Monday, November 9, 2009

Ya Never Know Where Good Will Come From!

These may not qualify as angels but I'd still like to share the stories. I've been very, very fortunate in my life in that I've always had everything I needed. Sometimes I didn't have it till right when I needed it and sometimes I didn't know until the midnight hour where it was going to come from. But it always came. From somewhere, somehow. And, most of the time, where it came from was a place I couldn't possibly have imagined. So now if I need something, I just know that it will come from wherever it is now.

In 1999, I bought a house from some elderly people. I had an inspection done and all seemed well. But the weekend I was moving in, I kept smelling gas coming from the furnace closet. I had the gas company come check it out and it turned out there was a cracked heat exchanger in the furnace. It was leaking carbon monoxide into the house. Or is it carbon dioxide? Anyway, the gas company condemned the furnace and cut off the gas supply. A quick call to my realtor revealed that the fine print in the inspection report stated that the inspection did not include a mechanical inspection of the furnace and suggested the buyer (that would be me) get a separate inspection done for that. So I had no recourse. And no furnace. This was in July so I didn't need heat anyway yet.

I got some prices from several heating and air companies for replacing the furnace. It was going to cost several thousand dollars! I had spent my last dime buying the house. (Lesson learned: NEVER do that!) So that winter, the only heat I had in the house was space heaters. They did pretty good at heating the house but I worried about fire hazards. And they weren't particularly energy efficient either.

The following spring, I got a phone call from one of the heating and air guys I had gotten a price from seven months earlier. His name was Lion (short for Lionel. Cool, huh?) I had forgotten all about him. But, apparently, he didn't forget about me. He was calling to tell me that he had a furnace for me. I told him I still didn't have any money but he explained further. A friend of his was putting a new system in his house and the old furnace he was pulling out was exactly like the one I had (except it didn't have a cracked heat exchanger). The furnace was only about 7 years old and still under warranty. He said he would GIVE me the furnace and let me just pay for the duct work and the labor for putting it in. Still, I had almost no money to pay for anything. So he asked me if I would clean his office in exchange for the labor and I could pay him just $200 for the ducts they'd have to install. THAT I could do!

For six months, I cleaned Lion's office to pay him back for the labor. And that's how I finally got a furnace for my house. Lion would always blush whenever I would tell anybody the story when he was around. Or sometimes he'd leave the room saying he had something to do or that he needed a cigarette. But I still loved telling the story because it said a lot about what kind of person he was. In a world of "every man for himself", Lion thought about someone he knew of that needed help. For him to remember me at all was incredible. And he could have probably sold that furnace and gotten some money out of it. But money wasn't his top priority. He cared. About someone he didn't even know. I wish there were more Lions around. And I want to be more like him too.

I WAS going to tell a couple of stories tonight but I think I'll save the others for another night. Don't want to be a blog hog. :D

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