Monday, I dedicated the day to taking out my old hot water tank and installing my new one. As I worked through those activities, I was confronted with both the bad points and good points of living in a very small village.
After I got my old tank out, I wanted to put some drywall on the cobwebby naked studs which lined the closet-like space where the water heater sat. That meant I had to drive into McBride to the hardware store to buy two sheets of drywall. Since I was going to town, I thought I may as well load my old hot water tank and some old insulation into the back of the truck, and take it to the dump at the same time.
To carry sheets of drywall in the small bed of my truck, I put in two wooden beams so that the drywall can rest on the beams, rather than the wheel wells that stick up on each side of the truck bed. Oh, I didn’t mention that the electricity at my house had gone off during the morning as I was removing my old hot water tank. The electricity has been going off a lot after our big snowfall, but I was hoping that McBride still had power.
I loaded Skye into the truck cab (she always likes to have a ride) and we headed off to drop off the old water heater and then get some drywall.
When I got to the dump, I asked the attendant where I should drop off the old hot water heater. He told me to put it in the big bin for metal, but then added that I couldn’t do it now because the guy that was plowing the snow had left, leaving the area in front of the metal bin unplowed. It seems that he also worked for the power company and had to go there when the electricity went off.
This is one of the disadvantages of living in a small village. Because there aren’t a whole lot of people who live here, many people do several different jobs. The guy that was plowing snow also did work for BC Hydro, the corporation that supplies our electricity. When the power went off, he had to go and help with restoring it.
So there I was with the hot water heater taking up a big chunk of my truck bed. How was I going to carry the sheets of drywall back home? I wasn’t sure, but I headed over to Home Hardware just the same. When I got there I saw Rico, one of the owners, outside moving things around. He informed me that the store was closed because they didn’t have any power.
I sighed, shoulders slumped, as I turned back to my truck, unhappy about my wasted trip to town, but then Rico, came up to my window and asked if it was an emergency. I told him I was in the middle of installing my hot water heater and so he said he would let me into the store to get what I needed.
He handed me a flashlight, and I gathered up the plumbing supplies, which were then just written down on a piece of paper. Rico helped me load up the two sheets of drywall onto the top of my old water tank, rather precariously, but it seemed like it would be alright, so at least I got the supplies I needed to continue my work.
This was an example of one of the good things about living in a small town--you know, and have personal relationships with most of the other residents--including the store owners, and because of that, they go out of their way to help you out. Rico didn’t have to open the store for me, but he did.
I am happy to announce that I was able to get my new hot water tank installed, but the old water heater is still sitting in the back of my truck.
You can see my paintings at: www.davidmarchant.ca