I really wanted to make today’s assigned recipe: long and slow apples. I really did. I planned to make it yesterday, to go along with the cinnamon-crunch chicken that the group has already done. I often make the French Friday assignment on Thursday evening, to keep things fresh in my mind for when I post on Friday.

Turns out that I should have made it sooner. On Wednesday afternoon, we got home after picking up Geordie from work and found a note on our door. It was from our neighbor, who said that he had noticed water pouring out from our water valve out front and that he had turned it off to save us from losing all that water. A big thank you to him, because when Geordie turned it back on, it most certainly was gushing out water like it had no cares in the world. He immediately turned it back off.

It was exactly five o’clock, so I called our landlord’s agent in the hopes that I could catch the property manager so we could get it taken care of first thing in the morning. I very much doubted anything would be done that evening. Well, the property manager had already left, so the guy answering the phone gave me her cell number, which she didn’t answer. I left a message and promised Geordie I’d call first thing in the morning. We had Chik-Fil-A for dinner.

Thursday. This is the only day of the week that I am always, certainly, for sure at home, because Geordie takes the car and deals with the graduation traffic at work (the base has a graduation ceremony every single week, which is pretty darned impressive when you think about it). It’s also laundry day and one of the days for running the dishwasher. The sink was full of dishes that needed to be taken care of. I also very much wanted to wash my hair. Oh, and there was the French Friday thing to worry about, but I didn’t want to muck about in the kitchen, because I already had enough to clean and no way of doing it. I just hoped that it would all be taken care of  by the end of the work day so we could at least have some nice sweet apples to enjoy.

I waited until 9am to call. The property manager wasn’t in yet, so I called back thirty minutes later. Oh, the property manager’s not coming in until “later.” But I could call her cell phone. Which I did. No answer. Again an hour later. No answer. I left it at that, deciding to call again after lunch.

And, yes, I could have gone out any time and turned the water on and done whatever I needed to do, but I really hadn’t given up hope that it could all be resolved in a day, and I could catch up in the evening. I don’t take lightly the wasting of water, especially here in Texas, where there are water restrictions year round. That’s not even taking into account what the water bill would be like. So I left it off and did the best I could without water during the day.

At 11am, the agent’s handyman called me about the backyard fence. On Christmas Day, we had such terrible wind, and it blew down two sections of our fence. Our neighbor repaired his side, and my dad did his best to patch up the back fence. We all knew it was temporary. The day after Christmas, I called about it, though I didn’t really expect anything to be done until after New Year’s. The handyman called twice since then, promising to be out to take a look at it, only to never show up. This third call, he said he’d be by in an hour. He didn’t know anything about the water leak, so I asked him if he could take a look at that too.

He did show up an hour later. He looked at the fence and determined that it wasn’t the agent’s responsibility, that it was the Home Owner’s Association’s problem. He gave me a reason for why he thought this, but it didn’t make much sense to me. He took some pictures of it to send to the property manager so that she could contact the HOA and see what needed to be done. So, he just left the fence there on the ground. Fortunately, behind our house is a small field that belongs to a church (which, for some reason, separates the two parts of this subdivision), but there’s still a gap that makes me feel strangely exposed.

Then he looked at the water leak, determined that it was, indeed, a leak, made some excuses about his leg being busted up, and drove off. Ten minutes later, he called me to say that he’d been in contact with the property manager and that he would send someone else out to take care of the problem. He was at the house maybe a total of thirty minutes.

So, I waited again. And waited. At 4pm, a plumber called me. Obviously, no one was coming out that evening, and they couldn’t promise that they could definitely make it out on Friday. But they would try! They would at least attempt to make an assessment. Immediately after I got off the phone with them, the property manager called. She said that if the plumber couldn’t get to the house on Friday, she’d send someone else over.

Then Geordie called and we decided to have leftovers for dinner.

And that’s why I didn’t make any long and slow apples. Had I known that we would end Thursday with the leak ongoing, I would have just gone ahead and made the apples that afternoon. Because once Geordie got home, we turned the water on long enough for me to shower and to run the dishwasher and do some of the dishes in the sink. We didn’t want to leave the water on any longer than that, so off it went again.

So. Long story short: the apples will be delayed. All I’m hoping now is that someone actually does come to take care of the problem, because I really would like to have full usage of our water before the end of the day. That would be really, really nice.

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