Trusting my neighbors
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.
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.