It all started with a drip. Our renter calls to let us know water is dripping from his ceiling. This is a problem because he is located on the bottom floor of a two-story unit. Larry runs over, the ceiling is indeed sporting an aggressive drip, which means a pipe has broken inside the wall. This is going to require a plumber, sheetrock, texturing, and paint to repair.
When Larry returns to the house, half his shirt is soaked, he looks perturbed. I drag him down the hall, to the laundry room, to show him how the washer is leaking. The door is improperly sealed and it leaves a puddle of water on the floor after each load. Larry is not pleased, the washer was installed a few weeks ago, and you can bet this won’t be covered by the warranty. Then someone gets up in the middle of the night for a snack, jams the freezer drawer, by morning there is water everywhere (now that could have been me so go easy). Maybe all these issues are metaphoric, you know El Nino is coming, and it all starts with a drip.
In addition to annoying drips, we have inflation problems. Dante has been adding air to my back passenger tire every morning. It has a slow leak, but now another tire is losing pressure, I have a light on the dash that alerts me. I tell Larry, “El Nino is coming, I think I need new tires.” Larry starts scanning the web for tire deals, he has this vein on the side of his head, and it throbs when he’s stressed. It’s on overdrive. So to lighten the mood I say, “The tires can be your Christmas present.” That didn’t seem to help.
The water level is so low up at Clearlake, there is only one boat ramp still operational, if we don’t get our boat out of the water now, it will have to stay on the dock all winter. (In case you don’t know, I refer to this boat as Larry’s midlife chick, and he will not be leaving her out in the cold all winter.) The entire drive up to the lake Larry and I are on the phone shuffling repair people, tenants, and availability. When we arrive, I drive the boat, Larry drives the trailer, and we meet up at The Oaks. I manage to get the boat onto the trailer without filing for divorce so I consider it a successful retrieval. Larry says, “That was a disaster.” I say, “It’s not my skill set.” He starts to respond but I give him the look. Back at the house, Larry goes to raise the dock to the winter level, El Nino is coming, but the minute he pushes the button it blows the entire electrical system. I yell, “Now, that’s a disaster.” He gives me the look. After grabbing some tools, he heads out to the dock, to mess with the fried cable. I tease, “Look, Larry the cable guy.” I guess this isn’t his skill set, because three hours later, I find him scanning the yellow pages.
Now if you know anything about Clearlake finding a good repair person is an oxymoron. Larry somehow locates a guy, that is willing to take on our small job, but they have a glitch in communication. I only hear Larry’s side of the conversation:
“I didn’t get that. One more time, slowly.”
“You can come when?”
“It sounds like you’re saying…”
“I totally missed that.”
I about peed my pants. Larry thinks the guy is coming next week, but he is not sure what day, or what time. Are you forming a hypothesis? Yeah, me too. The three-hour drive home was tense.
Next morning, Larry has a meeting in Colorado, so he heads to the airport. I have classes to teach, so I head to Notre Dame. When I arrive home at the end of the day, there is a ladder leaning against the side of the house, and two guys are on my roof. That’s strange. I call Larry and it goes right to voice mail. I go to the backyard and yell up at the guys, “What are you doing on my roof?” I assume they are at the wrong house. This guy yells down, “I’m cleaning your gutters, El Nino is coming, we’ll be done in a few hours.” I send Larry a nasty text about letting me know when he schedules workers. He writes back, “If the guy’s name is not Jack call the police.” WTF! I yell out back, “Didn’t catch your name?” He yells down from the roof, “It’s Jack.” Then he adds, “The ladder slipped, broke the back gutter, I can fix it, no worries.” What, me worry?
This is all about the power of the drip. I call him Larry. It does not take a tidal wave to enact change, just a slow study drip, each and every day. This is important. Larry stays the course, he doesn’t give up, and he is the one making it all happen every single day. Not that I’m calling him a drip or anything.
It all started with a drip…”On the 17th day of the month, all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” (Genesis 7:11) Just sayin’.
How’s your week going? Leave a few drips in the comments.
This post was previously published on www.cheryloreglia.blogspot.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
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