Our water heater had spewed water in December, stopped, and started spewing again at the end of January, at which point we disconnected it until it could be fixed (and, as our water heater is upstairs, the spewage had some distressing consequences for the ceilings and our life downstairs).
Last Saturday the friendly retired-maintenance-man father-of-a-work friend had the part we needed. He and the Mister installed it, only to find it the wrong size. After running to the hardware store, they found the correct sized valve did not stop the problem. It was 4:40 on Saturday in a small town where nothing is open on Sunday, but we managed to buy a hot water heater at the hardware store moments before it closed and had it installed by 6:30.
My friend felt that this was incredible unlucky: what we thought to be a $15 and few minute project ended up taking hours and $200 and ten-year-old water heaters aren't supposed to go.
I viewed this as extremely lucky. I never thought we'd actually fix the water problem on the first try and doubted we'd succeed without calling in expensive out of town experts. In a town without a plumber, we found someone willing to help us see the project through and teach us how to do it ourselves. My friend has the hardware store on speed dial and they were willing to stay open to sell us one. We caught the problem before the tank completely cracked and spilled rusty water everywhere. The hardware store had a reasonably priced water heater that fit in stock. My friend even had a great steamer-vac she was willing to let us use to clean up. And now we have hot showers!
This makes for interesting thoughts on the interplay between luck and optimism, and the two different definitions of optimist. My friend is a true optimist by the "one who usually expects a favorable outcome" definition and unlucky things are always happening to her to prevent these favorable outcomes.
On the other hand, I do not expect favorable outcomes, and in respect to what will or could happen in the short term, tend to be pragmatic, if not all out pessimistic. Therefore lucky things are always happening to me. And, as I am an optimist by the "a person disposed to take a favorable view of things" definition, I think that bad things "just happen" and that things that allow me to deal with the bad things are good luck or God. So I end up being a lucky, much-blessed person. And clean these days.
*I'm quite willing to view anything new in mid-February as a Valentine's gift. While I was hoping for a dishwasher, a water heater is almost as romantic.