Recently we sat down to dinner with friends we had not seen for a year. They have retired in Arizona and come home for a few weeks each summer . The visit was going along nicely…eating…talking…laughing. A cell phone rang, Molly jumped up to answer it. As she replied to the caller, her husband, Gerry hung his head and said, “Oh this has got to be bad news.” Molly hung up the phone and returned to the dining room table. She relayed the short phone call with little emotion. In retrospect I expect she was in shock.
“That was Jason, our next door neighbor. He said the water company left a note on our door. They shut off our water due to overuse. He knew we were not home so he walked around the house to check things out. He says we have water running out our back door.”
There were more phone calls that night as Molly and Gerry got the keys to Jason via a relative living close by so he could go inside to investigate. A pipe had let go in their bathroom and water had flowed freely for who knows how long until the water company shut it off. Their house was filled with water with the outdoor temperatures nearly one hundred degrees. Gerry explained to us that mold grows almost immediately when things like this happen. The enjoyable dinner no longer tasted good and the laughter had disappeared as our friends tried to wrap their heads around what to do next.
Our friends bid adieu a short time later, headed back to the camp they were occupying. The plan was to call family and friends and inform them of a new departure date: the very next day. They would pack, say their good-byes and begin a hurried four day trip. The usual meandering cross country would not happen this time.. There were no words to console them as they tried to grasp the enormity of the task that lay ahead.Their faces said it all. Their retirement home was in ruins. They were returning to the unknown.