Not sure if I have ever mentioned it before, but my wife and I live in a rural area, outside of a small town of about two thousand people. As such, we have no access to city water. Instead, we have a well and septic system. We also have a large propane tank for the furnace and water heater. The only utility services we get are electricity and phone. Also, we're so far from the telecom central office that our Internet "broadband" is an anorexic 512 kbps and we don't have access to competing services like cable Internet.
Don't even talk to me about satellite Internet. The monthly data cap is a deal-breaker.
Anyway, the point of all this really goes back to the well. We went out of town to visit family for Christmas, and just returned home today. And the water was out -- nothing, not even dregs in the pressure tank (a pressure tank is basically a storage tank in the basement that can hold about 80 gallons of water, and gives us a small reservoir to draw from). Now, this has happened to us before, and usually all it takes to fix the problem is for me to manually reset the pump. We have a little switch in the house for this, and I just flip it up and down a couple of times, and that has always kicked the pump on and fixed the issue.
Today, I flipped and flipped, to no avail. Finally, I had to call our local well/pump maintenance company, whose name and number were on a label on the pressure tank. The guy came out within half an hour (thank you Mr. Dedicated Well and Pump Repair Guy!) and checked things, and in the end he determined that our pump was dead. Not an inexpensive piece to replace. Luckily for us, he has one back at his shop, and will come back out tomorrow to replace it. Outside, in the cold and snow. And it's about a 5-hour job.
Did I mention that I am very thankful for this guy? Yeah. So, it's not going to be cheap, but we should have our water restored by early afternoon tomorrow. And for that, I am also thankful to live in a country where such things are even possible. Like I said on Facebook... #firstworldproblems.