July 4th was my cat's birthday. When I was 6 years old, the neighbor's cat had kittens and my Mom asked me if I would like to go over there and choose one to take home. I remember peering into the box of kitties and picking out mine, the only calico out of a litter of black and white kittens, the runt. The nice lady in charge told me that I could have her if she lived, and in a couple weeks she would be ready for me to take her home.
Those were the longest couple of weeks in my 6 year old life, but I finally brought Muffin home and if she were alive today, she would be 27!
July 4th will also be remembered as the Great Water Heater Fiasco of 2006. I know, I know, not truly a "fiasco" in the sense that it could've been soooo much worse, but still a fiasco in my opinion!
Imagine it is 1:30 in the morning and a very tired tooth fairy creeps out to the car in her garage to fetch the $2.00 bill she must place, ever so gently so as not to awake the tooth looser, under his pillow. Imagine the sound of a fast drip, drip, drip as she opens the door from the house to the garage. She looks over at the water heater and then down, to the location of the dripping.
What to do? She weighs her options since of course, as with all fiascos, her husband is on shift. Should she call her Dad, because he's closer? Or, should she call her husband and wake him and his Captain up at this hour? Minutes tick by, and she snaps to it and rings her husband at work. She calmly explains to the Captain that she has a little, not life-threatening emergency, and could he please wake her husband?
Then the fun begins.
"Do you see the switch on the bottom that turns off the temperature?"
"Turn it off, righty tighty - lefty loosey"
"Okay, hmmm . . . oh, there okay I got it"
"At the top of the tank, do yo see a knob to turn off the water"
Looking, looking, searching. She sees pipes leading out of the contraption - pipes would mean water, right? Water in a pipe, shut it off, "Oh, yes there it is! Okay, yes, it's off".
"Righty tighty, lefty loosey?"
"Okay, do you see the gas line . . ."
Her mind wanders at the mention of the words "gas line" conjuring up horrific images of being blown to smithereens . . .
"Turn the lever perpendicular to the line"
She remembers geometry, in high school, paralell means in line with, right? That means perpendicular is a 90 degree angle . . .
"Oh yes, it is off"
"Okay now you need to drain the tank, get the hose and you see that little spout on the bottom of the tank? Hook the hose up and make sure that it is far away from the house, aim it downhill, not in the flower beds."
She proceeds, as directed by her magnificent Husband at 2:00 a.m., to drain the entire hot water tank.
Finally she climbs into bed around 2:30 a.m. and sleeps for a little while, knowing that her house will not flood (at least not today). Plans A, B and C are premeditated for the morning and worst case scenario puts her and the kids showering at her parent's house while Daddy fixes the hot water tank. Thankfully (and thanks are not enough), her brother-in-law works for a plumbing supply company and has the pull to get someone to meet him at the store to get us a new tank on a holiday at 8 in the morning!
All morning her Hubby and his brother disconnect the old tank and replace it with the new one. They miss the 4th of July parade, but get hot showers 4 hours later! Life couldn't be sweeter. It could've been so much worse, a much greater fiasco, if you will. If she hadn't gone out there to get that $2.00 bill, if it had been next week while they were on vacation, if . . . You can play the "what if" game until you're blue in the face with this one. Bottom line is, they didn't have to replace all of the flooring on their lower level, the furniture and all of the toys and appliances!
Oh, and the tooth fairy did make her scheduled destination under the striped pillowcase with the goods extracted from the car, without even an ounce of detection by the soundly sleeping 7 year old!
Fiasco, you betcha! I now can walk any one of you through the proper steps to drain your tank, not to mention place a $2.oo bill under the head of a sleeping boy who left this for the "toothfairy": Here is the tooth that I wuldnit pull out! I love you! (Written on a small, white piece of paper, spelled according to Wyatt)
Think she'll mind if I tuck it away in my underwear drawer for now?