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Friday, December 7, 2012

A Flood of Thanksgiving from a Thanksgiving Flood

You know that saying about not appreciating what you have until you don’t have it? I experienced that not long ago. The story begins with a rather distasteful event. It was a Saturday afternoon. I was doing laundry. No surprises there. Then, walking into the downstairs bathroom I noticed water on the floor. “How did that happen?” No one answered the question. “Oh well, this load of laundry is almost done. “ I stuffed it in the dryer then picked up the now soaked floor rugs and several towels I used to sop up the excess water and threw them into the washer.

All is fine for awhile until the washer starts its second spin cycle. This time we see it happen. Water is gushing out of the toilet so fast that the bathroom floor (now minus the rugs) is flooded and water is running into the kitchen. I couldn’t think what to do. I panicked, just stood there staring. Fortunately my husband had the presence of mind to associate our indoor river with the washing machine and ran to turn it off. Yep, the water stopped.

So you can see where I’m going with this. After cleaning up the newest flood I have a whole laundry basket full of soaked towels on top of the towels and rugs already in the washer – and yet I can’t wash anything. And, if the washer causes the toilet to overflow – what else might produce similar results?

Thus began a rather difficult week. I couldn’t wash clothes. I couldn’t wash dishes. I could take a spit bath without too much water and flush the toilet now and then, but mostly we tried to curtail pouring anything down our drains. Need I mention this was rather inconvenient?

The plumber was called Monday morning but said he couldn’t make it until Thursday.  I convinced myself I could live with this minor bit of discomfort for a few more days.

Plumber arrives on Friday. He uses his driller thingy to go clear down through our drainpipes and out to the sewer line in the alley. “This should fix it, right?”

“Well, you can try it, but I don’t know. I couldn’t get it to go through to the main line. Something is blocking it, like maybe part of the line is collapsed.”

But I remained hopeful. I tentatively put a load of underwear and socks in the washer (we were getting rather desperate for thus named articles of clothing that didn’t get washed the prior weekend.)

Result? You guessed it. Another flood in the bathroom. Another load of wet towels I can’t wash. By this time the dishes are piled high, I’m feeling a little frustrated and wondering if I will have to break down and – horror of horrors – go to a Laundromat!

Another weekend of no water. Plumber is called Monday morning. “Okay, I’ll bring my digger out and we’ll dig through your back yard and see what we can do. “

Great. Sounds lovely. Did I mention it’s now Thanksgiving week?

“I’ll be out of town over the holiday but I’ll try to make it by next Monday.”

Another week of no water? Can I do this? Nolan just came home from college with a ton of dirty laundry.  I need to cook a Thanksgiving meal that might require some clean dishes. Yes, I know. I could have done the dishes the old fashioned way, but I wasn’t quite that desperate yet. Nolan insisted he could take his laundry back with him and do it himself. Really? Maybe it would all work out.

By the weekend after Thanksgiving my totally awesome husband figured out a system. If I ran the washing machine through one cycle, stopped it, then waited about an hour before I started the second cycle, the water would have time to drain without making a flood. I could do laundry!  Sort of. What’s more, the same solution worked with the dishwasher – and the bathtub. Yes, I was feeling a little better. At least our clothes were clean now and I had avoided the dreaded Laundromat.

So to spare you all the unpleasant details, the plumber and his digger showed up on Tuesday next, dug up our backyard and made my dog really happy by being in her pen all day and paying lots of attention to her. They fixed the lines (I don’t understand all the details of the actual problem but all I cared about was having it fixed.) By the end of the day, it was.

Thank you, Mr. Plumber. You have my utmost respect and gratitude for the yukky, dirty, smelly job you do. Anybody know the Anne Zimmerman song about “The Plumber is the Man”? It was one of Randon’s favorites. I’m sure he would be singing it at the top of his lungs about now.

And the moral of this story? Let’s all take a moment to be grateful for things we often take for granted – like indoor plumbing. This fiasco showed me how I don’t appreciate so many things that I should – and during Thanksgiving week at that. Ironic? No. I just think God has a wonderful sense of humor.

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