there is no emoticon or onomatopoetic word that could possibly convey my current level of exhaustion.
last Friday, we got the word that Dad's oral/jaw cancer is officially "incurable" and that it is growing. very slowly, but growing. Dad has lost at least half of his tongue and now it takes some effort to decipher what he's saying, but he is in good spirits, better spirits than i am. He's working drastically reduced hours at the barber shop, due to his arthritis, and is applying for disability benefits, which is good since CA law currently prevents Mom from getting any of his Social Security benefits. This is emotionally exhausting for me.
on Monday, our truly wonderful tenants (who had their first baby - Isabella Miranda - 9 days ago) called to inform us that the water heater was leaking steadily from the bottom. i ended up staying over there until 2 am, helping to drain the tank, sopping up water with junk towels (i think the more years one has been married and settled in one place, the more junk towels one accumulates) and getting a heated fan to help dry out the closet. Home Despot won the bidding war for heater + installation, so the heater was supposed to have been installed yesterday. Surprise! Our old heater was at least 10 years old (i'm guessing more like 15) and the wiring codes have been changed since then. so the installer won't install until we get new cabling installed. Soooo then the electrician says that to run a new ground cable from the heater to the circuit box will be a minimum of $900, plus the expense of replacing the drywall and patching the ceilings, and i was very close to sitting down and crying. i actually did cry, but managed to stay standing up.
at this point, Dan went to talk to our BIL David (they work together), who is an all-around good and extremely useful and smart guy. Seriously, they don't make them much better than David. David said he could come and look at the wiring, and if it was something he could handle, that he'd be happy to help us install a water heater. My Dad was also arming himself to come down this morning if all didn't go well last night, but Dan and David got it in last night and finished just before midnight.
But David ended up being our hero. I need to buy him some shining armor, or at least babysit his kids (5!!) so that he and Dan's sister can have a nice date. The whole thing ended up costing us around $400 (that includes the cancellation fee for the other installation). So David saved us approximately $1500 by being smart and generous with his time.
David, you rock!