Today a nice man and his two helpers arrived at our door. Shari was doing laundry, I was getting last minute things done before our trip tomorrow (to our annual conference), and Hannah was on the couch. She was home sick today from school.
The two helpers of the nice man had tools, and their plan was to use those tools to cut our house off from all access to water. That would solve our leak problem, wouldn’t it?
Actually, the nice man was from the water company. Apparently, "we" hadn’t paid our bill in 5 years (woah – and we haven’t even lived here for seven months!). "But, I’ve never received a bill" I protested.
I know, in your country you would have been hammering down the door of the water company if you had never received a bill. But here … well, things are different. I figured a bill would arrive eventually, and I’ve actually been saving money in my account to pay it when it does arrive.
But then I found out why we hadn’t received a bill. It’s because we don’t … or, I should say, the owner of the house doesn’t even have a contract with the water company!
Now I’m going to shut off your water, says the nice man.
Well, I told him I would call the owner while he went a few doors down to shut off someone else’s water.
Then I thought better of it, and I called our colleague Rod. Maybe Rod could talk to him and clarify things.
Kindly taking time out of their busy schedules (busy is an understatement for this week. But you know what I mean.), Rod and Mayra came right over to talk to the nice man.
During the conversation, one of our neighbours, Maricarmen, came over. Now we had our friends Rod and Mayra, and Shari (who was visibly upset and explaining to the nice man that we had a sick girl in the house and we need water), and a neighbour who was about to go to bat for us.
Maricarmen took his arm. "Oh, come on, your notice here says they have three days. You don’t have to do this now. Come on, they’re not even the owners. It’s not their fault!" etc etc
Well, the nice man and his two helpers were outnumbered 5-3, though I think the three women would have been more than a match for them.
The nice man kindly told us not to worry, to take our time. He shook my hand, and fled from the three women.
Later today Rod got a hold of the owner of the house, and he’ll be emailing the paperwork we need to get the contract and get everything organized.
So, it sounds like our water won’t be cut off while we’re gone, and we should have time to get the paperwork done before any more nice men come to call.
I think I would like to solve the leak problems some other way.
Actually, the BIG leak that I told you about has been fixed! Our friend and all-around handyman Mario came and fixed it all up for a reasonable fee, and I think that’s one leak that’s gone for good.
If you like you can pray for Hannah, though, who has been sick in bed all day. We do have a drive on windy mountain roads tomorrow, and we’ll need wisdom in the morning to see whether she’s ready for the trip.
Never a dull moment.