It turns out that the dryer isn't really broken. Near as I can figure, it simply decided it needed a break, or else it was just annoyed with me - who knows. It's not explaining, but I'm not going to push it. It dries perfectly fine now, so I'm happy.
Well, as happy as I could be considering the fact that now the garbage disposal is broken. I was finally inspired enough to clean out the refrigerator, and after filling a garbage bag with the scary odds and ends that seem to accumulate in the darkest corners as time progresses, I pulled out the remnants of a casserole I'd made weeks ago. It hadn't quite made it to the fuzzy stage of moldering, but I knew it was only a matter of time. I scooped the dish out, stuffed a fair bit of it down the drain, and then flipped the switch for the garbage disposal.
Unfortunately, the disposal did not immediately start grinding. Instead, it made a pathetic hum and then there was silence. Not even climbing under the sink to press the reset button worked. That puppy is dead, dead, dead.
I then had the true joy of scooping out all of that moldering casserole from the sink drain...with my bare hands. I had hopes that if I simply emptied the drain, I could feel around inside and perhaps figure out what had jammed it. I've done this before and usually after I rescue the mangled remains of what was once one of my (sadly diminishing) supply of measuring spoons, the disposal perks up and grinds merrily away.
The garbage disposal is just one more thing in the long string of problems that have popped up in the past few months. The shower faucet leaks unless you turn it to the exact perfect place on the knob. Half of the window screens would fall off if I were to look sternly at them. The garage door opener remote died months ago, and the opener itself has been retreating slowly, often taking several presses of the button on the wall before it will - grudgingly - agree to open more than a few inches at a time.
I think the house has simply discovered that we're going to leave it soon, and has decided to offer as much encouragement as necessary, by slowly falling apart around us. I wish there was some way I could convince it that we really don't need any more encouragement - that we will miss almost nothing from this house, this town when we leave.
But somehow I'm not so sure it will listen.