THE BLOG

Wheels Lift Up, Sh*t Hits Fan

06/09/2015 12:54 pm ET | Updated Jun 09, 2016
Rachel Levy Lesser

My husband is awesome. He's so much fun to be around (I think so and so do our kids). He's really good at his job, and I know from watching his interactions with his lifelong close childhood friends, that he is also a really good friend. When he is around and in our house, it seems that life is good. We are all doing our thing, making it happen, having fun, taking care of business, all that good stuff. I've noticed lately though that when he is not here (i.e. out of town for work which does happen fairly regularly) well that's when for lack of a better description, the sh*t hits the fan. It just does.

Take for example a couple weeks ago. He had to go out of town for less than 48 hours for a quick work meeting. He kissed us all goodbye on a quiet Tuesday morning as the kids ate their breakfast in peace and quiet, and I packed up their lunches for school thinking about my to dos for the day. A few items were high on my list: preparing for my radio interview to promote my new book, completing a new article for publication and dropping off baked goods for a fairly big charity luncheon which I run every year in memory of my mother. I was excited about all these projects/events and ready to get my to dos done.

The wheels on my husband's plane taking him out to the Midwest for his meeting lifted up later that morning just as my to dos were starting to get done. While at Starbucks in town (my office away from my home office) I was cranking out the article and plowing through research on the radio host who would interview me later that day when I got a call from our plumber who was at our house. While doing some routine work on our propane tank hooks up to the house, he noticed a big leak in our hot water heater in the back of the basement.

"Rach," he said. (We love our plumber and we are tight!) "You need a new hot water heater -- NOW. I'll keep this one running for a little while longer, but you should really turn it off after you and the kids take your showers so your basement won't flood."

Okay, I had this. I asked our awesome plumber to look into getting a new hot water heater and installing it ASAP while I finished up my work and packed up my laptop to head home. Once there I could see that the leak would turn into a flood any minute. Plumber long gone by then, I trudged through the hot water stream in our basement and messed with a couple valves until I was pretty sure everything was off. It would be cold or no showers for the kids and me for the next day or two, and I wasn't so sure about having clean clothes either. I realize these are first world problems, but still that's what I was dealing with.

In the midst of mopping up the basement leak/flood, our home phone rings (and our home phone never rings -- I barely know the number by heart). It's the school nurse telling me that my son has an unusual rash and it's very itchy. What do I want to do? she asks.

"If he's comfortable, please make him comfortable! Then keep him at school. I'm sure it's nothing," I say trying to sound concerned but not too concerned. Thankfully the school nurse gets it.

Meanwhile I'm texting my husband about the hot water heater and estimates and what's going on, and I'm not hearing anything back. He's in his meeting. No problem. I have an MBA. I can certainly price out a hot water heater and bargain a bit with our plumber. Plus I trust him so that's good. I text my dad just to get another opinion on the heater and he is on it (a bit too much actually). He calls his guy (my dad always has a guy) and tells me I'm overpaying on the new heater. I don't care at this point. We need the new hot water heater -- yesterday.

Back to my computer for more interview prep (I have four hours to go until the show's producer will call me for the live on air chat), and I make the mistake of checking my email. It's a frantic message from the manager of the place where the charity luncheon is taking place in less than 48 hours.

"Rach," he says to me. (Yes the manager and I are close too.) "We have less than half the amount of baked goods here than we did last year. It's not nearly enough for the 220 women coming to the luncheon."

Okay, I still have this. I email the head of the baking sub-committee (yes I do having a baking sub-committee -- doesn't everyone?) to find out what's going on. She insists that by her calculations we should have enough desserts, and she will see if a couple more people can bake. I'm not sure that will do it so I head into the kitchen and start mixing whatever ingredients I have to make some kind of chocolate chips cookies, brownies, Oreo balls (yes I do have a recipe for Oreo balls!) By the time my kids get home, it looks like there was a chocolate murder in my kitchen. Note for next time, it's really hard to wash dishes, pots and pans without any hot water.

As my son does his homework, and I apply cortisone to his still unknown rash, my daughter (who is 9 by the way) is full on helping me with the baking assembly line even as I forcibly open the Cuisinart with a mallet and the lid (thankfully no blade) flies straight across the kitchen. I manage to get the kids out the door to their sports practices in between texting with my plumber on when he can get us the new hot water heater. Still no word from my awesome husband. He is still awesome, just not available. Must be a long meeting.

I race home from my kids' lacrosse fields in time for the radio interview from my home phone, the same one that usually never rings (they need a landline and I pray that a telemarketer doesn't call and beep in via call waiting throughout the half hour discussion.) I think it goes well despite the constant texts from my husband, plumber and father who suddenly all come to life and seem to be negotiating with me about a hot water heater that I think I've already decided on.

After the kids go to bed (un-showered) I finish up the article, clean up the kitchen as best as I can having made nine dozen new desserts for the charity event. I finally get to speak to my husband that night, and he's good with everything. How could he not be right? He's not home.

The next day, the plumber installs the new hot water heater, I successfully clean up the kitchen with the comforts of hot water and I even take a shower. My son's rash miraculously disappears, the baked goods get dropped off, my article makes it in right before the deadline, and the radio show's producer sends me a file of the interview saying what a big hit it was in her email.

My husband returns home later that evening in time to sample a few of the baked goods (I saved a few for the family). He later enjoy a long hot shower -- in fact he tells me it's one of the best one he's ever had in our house. I guess I picked the right hot water heater albeit still overpriced according to my dad's "guy."

Point being, husband's home, life is good again. The universe is aligned and we live in harmony until wheels lift up again -- next week!