What constitutes a bad omen?
Maybe a black cat that crosses your path, or a broken mirror? Or, could it be a situation that occurs to an acquaintance, that you pray won’t happen to you? Maybe it’s all of those things; and maybe toting a rabbit’s foot, or a pocketful of 4-leaf clovers, could be beneficial to fend off misfortune.
What happened wasn’t first recognized as an omen. It was a major inconvenience, physically, and financially, for my friends Jim Lutz, and his wife, Kay, (frequent providers of ideas for new columns) and should have been interpreted as a sign by me.
Seems their water heater felt it was time to do what water heaters do when they tire of providing hot showers; it quit. But it didn’t quit with a bang, it ceased functioning with a wet whimper. Kay discovered the malfunction; or at least her bare feet did when she found herself wading across the basement carpet. Luckily, they were able to vacuum up the water, shut off the supply, call a plumber, and write out a substantial check for a new water heater.
News of the warm-water deluge traveled quickly around our cul-de-sac, and another neighbor, Dick Vanderbosch, reacted pro-actively. Knowing that a water heater has about a 12 year working life, and our town homes are of that age, he contacted the other residents. Then arming himself with a sizable list of folks who wanted to avoid carpet irrigation, negotiated a deal with a retailer and plumber, saving several homeowners money, and future problems.
You might be thinking that my name would have been on that list, right? Well, it wasn’t. I had earlier checked our heater out, crawling around on my hands and knees to see if I could discover a leak. Not a drop I saw, so, I told Mr. Vanderbosch it wasn’t for me.
A day or so later, my wife, shoeless, she was, had an opportunity to walk on water. About two inches of Colorado snow melt had flowed into our basement rec-room. The culprit? Why, our water heater, of course.
Lucky for me, the neighborhood installations hadn’t begun, and I was able to make the same arrangements my foresighted neighbors had, and today, we can once more enjoy a hot shower.
Yep, I should have interpreted Jim and Kay’s misfortune as an omen.
But I didn’t. Why would I? Sharon can walk on water.
Well friends, I tried my level best to upload a couple of photos today, but had no luck. You’ll have to use your imagination….