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Lesson Learned

April 27, 2011

Woke to a hissing sound in the basement this morning and another adventure in home ownership ensued. I seemed to have developed bionic hearing in my middle age and knew that something was askew in my acoustic universe. While on my way to an early morning bathroom run I picked up a distinct hissing sound in the far away distance of what I hoped would be somebody else’s day. I proceeded to stumble about the house to investigate further. When I realized it was coming from our basement all I could muster in my zombie-headed state was to yell out to my husband “Peter, something is wrong!” Peter is the captain of early morning zombie-headedness with computing skills worse than my own. From his cozy slumber all he could muster in reply to my cry for help was “Ugh?”.

I get halfway into the basement when I realized it was coming from our furnace room and I immediately suspect the worst-case scenario – a gas leak. Frightened that we were going to blow any minute now, I mindlessly flip on the light switch so that I can add vision to my sensory exploration. I am still screaming for Peter to come. Apparently he had no plans to move from his cozy corner until he received further clarification to his ‘ugh’ inquiry.

The lit room informed me that there was a broken dam of water spilling out onto the floor. Turns out our 17-year-old water heater is toast. I then did what I always do in water related emergencies and dialed 1-800-call-Eric. 1-800-call-Eric is my nickname for my brother-in-law who has the unfortunate vocation of being a plumber. Unfortunate because being a plumber in the family is kind of like being the friend who owns a truck. The friend who owns the truck inadvertently gets volunteered to help everybody and anybody move house and the plumber in the family becomes the un-paid, on-call, go-to guy for all family related plumbing emergencies. He told me to turn the water intake valve off. Duh!

After following 1-800-call-Eric’s complicated instructions I stood barefoot on the flooded floor and thanked my lucky stars that turning on a light switch did not ignite an explosion from a gas leak. Crises diverted and mystery solved, Peter finally makes it to the scene of the crime. We mopped away, a little more awake at this point but still lacking cognitive skills. Unwisely we decide to launch into a debate. Housework before breakfast makes for two very grumpy zombies let me tell you.

Apparently me yelling “Peter something’s wrong” in my emergency voice during the wee hours of the morning is not cohesive enough for Peter. He said he needed more information before he was going to react. I said, okay so next time I’m standing all alone in a potential disaster zone I’ll summon my Zen master abilities and telepathic problem solving skills and ask the house: “house what is this sound you are making, what could be the matter with you?” Then with a clear head I will calmly take the knowledge I have gathered and bring it back to my sleeping husband and whisper ever so peacefully, so as to not alarm him: “Peter, wake up honey bun, our house is about to blow us kingdom come.”

Lesson learned: In the early hours, should an emergency arise, not only can my husband and I not communicate clearly or effectively with each other but apparently our internal response systems cannot compute logic either.

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A note about the drop caps used in this post. Jessica Hische is at the top of my top-ten list of favorite designers. Back in 2009 she started a project called Daily Drop Cap and in it she allows other bloggers to use her exquisite drop caps in their own non-commercial posts. Thanks Jessica!!!

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