To Grandmother’s House We Go–

December 1, 2008 at 5:00 PM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
   As soon as I pulled in the driveway–home at last!–I got a call from cousin Joe.  Someone he knows needs help, and he can’t do it.  Besides the hands, he’s home with a sick kid.
  He tells me their sad story:  This guy he knows named Tom is an okay guy, but he has brain damage.  He seems normal enough, but he can’t concentrate or think straight or anything like that.  He lives with his grandma, Ruth.  I guess her husband was a good friend of The Family, and so forth.  He passed away a year ago.  Today, they have no hot water.  Beyond the fact that it’s the water heater, they don’t really know what to do.  Calling a plumber is likely to cost millions and millions of dollars.  So Tom calls Joe for help, and Joe calls me.
  I’m kind of anxious, actually, to do something for somebody.  I feel like I’ve been taking lately, and I need to give back a little.  Sure, I’ll do it.  It’s about three blocks away, right here in the neighborhood.  I get over there, and they are happy as hell to see me.  Tom is boisterous and talkative.  Actually, so is Ruth.  She is just the neatest old lady.  A tiny, tiny thing, and pretty old, but bright and on the ball.  I may be in love.  Again.  What is it with me and older women?
  We talk a bit, and then Tom and I go to the basement.  This house has the exact layout of Skylark, the one we are moving into.  The water heater is newer, and different from the ones I’ve seen before.  Ultimately it was easier.  The igniter for the pilot was electronic:  simply watch through the glass and spark it until it ignites.  Easy.  the hardest part was taking off the stuff I didn’t need to take off in the first place, and then putting it back on.
  Ruth gave me ten dollars, which I didn’t want to take, but Tom had warned me that I need to take it for the sake of her pride.  She said, "If I had called a plumber, it would have cost ten times this much."  She added, "Besides, I may have to call you again."  I believe she was hitting on me.  Reluctantly, I took the ten bucks, even after explaining to her that I need to do things to help people, to balance my karma.  "This will balance it more," she said, as she shoved the money in my hand.

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