must be defrosted more often than normal, an oven (which was severely in need of cleaning but, more importantly, I don't like gas ovens) and, downstairs, a washer and dryer.

The washer worked fine but the dryer, like the oven, was gas. And gas has to go. Yes, I know gas is usually less expensive to operate than electric, but gas is a fossil fuel and (as a radical freegan and member of the Green Party) I strongly prefer to use electricity, which can be generated from alternative power sources. I have crazy dreams of converting the house to solar and geothermal energy; so getting rid of the gas appliances was step one.

The gas dryer sat downstairs--unused--for about a year, while I puttered around with other things. Finally, there came a weekend when it was time to take the gas dryer out of the basement; quite a pain-in-the-butt task. A good friend of mine (we'll call him The Irishman) helped with the task, which involved using some kind of moving straps. Frankly, I'd never seen these kind of straps, which involved basically lashing ourselves to the dryer and moving around like that. People DO this all day? My word. Another good reason to send my son to MIT so he can figure out how to manufacture cost-effective robots.

When we started moving the dryer, I heard MONEY rattling around inside. Coins began spilling out, and in dust-bunny filled corners on the bottom I found little nests of coins, mostly quarters. OH MY WORD. How much money was inside the thing? And how did it GET there? Of course, at first we figured the money had been in people's pockets and worked itself into the dryer itself...but upon deeper contemplation, how did THAT make sense? The money would have come loose in the washer, not the dryer.

The Irishman told me maybe kids had been putting money into the slots behind the dryer. Over the course of years, many coins had found their way there. And that sort of made sense, though I figured the dryer must have been located somewhere else for a while...somewhere not right up against a wall, so the vents would have been more exposed for little hands to insert coins.

When I was a kid, we had a knothole in one of our walls, and many pennies found their way inside. My father found me trying to put a nickel inside, once--A WHOLE NICKEL--and ordered me to STOP THROWING AWAY MONEY, along with some stories of what he could buy with a nickel when he was my age. So, after that, mostly crayons and toy soldiers found their way inside.

Those poor little toy soldiers...Missing In Action since the early 1970s!

So, you're probably wondering, how much money was inside that old dryer? Well, I used the change-counting machine at TCF Bank in Stadium Village and the dust-bunny cash-stash totaled slightly over ten bucks. Probably enough to do three loads of clothes at the laundromat.

But I won't be going to the laundromat much longer...I'm looking forward to getting a new dryer.

Electric, of course.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

In MN, you are probably about as environmentally friendly using gas as electric. Much of our electricity is generated from burning coal. Someday it will be a combo of wind, solar and maybe nuclear, but not right now. Gas burns cleaner than coal.

And your fridge problem may be due to a bad or leaking gasket. You can get generic replacement parts at Home Dept.