A large chunk of my day today was spent chatting with my plumber friend Dave this morning as he installed a brand-spanking-new, 40-gallon water heater after our old National brand water heater finally died a sudden death last Monday morning after serving our home ever since it was built in the early 1980s, “bleeding out” of its tubes before I could stop it once it started making its “last gasps.”
It was beyond resuscitation.
Dave is a good guy, very down-to-earth, who knows how to do a job right the first time, and he believes in not leaving until he knows it’s done right. I’ve known Dave and his lovely wife Debbie for many years through our church, and in the time that I served as a head deacon I leaned on Dave and his expertise many times. We’re “tight,” we respect each other’s ethics and attitudes when it comes to work or how we live our lives in general.
We’ve got each other’s backs. In fact, Dave and Debbie went through their own hardship very recently when their home up in the mountains of Utah’s Sanpete County went up in flames in a flash wildfire that was sped along by high winds, hot temperatures, and bone-dry conditions a couple of weeks ago. I’d help him out at the drop of a hat to help him get his own little corner of the world back together, he knows it, and he knows that all he has to do is ask me for it.
I like Dave’s common-sense way of thinking things through. We might not agree on every single topic that comes up politically, but I know he at least thinks things through, I know his reasons for his ways of thinking, and I can respect how he thinks. He’s honest, he’s brutally blunt, he doesn’t hold back when it comes to sharing a point of view. One thing we did agree on politically was this: The government’s bank bailouts … hey, why not try bailing out each and every American family instead so we can pump some money back into the economy instead of bailing out the banks so they can continue to gamble with the people’s money like drunken gamblers in Vegas and end up right back where they were when they asked for help?
Dave and I have shared some experiences in the time we’ve known each other and worked together for our church. Regardless of political opinions, he’s always willing to help anyone out who needs it. When it came to the water heater going out (resulting in a couple of days’ worth of cold showers for yours truly) and the extended jobless situation I’m going through, he’s very understanding because he’s seen his own share of down times — just like he and Debbie are seeing now with their dream home in the mountains burning down, having Dave stand by and watching it literally explode before his eyes with logs that once served as walls fly a few hundred feet up in the air.
The agony he described when it came to seeing that home and all of their possessions but the clothes on their backs and a business computer going up in flames … it was heart-wrenching to hear.
But there he was Wednesday morning, with a smile on his face and a “common man ” greeting, eager to help us out with our own “situation.”
I was sure glad he was there, and for more reasons than simply being able to take a hot shower again.
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