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Gas Leak!

Story ID:2373
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Lakewood Ohio USA
Year:2007
Person:Suzana
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GAS LEAK! Frightening words generally - and all the more when it hits home. A building inspector told me he believed I had one and should get it checked out - either with the gas company or through a private contractor. I think most of us are aware that they can have tragic consequences if ignored or undetected. I've heard of homes exploding and being leveled because of them.

I thought it was strange that a gas meter reader came into my house a few weeks ago and didn't detect a gas odor in my basement. Truth be
told, I thought I detected a gas odor near my gas dryer but somehow wasn't too concerned. I should have been!

God often times works in mysterious but wonderful ways, and in this case He certainly did. A couple of months ago I had called an appliance repairman to check my washer. The washer couldn't handle the large loads it once had and the agitator began making clicking sounds and even stopped agitating! Prognosis- bad. I needed a new costly transmission
or a new washer. He recommended the latter.

While he was here, I told him that my selector button for high, low, etc. on my gas dryer worked erratically and would he check it out. Well, I don't remember what he said about that but he did notice that I should probably
replace the accordion vent I had because it was passe. I agreed, so he moved the dryer away from the wall and then THAT'S WHEN I BELIEVE IT PROBABLY HAPPENED. The flexible pipe connection which connects to the gas pipe line was pulled apart in one place causing a small tear. Of course, I'm sure he didn't know that this happened, but obviously the connection was old and needed replacing - even more than the accordion vent! The dryer was moved back into place with this tear which would allow gas to seep continuously until now.

Now fast forward a couple of months. The Community Development inspector came to inspect my home because I asked for a low cost loan to replace my furnaces. I had given him a hard time on the phone. I said that the City of
Lakewood had just recently made an inspection of my house. Why another one? He said that getting the loan required him to sign off on it. And what a blessing that turned out to be because as soon as he opened my hall door he said he smelled gas!

Then as if God will not be outdone in generosity, He sent me Allen, a neighbor who had helped me in the past, but had not been available recently because he was solicitous about Judy, our mutual friend who had Aids. Sadly and suddenly she took her own life with
a gun at the beginning of June. Allen felt it was a brain disorder that caused this unpredictable behaviour.

I saw him in his yard this sad Sunday when we learned that Jessie Davis --the missing pregnant woman was found in a shallow grave in a part of the beautiful Cuyahoga Park system. She still carried her dead almost 9-month old fetus due
to be born on July 3rd. She already had picked a name for her -Chloe.

Judy's surprising death had also been very painful especially for Allen who had done so much to help her through all her many ailments - the latest -a diagnosis of macular degeneration. She was a comparatively young women yet, but now she was gone and Allen had brought her 3 cats -Ripple, Stymie, and Jerry into his home. I guess as long as he has them, he will alway have a part of Judy.

I told him that I would take Jerry whom I originally had given to Judy as a sweet
red long-haired kitten. Despite Jerry giving him a hard time --scratching him and drawing
blood because he didn't want to go into the carrier, Allen felt that the three of them
should stay together. As for the scratches, I really should have asked him if had recently gotten a tentanus shot, but he dismissed them
and laughed at my concern.

With the cats safely ensconed into his apartment with an open little porch, he came to see about my possible gas leak. He too smelled it immediately, and his nose led him to my gas dryer. He then checked the gas meters to see
which one was drawing gas and found it to be mine. No wonder my gas bills had been so high-- despite the end of the winter season.

When he discovered the tear in the flexible pipe connection, he asked me if I smelled it then. No, I really did not. Then he asked me to put my finger over the tear. Then indeed I knew we found the source of the leak because I felt
the gas flow unimpeded over it. Allen said that I was lucky that I didn't smoke!

He removed the paneling and the fiber board in back of the dryer and said that he would make the needed repairs as soon as he got a 3-foot connector pipe. God bless Allen. He has certainly saved me much unneeded expense. He reluctantly accepted the much too small monetary amount I gave him, though I would gladly give him whatever he wants.

Doesn't God work in extroardinary ways? My need for new furnaces required a house inspection. The house inspector uncovered a serious gas leak. What if I hadn't felt the need for new more efficient furnaces? I shudder to think what
could have happened.

Thank you dear God for your ever-loving watchfulness over us who welcome you into our homes. Even now as I type, I see your beautiful Sacred Heart portrait above my computer raising your hand in blessing. I know it will always be raised to bless us all.