My ride-alongs with the Wombie over to Seaton on a daily basis to do the readings was fairly benign stuff. Jot down the numbers, look at the meters, drop some water softener into the vat and generally make sure all was well isn't the kind of stuff that makes your heart race.
Along with taking care of the water the AquaMaster must also stop the spigot for those who do not pay their bills. It is safe to assume that Seaton's water-stoppage policy is far more liberal than, say, Galesburg, who I suspect do not get the time to pay the bills that Seaton allows.
But on this day, Mark must turn the water off at two homes. It is also safe to assume that turning water off a family's home has changed from the Rockwellian days of our childhood to shoot first and answer questions after of today's world.
So it was with more than just a little apprehension that we set out to do exactly that.
This is the process of ruining a family's day. Turning off water is a BIG deal wherever you are, but the stuff isn't free and a bill is a bill, after all. So while Mark found the turnoff, removed the plate and then the special tool which turns a recessed valve bolt, I stood guard. But today, at this house, nobody was home. It began to look a lot like the former inhabitants had already left the place and was abandoned.
At the other house, the old Douglas place, we already knew to be empty. Someone had said access could be had from the back deck area but it was all locked. We called the Galesburg realtor who listed the place and they provided the door code for entry. Inside the old Victorian we saw that a lot of money had been put into it and was pretty darn nice, but a separation/divorce has left the place empty and for sale. But if you go check it out don't turn on any of the faucets, the Blythe Boys have struck again.