Just love QWU, a place to hang out talk about quilts, sewing machines, ideas, and our grandkids. Also where we can share, let our hair down or tear it out among friends, right? Oh, I'm so glad you agree.
Because you are just not going to believe this! We headed up to Idaho in early April. This was to be the year we remodel the west end of the house. I anticipated lots of dirt and dust flying around while things got torn down and put back together. So no quilt projects went up this year. I bought a few embroidery kits to take. And some yarn and knitting needles, crochet hooks. All small project stuff to keep me happy and out of the guys hair yet be on call for consultation: "Hey, what is this closet thing you have designed in the bathroom wall?" or "A mirror defogger? And it needs to be hardwired?" or "A towel warmer? What is it, a towel rack that gets hot? I spose you want that hardwired too?" But I'm getting ahead of the story.
So we drive up to our gate after a long day and night on the road, DH is tired and a bit frazzled, so I'm not really surprised that he's having trouble getting the gate open. But after some fumbling around he comes back and digs in the truck tool box. Uh Oh! He cuts the chain to open the gate. Must be really frazzled. Gets back in the truck, looks at me and says somebody has been here, broke in, and replaced the gate padlock. We get up to the house and everything is OK. Heads scratched, shoulders shrugged, then unpack and all. Later that morning we notice that the electrical meter now has a smart meter. Aha! Mystery solved. But kind of miffed, ya know?? A phone call or note on the door would have been nice.
Fast forward four months and I get a call that DH's mother is failing. The dying process has begun, we need to get back to California. DH does not take this news well. In fact he's all over the board emotionally and mostly taking it out on me verbally. I'm beginning to feel like his personal rag doll being whacked against the wall all day. But he's working his way through his pain/grief. Meanwhile, the job site has to be shut down, calls to contractors to delay/postpone work, equipment packed up and removed, doors and windows order put on hold. The contractors nightmare. Then, two days later, just before we are ready to leave, the call comes that she has passed away. A new flood of emotion for DH, and more phone calls with his brother while we finish packing up and get on the road. Deciding what to do and making the necessary arrangements on speaker phone with brother takes up a lot of the trip so it goes fairly fast. We arrive back in California a little after midnight. DH gets out tired and frazzled and goes to open the gate. I get a quick deja vu but relax when it opens, just the chains are a little jumbled up. However, the house is dark. The porch light should be on. So we open up, DH with a flashlight, me with the cell phone to light my way. OK, the power is out. But DH turns on the faucet to get a drink and no water. Suddenly he rounds on me "Haven't you been paying the utilities?" A little tired and frazzled myself plus playing the rag doll wall bang, I answer "No, but I've been checking the bills every month..."
"What? When was the last time you made any payments"
"January. But I've checked the bills..."
"Never mind! Let's just get the candles...Why the h@ll haven't you been paying the bills!!!"
"To save on stamps, it costs 49 cents every time you mail a payment." I answer with a little edge in my wee tired voice. Then it dawns on me. He's forgotten that I pay ahead for the year on all the utilities and check the statements each month to make sure we still have a credit balance.
After some more choice words between two totally too tired people, we get that one sorted out, but then start to wonder why are all the utilities off? A trip around outside and DH sees the water has been turned off at the street and the main valve covers removed for the house line and the shop line. Which means somebody came over the gate and turned off all the valves. SNAP!
Meanwhile I make a call to PG&E to report a power outage. While I'm punching in the account number per the recorded voice directions, a man comes on the line and I nearly miss him because I'm holding the phone so I can see to use the keypad and don't hear him talking. Okay, get the info that power has been out since 7:00PM yesterday, so I'm thinking quickly how long is that in hours and do I need to pitch everything in the freezer, and say "So 7:00PM Monday, then" and writing it down, when he answers "No, 7:00PM yesterday....today is Wednesday" It is freaking Tuesday night just after midnight! SNAP!
No, I didn't say bad words to Mr. PG&E. Or any more bad words too poor DH grieving for his mom. After checking our phone messages which included a neighbor saying we'd had a sprinkler running (sarcasm alert: can you say automatic sprinkler system) and we need to get it fixed, I went to bed and just laid there numb, staring at the ceiling in the dark. California, once dubbed the land of fruits and nuts, now also the land of the water police...? What the h@ll happened? These were supposed to be our golden years.
PS: Hope you enjoyed the story. No, I did not make this up!!!