Why Not Turn Off The Water?

Posted in Love Letters | 8 comments

Since we had moved to town, life had become less stressful for Frank and me.

Our apartment rent was $25.00 cheaper, which gave us more money to spend on food.  We still didn’t have a car, a phone, air-conditioning, washer, dryer, or television, but we thanked God every day for the extra food on our table and each other.

When Frank got home in the evenings, we had supper, then we would take long walks on the sidewalks of downtown Ayer, looking in the windows of all the stores, or we would just sit on our fire escape balcony watching the stars come out at night.

Betty Crocker Cookbook

My Betty Crocker Cookbook

My days were full of cleaning and cooking from the Betty Crocker Cookbook that we had received as a wedding gift.  I really loved to cook. After all, I was in homemaking in high school for two years with a teacher that taught us to make all kinds of goodies.

Frank loved that I liked to cook and surprise him with cookies, cakes, pies, and homemade bread.

The next story is a little different than the ones I have shared, but it is one that happened that will explain another story in the future.

“Turn the Water Off!”

After Frank left for work, I made the bed, picked up around the house, and washed the dishes, and then I decided to do something about the floor in the kitchen.   Our kitchen floor was linoleum, mostly a white color with scattered pieces of black lines in it.  It was really worn and needed a good scrubbing.

I decided the best way to get it clean was to get down on my hands and knees with a bucket of warm soapy water and a scrub brush.  The kitchen in our new apartment was really large, so I decided to scrub the floor one section at a time, working towards the back door.

All of this scrubbing then changing the bucket full of soapy water while rinsing the floor took quite awhile. The back door was wide open to help dry the floor, so once getting to the door, I stepped out on to the fire escape patio then sat down for a while dangling my feet off of the patio.

Church and Fall trees in 1968 Ayer, Mass.

A Picture Taken From Our Balcony Of Ayer, Mass. in Fall 1968

It was a beautiful October day with the trees beginning to turn into Fall colors.  After sitting there taking in the beauty around me, I decided that the floor had to be dry, so I went back inside to the kitchen. After looking at the clock, I decided it was time to start cooking supper.

Frank would be coming in from school soon in about an hour.  I made meatloaf, which went into the oven to cook for a while as I made some white rice, which was Frank’s favorite dish. Another look at the clock told me that I just had time to take a shower before Frank got home.

After closing the back door and locking it, I also locked the front door that led to the landing of the apartments, and then I went into the bathroom for a shower. Our bathroom was off of the kitchen.  The entrance to the bathroom was actually on the same wall as our front door, and the two doors, separated only by about five feet of wall.

The warm water of the shower felt so beautiful that I held my head under the water for a long time, just letting the water run down my back, which felt so good.  Out of nowhere, there was a banging noise.  I opened the shower curtain slightly then stuck my head out when I heard the banging louder along with a man shouting at the bathroom door, “Shut the water off!” over and over again while banging loudly on the door.

Even though terrified, I grabbed the bathrobe hanging on a hook by the shower, put it on quickly, and only then turned off the shower.  Dripping wet in the robe, I mustered up enough courage then went to the bathroom door.

Suddenly, I heard Frank’s voice saying, “What are you doing in my house?”

I opened the door, stepped out of the bathroom into the kitchen, and stood there trying not to shake.  Evidently, the banging intruder was our landlord.  He was ranting,  raving, and waving his arms at Frank about a water leak from our shower to the floors below.

Frank looked at me standing there, water dripping from my hair, shaking, and probably pale as a ghost then turned back to face the landlord who was still shouting at the top of his lungs.

Frank asked him, “How did you get into my house?”

I had never seen Frank’s face so intense and severe.  Each word he spoke was spoken very deliberately one at a time.

The landlord yelled back, “When no one answered the damn front door,  I used my key to open it, then went to the bathroom door and banged on it to get her (he then pointed to me) to turn the damn shower off!”

Frank’s face turn red while he stared at the man then again with each word spoken deliberately one at a time, he said, “You opened my front door with your key, entered my house while my wife was in the shower, and banged on the bathroom door?”

The landlord yelled back at Frank, “Yes, I did!”

Before I could say a word or move, Frank lifted the man up by the front of his shirt then slammed him into the wall holding the man there with his feet dangling off the floor.  Frank drew back his fist and was fixing to hit the man when I grabbed his fisted arm, asking him to please not hit him.

Frank looked at my face, and immediately his features softened then told the landlord, “This is our home.  Nobody enters our home without our permission. Ever.  Nancy is my wife, and nobody is allowed to scare her or harm her in any way, or I will personally make them wish they were dead.  Damn you. My wife was in the shower!  Never come into this house again while we live here!”

Frank let go of the terrified landlord and who slid down the wall until his feet touched the floor. Frank asked him one more question, “Did you ever think about just shutting the water off?”

The landlord did not answer as he went through the front door quickly and closed it behind him.  Frank turned to look at me then pulled me into his arms.  I was still shaking, but the tears running down my face were not from fear anymore but because of the love in my heart for the beautiful man who was holding me close, wiping away my tears, kissing my face, and telling me how much he loved me.

Frank held me for a long time while stroking my wet hair, telling me that he would always protect me from harm.  Finally, I quit shaking, then went into the bedroom and got dressed.  When I returned to the kitchen, Frank was busy getting our supper on to plates so we could eat.

We ate supper, washed the dishes together, then went out onto our small balcony.  We sat there for a long time, dangling our feet off of the side, holding each other, talking quietly, being in love, and watching the stars come out brightly.

I am not sure what I would have done that day if Frank had not come home at the moment he did, but I do know God had his hands all over the situation.

From that day on, I have never feared anything or anyone, no matter what life has thrown my way.  Being loved by God and Frank with love that has transcended through the dimensions of all space and time have been eternal blessings and the greatest blessings God could have ever given me.

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  1. WOW…….just….WOW

    • Thank you, Kim. That was a scarey day for me.
      God Bless You,

  2. I can well imagine…..all the way around.

    • Exactly, Frank was so upset with the man. Frank was so even tempered an twice I saw him upset in our time together, that was the first time and neither time was he upset with me.
      Thank you for commenting Kim. I really appreciate it.
      God Bless You,

  3. I love how you felt so protected by Frank

    • You are so right Caroline, I always felt protected by Frank. He made me feel so safe and he gave me confidence in myself to face any challenges that might come up.
      Thank you for your comment Caroline.
      God Bless You,

  4. What a beautiful, tender ending to what was a very nasty situation. God certainly blessed you with a wonderful husband and you have so many precious memories to think about. Thank you for sharing them. God bless you.

    • Thank you for reading our story. Frank was the greatest man and husband. He loved me just the way I am and there was nothing about him I didn’t love. You would have loved his smile and the way he laughed.
      God Bless You, Diane

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