If I don't post tomorrow you will know it's because my water heater exploded. Today I awoke to this odd hissing noise, like a hiss and a ring combined. Actually, I awoke to Abe calling for me (he yelled Mama! Not daddy! Oh joy!), and then when I got him out of bed I heard the ringing thing. Abie, Rosie and I explored the whole upstairs looking for the noise, and then finally tracked it to the attic. The GAS VALVE of the water heater.
I promptly woke up my Israeli plumber. I love this guy. You call to tell him you have a leak and he says, "So? Get a bucket." Anyway, he comes by and whacks at a few things and then tells me that except for the fact that everything is wrong with the water heater, there's nothing wrong with the water heater.
You see, we live in a house that was built in 1907, and then untouched for the next ninety years. Seriously. One family lived here, and they gradually let it fall in around their shoulders. They were busy with other things, including sexually abusing teenage boys (a friend who is a prosecutor told me that. "Oh, wow, you live in the house where that notorious pedophile lived in the seventies." Great. And I thought the house had such good joo joo. Shows what a sensitive and psychic person I am.)
When the last creepy relative died, the guy across the street bought the house and had the brilliant idea of being his own general contractor. He made fabulous decisions like putting in a new heating system, and then scraping all the lead paint off the walls and windows so that the brand-new, never-used ducts would be completely covered in lead dust. That was fun. He also chose to laboriously restore the old windows, instead of putting in new ones. Nice, right? Wonderful attention to period detail. Except they rattle like there's an earthquake every time the wind blows. We're keeping the shim business alive. Now it turns out that he put in a brand new water heater with too-small valves. And schlepped it up to the attic where it can do maximum damage if it leaks or...um...EXPLODES. If he weren't such a sweet guy with the nicest girlfriend and kid I'd t-p his house.
The Israeli plumber insists all will be fine. He also told me he can't believe I have enough hot water with such small valves. Really? And I thought all families were compelled to bathe together because there was only enough water to fill one tub. Actually, the truth is that I just assumed that was normal, because that's what it was like in my parents' house (we didn't bathe together, God forbid. We just took cold showers).
Meanwhile, there's this festive ringing throughout my home. Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way.