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My husband and I have this fun little tradition: He goes away for the weekend; we have some sort of problem in the house that involves water.

One summer weekend when he was on a golfing trip, the air conditioner froze. I noticed it when I almost spontaneously combusted in our house, and I found water soaking the guest room closet, dripping from the air-conditioning unit inside the nearby closet. Of course, it’s always at night on the weekend when a problem happens, so I had to wait to get a repairman to come.

Another time, I had a problem with a toilet when my husband was gone somewhere. It might have been when he was living in Mississippi to take doctoral classes. All I remember is that he wasn’t available to call.

The handle was broken, so I called a plumber, after asking advice from someone about which company to use. The guy tried to sell me a $150 toilet, which he just so happened to have on his truck.

I almost did it, but I called my dad, who cast doubt on the whole deal. Thankfully, I didn’t buy it. My husband got home and replaced the part for about $2. I still get mad when I see that company’s truck on the road.

Last weekend, my husband went to Jonesboro to play in a golf tournament with my brother. I noticed on Saturday a strange high-pitched noise that I could hear in the house, and I finally located it in the garage storage room. Hmmm. The noise was coming from the 11-year-old gas water heater.

Now a smarter person might have made a phone call at that point, but I had errands to run, shopping to do, a granddaughter to go see.

When I got up the next morning, I saw water in the garage. I thought maybe it was coming from my car, at first, but it wasn’t. I went into the storage room, and water was all around the water heater, soaking some of the treasures I’ve been collecting in there for years. The water only ruined a couple of things.

I wasn’t about to call or text my husband during his golf tournament and be responsible for him slicing the ball.

The house would have to be floating before I called a plumber and paid a weekend fee.

When my husband called on the way home from the golf tournament, I told him about the leak.

He was his usual calm self.

The next morning, I took a cold shower and cut my leg shaving, but at least we had water.

The plumber (from our tried-and-true company) came later that morning and installed a new water heater. He also said he’d send out someone to fix a leak in our sprinklers. And he changed out a part in our toilet that had been causing it to squeal for five minutes after every flush.

I asked my husband if he had the guy fix our kitchen faucet that drips if you don’t hold your mouth right when you turn it off.

“Nah,” my husband said. “It’s fine.” Sure, until the next time he goes out of town. I’m betting on it.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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