In Hot Water This Time – Roady Series Episode #50 at Mammy’s House

Cute scruffy dog face with big nose

I wouldn’t say Mammy rushed me, but as soon as I finished my second helping of eggs and sausage and while I still had a butter drenched muffin in my hand, she took away my plate.
“Wash the dishes in the sink. Roady and I have something to do. We’ll be back for you.”
With that the dog and old woman left me behind.
Inside a plastic dishpan in the sink was a stack of dishes; a bowl, mixing spoon, muffin pan, plates and silverware. I turned the faucet. Ice cold water poured out. I turned the knob the other direction. Same thing. I waited expecting that it just needed time for the hot water to get flowing. But hot water was not happening.
That’s when I noticed the kettle on the stove and a plume of steam coming from its spout.
I’ve cleaned enough dishes without running water to know how to manage with just a kettle full of boiling water. I finished the task but the circumstance bothered me and I had to know.
An old house like this likely had the hot water heater in the basement.
I didn’t hear the creaking of floorboards upstairs. Who knew what Mammy and Roady were up to. Did they both fall asleep? Either way, if I was going to figure out the water situation, it would be by some exploring.
I cracked the basement door open, flicked the light switch. Plain wood stairs with open treads descended into a dimly lit room. Just one other light bulb hung like a worm on a fish hook in the depths of the dark sea.
The smell was as a dank as expected and cobwebs hung lacy across the weak illumination of the lone bulb. I’ve crossed paths with enough spiders and creepy crawlies to know, we’ve got separate business. If I mind mine, they’ll mind theirs. Though I’m not sure the spiders are too happy with me when I sweep away their handiwork from across the old water heater.
There’s nothing I can do without more light though, so I retreat back upstairs, hunt down a flashlight and matches and return to the basement.
I scan the beam of light around and immediately wish I hadn’t. A dozen, multiple legged creatures, scatter. A shiver goes up my spine and I’m ready to surrender my bravado and run.
But damn if it doesn’t cross my mind how much a hot bath would mean to an old woman on a winter night. I press on, keeping the light beam on what I need to see, the clog of junk under and around the water heater. I clear away scraps of wood, broken tiles, dust balls as tightly wound as yarn until I’m satisfied it’s safe to light the pilot. The bottom of the tank has a ring of rust around it and I suspect it’s about to bust out but there’s no sign of water leaking so maybe it’s okay. I position the flashlight so it shines on the knob at the base of the tank. I light a match, press in the pilot button and…POOF.


Read “Roady Series” from the beginning by choosing it in categories. Find out just how much the ‘poof’ took out, Follow this blog. Be a fan and ‘Like’ this post. Don’t be afraid to talk to me, leave a comment!

Roady Series is winding down, how many more episodes should it have? 10, 20, 30? Put your vote in. Thanks, Clare.

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