Good Neighbors


Yesterday, I got out of the shower with an ice cream headache from the cold. I had no hot water. Then Morgan discovered water pouring out of the cellar. I found it was coming from an old pvc pipe that was just sticking up there, apparently hooked to nothing except, you know, the WATER. I had all my plumbing replaced with new plumbing that doesn’t burst even if it freezes, so this was a piece of old plumbing left behind when the plumbing was redone. Probably, it was a mistake or oversight–a shutoff valve should have been installed on the pipe if it had to be left standing so that it wouldn’t freeze and burst and throw water everywhere. Now I knew why I had no hot water.

And now I needed a shutoff valve on a Sunday afternoon for a useless pipe that was giving me an ice cream headache not to mention throwing water all over the cellar and out the door.

I hate to bother my neighbors. If I bothered my neighbors every time I had a problem…..

I would

But you can’t get a hired man on a Sunday afternoon when you’re having a plumbing emergency. I called my neighbor Jim, who showed up in short order with my other neighbor Andy. The last time they came to help me, they saved BP’s life.

See BP’s Big Accident.

They inspected the situation, turned off my water at the main, at least stopping the flood in the cellar, and promised to go home and see if they had a shutoff valve the right size on hand and would be back. It got later and later and later.

And later.

And I turned off the light in the cellar and went to bed because I didn’t think they were coming back. SUZANNE OF LITTLE FAITH!!! ::smack::

Morgan came in at 5 a.m. (because I can’t have enough problems in one evening but that she had been out doing something irresponsible) and I told her, one, she was grounded. She had left with a friend to go pick up Weston’s girlfriend in Huntington. She left out the part where they were actually going to take Mariah ALL THE WAY TO MORGANTOWN. That is a trip across the state and back from Huntington to Morgantown, an all-night trip. I’ve never grounded Morgan before. She is a very responsible girl! I told her she couldn’t go out all week, no boyfriend, nothing. Then she handed over her fancy new cell phone she got for her birthday and her laptop, too. I stared at her. She said, “I’m grounded, I have to give you my phone and my laptop, too.” Good thing I had her to explain to me what grounded was or I wouldn’t have done it right!

Anyway. Second, I told her that there was no water. Then I took a bottle of water and went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and sleepily turned on the faucet without thinking.


While I was sleeping and while Morgan was driving back and forth to Morgantown (am still upset about that obviously!), Jim and Andy came back in the dark, put on a shutoff valve, and turned my water back on.

New shutoff valve on useless pipe:
And now I’m going to go bake them each a loaf of bread and then decide what I’m doing with my new phone and laptop!


  1. Jane L says:

    Just think, if you didn’t have all of these problems, you’d have nothing to write about! Silver linings and all that;)

  2. MMHoney says:

    Good Morning!!!
    I have a question – Why was this pipe not discovered when you were redoing all of your plumbing???? I have questions regarding all of the new fangled pipes that were installed (freeze but never break) Who cares what you need is water…
    My house was build in l955 . The water pipe was laid below the frost line and I have never had it freeze. The faucets drain back to avoid freezing when they are turned off. A good plumber is worth their weight in gold. Avoiding all of these emergencies – do it right.
    I leave you with this little jewel… An expert is a drip under pressure.

  3. holstein woman says:

    Well,seems like children are a lot alike…….

  4. cabynfevr says:

    I have a useless pipe as well that also flooded our basement one early spring morning. It is apparently a pressure release from the well…really? IN the basement?? It now has a length of tubing feeding into a garbage can. A very LARGE garbage can. Wonder if a shut off valve would work for me?

  5. Flowerpower says:

    I have a neighbor like that. Lawnmowers……he can fix it all and I am so blessed!

  6. lifeisgood/ Melinda says:

    I’ve been there done that on the teenage front. Glad she got home safely and fully understand the grounding. I had to laugh that she wanted to be sure you “really” grounded her by taking her laptop and cell phone as well. I don’t think you have any problems with that one mama.
    Good neighbors are worth their weight in gold and it seems you hit the jackpot.
    Maybe the rest of the week will go quietly and uneventful!

  7. albertjames says:

    Well Morgan it appears has learned a lesson :shimmy: She should call when she decides to do these cross state trips. 😆

  8. Sue, a Florida Farm Girl says:

    Girl, you juju has got to be working overtime!! Nobody else would have such wonderful neighbors. And who but Morgan, raised by her Mama, would voluntarily turn over the phone and laptop, and not fight the grounding!!! Way to go.

  9. CATRAY44 says:

    The ups and downs of life, friends and family, all on one post! Love it.

  10. rurification says:

    I love your stories. But I’m sure it’s not fun to live them.

  11. Karo says:

    After watching some teenage misbehavior on TV this weekend I thought about thanking my 17 year old for never putting me through a night of wondering where she was. I’m definitely going to do that tonight. Morgan is a good kid. She won’t do that again.

    I’m so envious you have such wonderful neighbors!

  12. bonita says:

    Are those water pipes next to the offending, useless PVC pipe? If so, perhaps they might benefit from mufflers (split foam tubing, made esp for slipping onto pipes) or warm wiring to avoid their freezing.
    MMHoney has a point, but then you have no way of knowing what odd fixits had/have been made before you arrived. My building is over 100 years old. Ten years ago when an electrician began to install a ceiling fan in the kitchen, he found that the gas that had powered the kitchen’s gas light when the building was built had been capped but NEVER SHUT OFF! Electric lights had simply been installed (during the ’20’s) along side the gas piping. Never detected in house inspection. Thank goodness electrician wasn’t smoking when he hit the pipe!

  13. phil413 says:

    Thanks for bringing a smile to my face.

  14. patty1297 says:

    Nice, but scary that 2 men were in part of your home and you did not know it. You are one brave country girl.

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