Obviously I wasn't too happy about the situation, having to labor late into the evening. I found that condensate drains have a tendency to clog and the cure is either to snake them out or vacuum them out before they clog completely. Mea culpa for not doing so.
Earlier that afternoon, Alyssa sent me an email about an unfortunate family in her neighborhood:
There was apparently a huge house fire in Stone Ridge last night. All of the people and animals got out okay, but the kids are 9 and 11, and the dad passed away unexpectedly last year. Poor children. The HOA is already organizing a walk to benefit the family, and they are staying with relatives locally. So sad. In the meantime, they have asked for gift cards, so I think I'll pick one up on my way home and drop it off at the HOA office. The nice thing is that Stone Ridge is a good community, so I think they'll get lots of assistance.
One of the neighbors was collecting donations tonight after the HOA office was closed, so I took a card and a check over. I didn't realize I'd walk by the actual house--it was awful. You could smell the burnt smell from streets away. The neighbor said that the outpouring of support has been incredible--they have raised several thousand dollars in cash and several thousand in gift cards, plus a huge room full of new clothes, so that's good. It's nice to think that if this happened to me or to any of the neighbors, the community would be supportive. If only Anne Bradstreet had something to say about this...*
I did get the ages of the kids wrong--they are 12 and 17. They both play sports, so people have also asked about donating sports equipment, as well as video games for the little boy. :) People have also written cards, and the kids have drawn pictures. Very cool.
This family's situation put my little problem with water into perspective. It also affirmed that our daughters are compassionate, insightful, thoughtful young women (Amy recently offered to help in a situation I can't write about because of privacy concerns). They've evidenced these qualities time and times again. Their attitudes and actions would make any parent proud. And we are.
* Alyssa is referring to a poem by the seventeenth-century American poet Anne Bradstreet, "Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House,July 10, 1666." You may read the poem at http://www.poetry-archive.com/b/some_verses_upon_the_burning.html