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Tracie Skarbo was motivated to write by her father, who was her biggest supporter. “He was always behind me, rallying me on with my writing. I would always see him with a book in hand. He gave me a great appreciation for the written word, and the power and responsibility that writers have to shape those who read their words. He also taught me to respect nature and to value the beauty within it; my reflections on my environment are just an extension of this.” Skarbo was raised on Vancouver Island and is working on her next two books.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hallelujah Hot Water!

It started when my hot water tank went.  I guess I shouldn’t call it mine though because I rent an old character house built in 1932 that has a wonderful big yard and a glorious view of the Pacific Ocean.  So when I began noticing that my showers were becoming shorter and shorter, I knew that this was just a little glitch that the universe had sent me to teach me patience and to appreciate being born in an era that spoiled me. 
So I called the agency that is the go between for myself and the owners and talked to “My Guy”.  My guy is a young lad who is part of the family that owns the property management business that looks after this house, and somehow he always seems to remind me of a blonde Don Johnson from that old TV show Miami Vice.   My guy shows up at my door well dressed and professional for inspections and when things go wrong or need to be seen to. 
I love this whole set up.  I love the fact that there is this middle man between the owners and me.  I never have to track anyone down, or wait for things to get done like I have experienced with other landlords in the past.  In the past four years the dryer, fridge and now the hot water tank have had to be replaced, and no matter what needed to be done my guy always had it fixed for me within hours or a day when parts needed to be ordered.
The hot water tank was no exception.  I called in and within hours he had a plumber here with a brand new tank.  I was ecstatic both with my new tank that was only supposed to take another three hours to heat, and with my guy for getting another job done so fast.
But lo and behold, when I got back from that nights run and hop into the shower I get three minutes of hot water before it goes flesh numbingly cold and I am screaming, doing the blind wet squirrel dance because I have soap in my eyes and I can’t find the taps.
To top it off, I can also now hear running water, even though I have turned off the taps and there is no other water running in the bathroom.  Once I take care of the remaining shampoo situation, I make another call to my guy.  However it is now the weekend and my guy is not in the office until Monday.  Ok, no problem, I am a big girl, I can manage.  This is just a little bump in the road when we look at the big picture.
The good news is that I can still wash clothes with cold water, I do that anyway, and one of the heating elements works so at least I am getting some hot water.  I just have to use my hot water wisely and time things, a little differently.  I began to wash dishes after filling the tub so that when I was boiling water for the tub I could use the time wisely and not drive myself crazy watching the water come to a boil.  I found that four big pasta pots was about right to get things done, but I was beginning to feel like a pasta noodle myself or like a boiled egg, I hoped that getting the tank fixed wouldn’t take much longer. 
Then all of a sudden, surprise, the phone rings and it is my guy.  Even though it is the weekend he is calling me to make sure that everything is on the up and up.  I tell him all about what has transpired and he gets on the phone to find out what can be done.  About thirty minutes later I get a call back, it is a different plumber asking for a time to come by to look at the tank.  He is one of the stores maintenance warranty guys.
When he shows up, I am looking up, I mean way up.  This guy has to be about six four and I was thinking to myself how does this guy get into nooks and crannies if need be?  He stayed for about ten minutes, and then told me that one of the heating elements had to be ordered and changed.  So we made arrangements for Monday.
Monday is now here and the plumber has come and gone again.  Lucky me, he showed up twenty minutes early, and only took about 45 minutes to do the job; my son, in his glory as he watched the young man work.  Suddenly all his home schooling work was out the window, I didn’t mind too much as long as he stayed out of the man’s way.
Good news, the running water noise in the bathroom has mysteriously vamoosed; I guess it must have been air in the pipes.  After my run tonight, I hope that there will not be a second squirrel incident and I will just have a deeper appreciation for being spoiled by appliances that work.

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