Need less to say, the football game suddenly took a backseat.
After drying off and throwing on a robe, I started dialing plumbers. It was close to 800 pm, so I wasn’t having much luck. Emergency plumbers coming out in the evening have gone the way of every other type of service since covid.
What to do? Turning off the water in the front of my house is not an easy task in the dark and even if I managed to get it off, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get it back on. Leaving the shower running all night was also not an option. I needed a handy man in close proximity to come to the rescue.
My neighbor popped into my head. Having lived next door to his family since he was a young boy, I had watched him grow up. I wasn’t sure exactly what he did for a living, but he drove a truck filled with tools and had a shed full of more tools in the backyard. Definitely the handy type.
I threw on some clothes, combed out my wet hair and ran next door. When his mother answered the door, I identified myself, since with no makeup on and my hair resembling a drowned rat, I wasn’t sure she was going to recognize me.
Hearing what was going on, she immediately called her handy son, who happened to be home in the back house. She said he would be over in a few minutes.
He arrived, accessed the situation (a broken stem), turned off the water, spent an hour trying to get the broken part out, went to Home Depot to get a new part and fixed the handle. (Turns out what he does for a living is plumbing.)
After three hours, with order restored, I asked what I owed him and he told me, “Nothing. You have always been a good neighbor to us, so this is just a good neighbor thing.”
I did manage to get him to at least take some money for the part he bought, and I threw in some Amazon gift certificates, but that was no where near what it would have cost me if I had been able to get someone out. Not to mention my water bill if the shower had been running for 24 hours.
The word hero gets thrown around a lot, but that night, he was my hero. No, he didn’t jump in front of a train or lift a car off me, but he saved me from a lot of stress and inconvenience. Not because he expected anything back, but because he thought it was the right thing to do.
I know being a good neighbor, or just opening a door for someone happens every day. More than all the bad things that people do to each other that gets all the press. It’s just hard to remember sometimes.
This Thanksgiving I have so much to be grateful for. The big things, like health and love and a roof over my head. But if we go around the table at dinner and say what we are thankful for, I will say, “My hero neighbor with plumbing skills.” Because he didn’t just fix the shower. He reminded me of all the good that people do that no one ever hears about.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful day of gratitude and love.