I don’t know about you, but I’ve always broken up with (or been broken up with) in person. Maybe it’s old school, but there’s never been a Post-It or ghosting involved.
One day, I discovered that my landlord Mark and his wife Citlali had suddenly decamped to Southern California somewhere. They took everything in their greenhouses, but left their dogs behind with Citlali’s sister, Catrin, and her husband, Zac, who live in my brother’s former abode at the very end of the property. The dogs and I have greeted this somewhat shocking development with equal enthusiasm, though there was less barking in my case. At least on the outside.
Of course, pretty much the minute there was no landlord on the premises, things started Going Wrong.
I came home one day to find that the toilet had gone on strike in the sudden and definitive manner of French civil servants. I gazed at the errant fixture with dismay and trepidation before calling my long-suffering brother-in-law Rob, who has undoubtedly begun to feel that he and Megan did not move far enough away.
Rob turned up almost immediately and coaxed the commode into working order once more. But this wasn’t the end of the plumbing adventures.
Last weekend, no water came out of the taps. This was surprising, since our well has never run out of water, no matter how droughty the drought got. The guy who has moved into Megan and Rob’s house investigated all day to no avail, leaving the pump turned off overnight and notifying me that the 2,000 gallon water tank was unaccountably empty.
There’s nothing like not having water to peel off the thin veneer of civilization in a hurry. Dishes piled up in the sink, grooming was a challenge (OK, it was non-existent), and I was thankful that I had buckets of water to flush the non-operational facilities.
The next day, there was no further news or information, so once again I resorted to Dial-A-Rob, with its excellent service. It didn’t take him long to discover that the problem was that whoever was working on the front house renovation left the hose going and that had drained the tank. While stupid, it was also the easiest possible fix. Rob turned it off and before long, both water and my slightly shopworn veneer of ersatz civilization were restored. I really don’t know what I’d do without Rob, though I bet he’d like to know.
We have been getting some early season rain over the past few days, and I was sorry to see that it was not staying outside. I seem to have new leaks this year, including one over the couch. I wonder if I can get someone other than Rob to fix it?
A YEAR AGO: Mark was still around and working on the property. Those were the days.
TEN YEARS AGO: I had plumbing problems then, too.