This morning, as I jumped out of bed to cross the room and turn off my alarm, there was no doubt - the carpet was wet. Dang. (Seriously - I'm so emotionally exhausted I don't even have the energy to swear properly.) I traced the source of the damp/wet carpet to the closet, where my water heater sits behind a removable wall. I've never opened the scary/secret place known as "the cubby that holds the water heater." And I've lived here 15 years. I was scared. Then I was irritated. The removable wall is held in place by the wonkiest screws I have ever seen. Nothing I had would get them off. I ran across the road to my AMAZING neighbor's house. Mike was home and had the exact tool I needed to remove the screws. He insisted on coming over and checking things out with me. (Mike and his wife Carol are what I like to call "Good People" - they give unconditionally and continuously. They are the best neighbors ever!)
Mike got the screws out and we carefully removed the wall. This is what greeted us:
As you can see, there were 15 years of cobwebs. *Shiver* But if you look closer, you can see what really freaked me out . . .
Do you see it? That pink bit behind the cobwebs? It's a HOLE!!! That goes straight down to the ground.
What I didn't capture in a picture was that the whole unit was leaning back and the exhaust chimney had become unconnected. Meaning? It is a true miracle I didn't end up a carbon dioxide death statistic. At this point? I was freaking out, trying not to hysterically burst into tears in front of my neighbor. Mike left and I called the mobile-home company I've used for years. They could have someone out for an estimate later in the afternoon. Great.
I headed in to work, I had a full day of coaching and I was so excited to see some Alumni who were coming in to coach as well. I spent the day trying not to cry in my office. I had a freaking Hole! In! My! Floor! that my water heater could fall through at any moment. Finally at 3pm, I got the call the plumber was on the way and I headed home.
Let me pause here to note that J. the plumber was so very, very kind. I warned him that my usual non-crying self was not co-operating and I might burst into tears. He should just ignore me. And he did.
The good news? He was not at all surprised or disturbed I had a hole in the floor. He said it was a good thing, as most of the water was draining out the hole and not running under the floorboards of the mobile home. He also said it was fine to use until it was fixed, even leaning over and not hooked up to the vent. What calmed me down more than anything was just how calm HE was. He closed up the cubby and did some checking under the trailer and came back in with an estimate.
This is where there's really bad news. Want to know how much it costs to repair a hole in the water heater cubby and replace a gas water heater?
Exactly. I don't HAVE $1500 laying around because I just crashed my car. So, I filled out an application for financing, which I will find out about tomorrow. If it's not approved, I seriously have no idea what I'll do. But I'm trying really, really hard to not worry about it. I am trusting that a solution will present itself. And I'm praying I will have grace and patience getting through this hurdle.
All day, when I've started to become overwhelmed and on the edge of a panic attack, I've tried to remember that this is a drop in the bucket compared to "big problems." I have 2 friends battling breast cancer. That's bigger than a water heater that needs replaced. The news is reporting a man in town lost his whole house to a fire last night. That's bigger than a water heater that needs replaced. There are people in the Philippines with no access to food, water and medical care. That makes my water heater issue seem like an incredibly small problem.
I'm really trying to count my blessings - because I know they are still present even though I am so exhausted from my string of bad luck. I have amazing friends who will let me talk through problems and say the supportive things I need to hear. I have a mum who will let me ugly cry for 30 minutes on the phone, which really does make me feel better. I have a sister who calls at exactly the right time and lets me ugly cry to her as well, though not for as long as mum does :-) I have kitties who don't judge when I cry and snot into their fur.
And I have warm, fuzzy blankets I can burrow under to forget all my troubles, even if it's for just a while.