Posted in Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life

My Christmas Time Story of Goodwill

My story starts this past Thursday afternoon. I went into the extra bedroom, which is called the ‘Cats Room’, as they have taken it over, to clean the cat box for the day. As soon as I walked in, I heard running water. Oh crap!

The hot water heater is also in the room in a tiny little closet made just for it. I looked inside and what did my wondering eyes see? A water fountain! The pipe leading from the outside source of fresh water had sprung a leak and water was literally pouring in!

The carpet was soaked a good ways into the room, who knows how long it had been leaking. Oh crap!

I yelled out to the husband, “We got a leak!”

Our itty bitty water heater closet
Our itty bitty water heater closet

He jumped from his bed, to see what was the matter! (Well, ok, not really, as he can’t jump from anywhere and he can barely walk, much less run.)

I was moving things away from the large space of wet carpet, when the husband finally made it down the hall to the cat’s room. Thank goodness there is nothing much in that room. The husband peeked at the leak, looked at me, and said, “Oh F***!

As I’m moving the few things, we’re like, ‘what do we do now?!’

The husband went to find a set of pliers to see if he could do something with them. Me, I’m thinking, this can’t be happening now! We have no money for a plumber! The husband can barely walk, he can’t fix a leak and I have no idea what to do. Oh crap!

He shuffles into the room with his trusty pair of pliers and s l o w l y kneels down in this tiny room and with me shining a flashlight he tries to tighten the joint that is leaking. The poor man is in terrible pain, but he does still try to do what he can. He gets it as tight as he can, it has slowed the leak from a waterfall to a trickle. But, it’s not going to be enough to stop it altogether. We need to find  someone who can fix it. With no money, that is going to be a major problem.

Our friend, Bill, who usually helps us around the house was at work, besides, he knows nothing of plumbing. So we think, I worry, the husband offers another name, Mark. Yes! Of course. Mark is a good friend too, he used to own a company that installed furnaces, water heaters and the such. If he couldn’t do it, maybe he knew someone who could and maybe we could work out a deal on payment. It’s worth a phone call.

The husband gets on the phone, it’s now about 4:30pm on Thursday afternoon. He talks to Mark while I try to move a dresser that’s in the cat’s room, the wet carpet goes underneath it and I need to see how bad it is. Oof! I am almost past my prime when I could move full dressers with ease. But I eventually do it, my bad knee screaming at me by then. Oh, crap!

As I try to assess the damage done to the carpet, husband shuffles in and tells me that Mark knows a plumber he will call. If that guy can’t come out that night, Mark will come out on Friday after he gets off work. Yay! We got help coming. Now to just figure out how to pay for it.

So we wait Thursday night. No plumber. Ok, he was probably busy, so Mark will be out Friday night. We’ll just have to let it trickle leak till then as we need water during the night. What’s a little more in the carpet, right? Oh, crap!

Friday night comes around and Mark shows up. Yay for friends! He takes a look and figures it just needs a little more tightening. He gets down there, tightens it just a tad more and …..crack! The pipe cracks and water is spraying everywhere! Now we have to figure out how to turn the water off! There are a couple of valves tied into the mishmash of pipes in the water heater closet. Nope, none of those turn the water off. It is the main line from outside, the main line needs to be shut off.

all the white parts are new along with the fittings.
all the white parts are new along with the fittings.

We 3 scramble to find the shut off for the main line inside the place. We search in all the obvious spots. Under all the sinks. Nope, no shut off valve. Oh, crap!

I get on the phone to the manager of the trailer park. I tell him my tale of woe, he chuckles and says he’ll be right over to turn the water off. This is now 8pm. He shows up and tries to turn the water off and……crack! The pipe breaks. Now, the manager needs to fix the pipe before the main water supply can be turned off. So we have a leak going on the inside and the outside. Oh, crap!

The manager has to run back to his place to get the supplies he needs to fix the break. We wait. Water going everywhere. We hear the manager come back and in a few minutes the water is turned off. Mark goes back into the room and tries to fix the leak. The pipes need to be replaced. He’s not sure how to do it, but knows someone he can call. His nephew. Who’s a plumber. Mark gets on the phone, talks his nephew into coming over to help him. It’s now 8:30pm. We wait for the nephew.

I’m thinking, oh my god, how am I going to pay for this?? Oh, crap!

The nephew shows up and within 15 minutes has the pipe replaced and no leaks! Yay!! The water gets turned back on outside by our good manager, who incidentally has to unscrew our skirting, crawl half way under the trailer, just to turn the main water off and on. And he does this. Twice. And screws the skirting back on!

We thank our friend Mark and his nephew profusely. I ask how much do we owe you guys and can we pay you a little every month till its paid off? I mean their time is valuable, they provided the new pipe and fittings and did the labor. They deserved to be paid!

They look at me and say, don’t worry about it. No payment needed nor wanted. Merry Christmas!

Those three men, Mark, his nephew and our manager are my heroes! They did the work, at night, after their regular jobs and never even charged us. There are good people out there! I got my Christmas present.

Now I have to clean the carpet in the cat’s room. Oh, crap!