The wheels of our new future began turning pretty rapidly yesterday. (See the "first day" post below.) One of the biggest technical impediments to a timely departure for Arizona are our plumbing pipes. As you know, that was a big issue on our first trip south. Luckily, Friend Jeff S. saved our bacon and with Jeff's help and over $100 in extra electrical costs, we dodged The Big Bullet and didn't have any burst pipes when we returned on New Year's Eve.
Sooo.....we can't really head south again until we deal with our pipes. More than a couple of years ago, we met this elf at Home Depot. The elf's name is JT. Believe me, he looks like, talks like and completely acts like a genuine elf. If you put him in an elf costume, people would naturally assume he was the Real Deal. Anyway, JT was a plumber in a past life and he gave us some consistently good advice whenever we encountered him at Home Depot. Way back then, I taped his phone number in a place where it would always be available.
Yesterday about five o'clock, I called JT and told him I needed some help. He very quickly declined saying he was retired and didn't and wouldn't do plumbing jobs any more. I already knew that, of course, and so I quickly countered with, "But JT, I don't want you to turn a wrench or lift a tool--I need a plumbing CONSULTANT and I will pay you simply to stand around and tell me what to do. You don't have to do nothing except talk!" Well, the elf fell for that one hook, line and sinker. In fact, JT said, "Well, can I come over right now?" How do you like that--our very own elf making a house call on a Friday evening.
JT was at the front door lickity split, decked out like the Good Elf he is. What a elf smile that guy has And the elf beard is perfect. Anyway, we dived right into the basement like trolls under a bridge and he commenced to give us a professional discourse on how to winterize our old galvanized pipes without going to a lot of expense. I know I overuse the word "awesome" but it was awesome.
He took us step-by-step through the whole plumbing system and laid out a detailed game plan for protecting all of the pipes, the traps and even the washing machine. It was brilliant and we can do it all ourselves without hiring a plumber. In fact, I think our total expense, including the RV antifreeze and some new valves, etc. will be under $50. Such a deal.
Well, I had a pre-signed check in my shirt pocket and when he finished, I said, "Well, JT, how much do we owe you?" And he said, "Nothing, I'm just a neighbor helping a neighbor!" WOW! So, on the first day of the rest of our lives, we almost instantly overcame one of the biggest road blocks to a safe and economical trip to Arizona. Now, we will be able to have the city turn off our water and electricity and save over $100 a month while we are gone. Thanks, JT.