Don’t let the title give you the wrong idea. It was Christmas 2013. Our Christmas is mostly celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, so we were lounging and playing with our new toys. Wayne’s family was in town from Canada, eh, and they were cooking a big meal for the entire clan. There were so many people visiting, they had rented a trailer for all the young cousins to sleep in. Adults inside, kids out. They were serving a huge meal of turkey, stuffing, gravy… all the fixings. Which we really shouldn’t know anything aboot (get it?)… were it not for the plumbing.
Half way through meal prep Alex got a text from Wayne. Something about a snake? On Christmas? Oh no, this was not good. So, Alex loaded up his snake (the metal plumbing thingy) and plumbing tool box (you have to grab the right box, you know) and headed over to help save Christmas. I had nothing else to do, so I tagged along just to say “hi.” But, I certainly wasn’t going to be any help with the plumbing situation.
When we arrived, the kids were running around playing. Something was on the TV, but I can’t remember what. Some of the men were watching it. I do as I normally do, and headed straight for the kitchen. It was quite a sight. Wayne’s sisters were at the oven taking out a monstrous turkey, and straining off the juices into a large bowl. Wayne and Merle were at the sink, cabinet underneath open, staring into the clogged sink, with a hopeful bucket underneath waiting for the draining to begin. Wayne’s brother was supervising. Everyone had a drink in their hand and were smiling and laughing despite all the commotion and murky condition of the sink.
Alex identified the problem at once- the drain was in fact clogged, and he got to work with the unclogging. With nothing better to do, I started chatting with Wayne’s sisters about the gravy as they worked on it. Gravy I can do. Ten or fifteen minutes later, the bucket was happy, the sink was empty, and the problem was solved. Christmas was saved.
We began to load everything into the truck, when Wayne and Merle invited us to stay for dinner. We explained that we had already eaten… said thank you so much, but we don’t want to intrude… “Nonsense” they said. So, we joined the whole family for Christmas dinner, us chatting, them eating.
This story didn’t end at that table, though. Apparently, word gets around fast about good (cheap) help. The next weekend Alex got another text from another neighbor with a similar clog, pleading for help. He again complied, but this time I stayed home. Broken garbage disposal? Fixed. Jiggly gate? He’s got it covered. Leaky gas in your fire pit? Yeah, he’s got a tool for that, too. Before long, Alex was being called the “Neighborhood Husband.” That guy that can fix just about anything. Do I mind? No. As long as everyone understands he comes home to me.
How to be Neighborly: Share your talents, and occasionally your husband.