The water had been pooling slowly, Cindy heard the dripping very early in the morning yesterday and by 9am Daniel, the plumber we've called on for many years, came to the house to check on the unit and make recommendations on the replacement.
The RHEEM warranty had expired on 1-29-2015.
Being the Girl Scout that I am, I called the manufacturing company to confirm. To my delight, I was informed that RHEEM has a 90 day grace period on their warranty expiration dates; the replacement unit was GRATIS !
How wonderful that a company with a bottom line and profits and all that goes with being a business, has a policy of GRACE ! Imagine that ! I also learned that RHEEM is headquartered in Atlanta, not too far from where I live. I had no idea.
Now the love and grace part.
Today by 10:30am, Billy was here. He works on large jobs with Daniel. When he got to the house I confirmed his estimate, it would take 2 or 3 hours to get the old unit out, the new one in and all the parts that had to be updated, connected, and replaced. As Billy worked on the install, I sat at my desk in the office about 5 feet away, the unit has always been at the top of the stairs in a hallway closet.
Even though I stayed out of his way, we had time for conversation.
I learned many things about Billy while he was here. He and Daniel carried on like they had know each other all their lives. You could tell that they are accustomed to working together, they each had a role in the unit replacement and they were very comfortable working as a team.
Billy was a soft spoken, 60 years young. He is originally from Florida, married, 4 children, and 4 or 5 grandchildren. He told me how he met his wife, Elaine, love at first sight. It was during a plumbing job at her parent's home, she was 19. He told me how much he loves her, how much they enjoy each others company, how much they love their children and grandchildren.
He spoked about how happy he is that he and his wife raised 4 wonderful, loving, caring, children. When he spoke about his family and his wife, Elaine, I could see the love in his eyes. He told me about all of them being together at Thanksgiving and how that was one of the happiest times of his life, being together with all his children who they both love dearly.
For some time in his life, Billy worked as a Fireman and he shared some of his EMT stories. One in particular was gut wrenching, he is still affected by the experience of many many years ago. It was a drunk driver caused accident, a family of four killed, all dead when the fire truck arrived at the scene, the drunk driver alive with bruises and cuts. It a long complicated story, he walked away from his job as a Fireman after that accident. Daniel then shared the story of his experience delivering a baby in a car when he was 20 years old. He lived in South Africa at the time, the story was suspenseful and funny and amazing.
When the install was completed, I asked Billy a few questions about the gas connection, the safety valve, the water flow, and his take on RHEEM product quality ? I am not and don't want to be ever a hot water heater expert, but I wanted to have a better understanding of how the overall unit worked. Billy was very patient and reviewed all my questions with enough detail to explain the basics so I could understand.
After he left I thought about how wonderful it had been to meet Billy in such a "connect the dots" kind of way to be reminded about all that is good about life:
GRACE, LOVE, FAMILY, PARENTS, CHILDREN, DEDICATION, DOING THE RIGHT THING FOR THE RIGHT REASON, HONESTY, HARD WORK, CONFIDENCE & JOY.
There is so much negative news, so many horrible things going on in the world today, so much lack of GRACE and lack of LOVE - it was wonderful to have this random connection with Billy, a connection that made so much sense and reminded me of all that is good about LIFE.
Thanks Billy ! ! !