Just before bedtime last night I reminded my husband that the water softener was in need of salt. Out he dutifully went, to do as I had asked. It was only moments later when I heard an echoing boom from the garage. I went to check and saw water seeping into the house. I hesitated only briefly, unsure if I really wanted to know what was happening on the other side of that door. If my husband’s safety were accounted for I might not have looked, but I had to. I opened the door to find my husband drenched by water that sprayed violent as a fire hydrant from a busted water softening unit. He fought to get a grip of a slippery valve so that he could shut the water off at the source. Unfortunately, the water kept spraying all the while. We were up late into the night, fully emptying the garage and sweeping as much water as we could out from inside. The wet/dry vac also came in quite handy.
Today, we paid just over two thousand dollars to have a new unit installed. Two thousand unexpected dollars, I might add. Two thousand dollars that we had no intention of parting with just twenty-four short hours ago. Oh, but what a difference a day makes.
Two nights before that, we discovered that our seven-year-old son had spilled purple paint from his art kit on the bedroom carpet. Afraid of being punished, he managed to hide the spill for a full forty-eight hours. Just long enough to allow the stain to set permanently in the carpet fibers.
It’s been a doozie of a week already and it isn’t over yet.
Did I mention that today is my anniversary? My husband and I are celebrating nine really awesome years (to include a few bad apple days thrown in for good measure).
If the tone of this article makes it sound as though I’m taking the whole fiasco in stride, well, it’s because I am. A few years ago, my son almost drowned in a friend’s pool. I remember the thought that ran through my head as I was speeding away by his side in an ambulance: Please God, let him be okay. Nothing else matters.
He was indeed okay.
Years have passed, but that moment has remained with me. It taught me that if a lottery windfall would solve the problem, then the problem isn’t worth worrying about. Not that my bank account reflects a lottery windfall by any means. My problems, though, are in regard to things (at least for this week). Carpet and plumbing and maybe a sheet or two of drywall that might need to be replaced in the garage. Just things.
I sent my husband a texted photo of the invoice the water softener company rep left with me. I captioned the photo: Happy Anniversary! I suppose it’s ironic that indeed it is a happy anniversary, despite the expense of our broken things. Further proof that money can’t buy happiness. It probably wouldn’t hurt, though, should any of you be inclined to send anniversary cards. Hint hint.