If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my photos of a rusty old pipe last week. Ugh. On Tuesday night, we were sitting in the living room and heard a loud gush of water, and then a commotion outside. No, really, a commotion!
I ran out the front door and was surprised; our neighbor was hiding behind her gate, and there was water spraying everywhere. I really couldn't figure out what had happened, and so I yelled, "Lisette, are you OK?" She told me she was drenched, but OK.
Sean came out, as well, and we tried to turn the water off, but with no luck. We figured out that we needed to call the city (at 11pm) and get them to turn off the water. And then we'd deal with the issue in the morning. Yes, the day before Thanksgiving. Again, ugh.
I called and the city sent out the emergency-water-turn-off guy, and we were in bed by 2am, without any water in the house. We'd called our home warranty company, and our insurance company, and discovered that because the pipe was outside the four walls of our home, any expenses incured would be out of our own pockets. No good.
We got a hold of a great plumber, who we found on Yelp, and he had the water situation fixed by about 10:30am. He just had to replace the old galvanized pipe with copper, and turn the water back on. Nice.
I couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to go over and chat with our neighbor, though. I wanted to make sure she was OK, and that the water hadn't caused any damage to her house. So on Thanksgiving I called around and found a store that was open and had flowers, and I went next door.
Lisette answered, and she immediately asked if she could help pay for the plumber. I was dumbfounded. I said, "Well, no, thank you, but why?"
And she admitted that she bumped in to the pipe and thought that she'd caused it to burst. And I said," Oh, Lisette, it was so rusted that if it hadn't broken that night, it would have literally been a matter of time. Please don't worry about it!"
To which, she put out her arms, and leaned in to hug me. She told me she'd been up nearly all night worried about it, and I admitted that I had been as well, worried that she was hurt or that her house or yard was damaged.
And then we laughed, we laughed so hard. She recounted how the water had gone straight up her skirt, and how she was confused and upset, and didn't understand what was going on at first. I laughed at how I'd fruitlessly tried to turn the lever on the pipe to turn the water off.
Lisette asked if I'd like some fig jam she'd made, from the fig tree in her yard that hangs over our fence. She smiled and said, "It's really your tree, too, isn't it?"
And as she reached for the jam, and I looked at the mums I'd brought over, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude that a small plant and home made jam could help smooth over worried minds. That we have such good neighbors, that when two people can just be honest, and approach something with good intentions, that any possible hard feelings can be mended. That we have friends next door, that our home feels like home. Here on Thanksgiving morning, I was full of thanks. So very full of thanks.