Monday evening my wife and I were exposed to the joys of being home owners. Up until then things had gone pretty well and we were almost done finishing the rooms to make them our own. Yes, things were grand, until Monday.
I was leaving work at about 4 p.m. when I called my wife to let her know I was on my way home. I left a little early to help her set up for the kindergarten music program in Nevada. As I am talking to her she asks, "Is the hot water heater supposed to be making a dripping noise?" I am still learning how to diagnose the sounds our house makes, but I knew that was not a good thing. I asked her to go take a look at it and she said, "There is water all over the floor!"
At this point there is nothing I can do as I am driving to Nevada, so my wife called her father to get everything shut off to prevent any further leakage. I call her when I get into town and ask for an update ... she tells me that our hot water heater is kaput.
Needless to say this is a stressful time for any homeowner, but it got worse for us. Monday was the day before my wife's program. I am responsible for making a majority of the props for her program while she makes the costumes. She still had to paint some pants to make them look dirty and I still had to paint a seven-foot-long hot dog. On top of that we had to go to the auditorium to set up what props we had finished with included a seven-foot tall cup with straw, five-foot tall ketchup and mustard bottles, and a five-foot long piece of watermelon. (Her program was called Bugz! so I had to make some oversized items)
At about 5 p.m. we got the water to the house shut off and we went to the auditorium to set up for the program while simultaneously checking prices at Sutherlands, Sears, and Home Depot for a 30-gallon hot water heater. With the help of my mother-in-law we contacted the stores and determined that Sutherlands was our best bet.
At about 6 p.m. my wife and I headed to Walmart to pick up a few last minute items for the program then stopped at Burger King for a well deserved comfort meal. Then it was off to Sutherlands.
Thankfully we had just received our income tax return which included our first-time home-buyer tax credit. Regardless, the sting of paying nearly $400 and possibly sacrificing our vacation was still very much present. However to help lessen the sting, we had just received a Sutherlands ad in the paper which had a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $20 ... I think we were going to qualify.
We walk to the hot water heaters, place one on the cart then head to the register. The cashier can see the disappointment and frustration in our faces which is probably why she took our meager coupon, ignored it, and gave us a 10 percent reduction along with a comforting smile.
It was about 7:30 p.m. by the time my father-in-law returned to our house to help with the replacement -- he had just replaced his about two months ago. While he and I worked on replacing the hot water heater while tromping through a water soaked carpeted floor, my wife began working on some last minute costume adjustments for her program.
Finally, about 9:30 p.m. we were done. The water was back on and it was hot!
As much as I wanted to go to bed with my wife, I still had a seven-foot hot dog to paint. It was probably about 1 a.m. by the time I got to bed ... then it was back to work again at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
To those who don't believe the old saying that bad things come in threes, let me lay this on you.
1. The day before my wife's first grade program around Christmas time -- My wife was so sick that she didn't even go to school the day before the program.
2. The day before my wife's second grade program in early March -- A parent hits my wife's parked car in front of the school.
3. The day before my wife's kindergarten program, Monday -- Our hot water heater crashes.
Need I say more? Thank goodness my wife doesn't have any more programs this year.