It all started with the water softener. Our well water is quite hard and has a high content of sulfur. It is harder than the soles of the feet of the cast of Riverdance; it comes out of the faucet like gravel.
Of late our water softener became a hardener. Mr. Repair Man said, "You can buy a new one for $1,300 or replace the control valve for $200. We now have a new control valve. It works fine.
We lost four trees in our yard to the drought. Paul Bunion said, "I will cut those trees and grind out the stumps for $550. The trees are gone and I have transplanted four saplings from our tree line to replace them. I also gave several young trees to a friend.
Mr. Hail, and I don't mean the Captain on Gilligan's Island, came through our neighborhood twice this past summer. Ms. State Farm said, "We will replace your 23-year old roof at no out of pocket cost to you except your deductible because you have the replacement cost clause in your policy." Great. I was considering it anyway. Saved me $10K.
BW wanted a new fireplace. We had a non-vent gas log that produced odors and too much heat. It died. So we decided to go electric and engaged a local business, We Know More About Gas Than You Do & Sons to shut off the gas to the fireplace. Tool The Tim Man, guaranteed there was no gas remaining in the line. I couldn't find my hacksaw to remove it so Ray brought his. I said, "Come in Ray, this won't take a minute and you can take the saw back home." I sawed into the line and gas gushed into the house. As the little Dutch boy at the dike, I held it with my fingers. Ray ran and turned it off at the meter. Thank God for Ray.
I placed a frantic call to WKMAGTYD and an hour later Tool returned and installed another shutoff. No charge. That solved the leak problem except the dryer would not heat. So another call went out to WKM ... and Tool determined that the first shutoff valve had stopped the gas for the dryer. He repaired that problem and we now have a working dryer. No charge.
But there isn't any air coming out of the vent. I wonder where it is going. I suppose we will have to replace the pipe. Aaaargh.
We shared our saga of woe to friends. Linn said, "I believe if I were you I would buy a canary."
To those still learning, coal miners used to take canaries down in the mines to warn of the presence of deadly methane gas. When miners looked in the cage and the canary was graveyard dead, they ran faster than a man who just stole the crown jewels from The Tower of London. Imagine a canary down in the mine. Tweetie is preening and fluffing her feathers. She is pointing her beak up and down, side to side trying to detect methane gas. Two miners stop to chat nearby. These two particular miners were lax in performing their daily ablutions and were not fastidious in matters of personal hygiene. Tweetie glares and blares, "Peeeuuu. Hey, Elzy and Elmo, how 'bout moving on? Can't you see I'm working here? Would it kill you to take a shower at least once a week?"
Larry grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State University -- four times. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or (317) 839-7656. Write him at 6860 Sunrise Drive, Plainfield, Ind., 46168.