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Follow The Noise And Snap To It | News, Sports, Jobs

Saturday afternoon was softening toward dusk, ending a quiet week. I was getting a bit better each day from my latest fight with Covid. Then, Dear Richard’s cranky hip decided not to cooperate, pushing him to use a cane. We were slowed down, but not out, and glad of no commitments for the weekend.

I was washing my hands in our master bathroom when I heard an unlikely loud “SNAP.”

I couldn’t place its origin. It was outside the bathroom, and sounded like something between a mechanical failure and breaking glass. Maybe like a window pane cracking?

A quick trip to the living room assured me that the bay window was intact. As I turned to leave the room, I was greeted with every homeowner’s favorite feeling: drops of water on my head and shoulders while NOT standing in the shower. A look up at the leaking door frame, and voila! I had the answer: unusual noise plus inappropriate raindrops — second floor catastrophe. OMG.

Since I’m tied to oxygen and the stairs are no longer my friends, I called “Richard … RICHARD … R-I-C-H-A-R-D!” Hobbling in from the other end of the house, he ditched his cane and headed upstairs as fast as his hip and back would carry him. He stepped into an inch of water on the upstairs bathroom floor. A mini-Niagara was pouring from the bottom of the toilet tank as he found the shut-off valve.

Unfortunately, the shut-off valve did not stop the water pouring down the living room and bathroom walls and dripping from the door and window frames. I watched helplessly as the dark spot on the living room ceiling grew into a giant Rorschach test. The paint in the bathroom ceiling and walls swelled into water-filled balloons. I was afraid to burst them; fortunately, they eventually shrank back to normal.

I hated calling the plumber on a Saturday at 5 p.m., but unbelievably, he answered his phone. Even more extraordinary, he came right away. He determined it was only a snapped supply line and said we’d be fine. He brought and installed the replacement part the next day – a Sunday! Thank you, God, for Dave, his work ethic, and for plunking me into a small town that works this way. All that care and good-natured attention on a weekend doesn’t happen much in suburbia … or urbia, for that matter.

As house catastrophes go, this was minor. We were lucky. When this $12 part gave up the ghost, we were at home. The supply line was 53 years old, original to the house. Hey, by the time I was 53 I had snapped more than once, and the fix cost a lot more than 12 bucks.

Dear Richard and I chatted over supper Sunday night about the possibility of something like this happening when we are not at home. We shuddered imagining the damage. When we left for Boston last Thanksgiving, it was for ten days. Ten days of internal water damage would be a six-month rebuild.

It was during that discussion that we realized that Finian, our Maine Coon cat, is actually part of our in-home protection system. Because he remains at home when we travel, we have a lovely “Cat Lady” who comes in the morning and evening to feed him. She spends a bit of playtime with Finian, takes in the mail, and monitors the house systems. I suppose a few midday hours of a runaway toilet could do a lot of damage, but it would probably be salvageable without losing a half year of our lives.

I never considered my monthly Fancy Feast bill as part of our property insurance, but I’m looking at Finian with new respect. Despite not being a dedicated mouser, nevertheless, he’s earning his keep! And we get to breathe easier on the road.

We’re trying to decide where this mini-calamity fits in the rule of “threes.” It seems that big name celebs die in threes, or bad things happen in threes. Hopefully, this is the third – my hospitalization, Richard’s hip going kafflooey, and this loud, water-logged snap. BUT, If the snap is the first of a new crush of “threes,” please let it be only Snap, followed by Crackle, and Pop. We can handle that much in our cereal bowls.

Marcy O’Brien can be reached at Moby.32@hotmail.com

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