I live in a truly cool loft in downtown Austin. For weekends, I have a small farmhouse 20 miles away. I have a beautiful acre, 65 Live Oak trees, a small pond with varying numbers of fish (I seem to be feeding someone with these fish that seem to decrease in numbers regularly) and some frogs, a great deck, and a thinking studio that used to be an artist’s studio filled with light and surrounded by trees. It’s 25 minutes from my loft, and often I sneak out there during the week for a day or so to get some air.
One of the problems – and joys – is that there is no water outside of my large and intricate rainwater collection unit that houses 20,000 gallons of water. When there is a drought, I must buy water.
Lately, we had a fabulous rain that lasted for days, and my tanks filled up. Yup. I was going to be ok for the next 6 months at least. Until my kindly neighbor made a little mistake. He wrapped my external pipes for me as a favor when there was going to be a freeze. And unfortunately, he mistakenly turned ON the spigot he was wrapping. By the time I got there, all of my water was drained from my tanks, and it will cost me quite a bit of money to buy water to fill them even part way – not to mention the huge waste.
I can’t really say anything to this lovely man. He cuts my lawn when he can’t stand it anymore (As a part time resident, I kinda pass through for a day or two and then forget to do the normal stuff I’d do if I lived there full time – I had wanted a house that was maintenance free. Right.), and comes over (occassionally with his equally helpful wife) for coffee sometimes. And sometimes when I need a TV I go to their house and we watch together. We shared a feral cat; his cats give birth under my hot tub. And sometimes I come home to find my dishes done or my furniture rearranged as the wife comes by to check on stuff. It’s like have parents who live next door.
My neighbors are a cross between Marie and Frank (Everybody Love Raymond) and the Betty White character from ‘Cleveland‘ who keeps dropping in.
I love my neighbors. I’m glad they are there. I will not tell them what happened with the water or they will be afraid to touch anything or come over again. But I must admit I’m annoyed at the error. And the extreme cost I will bear out of pocket.
Nothing is perfect. But I wish it were.
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