Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Now we have water!!!

  Yes, for a time we did not. That was ever-so-NOT-pleasant. It started as a slow leak and we couldn't use our well-water for drinking, cooking, tooth-brushing, etc. Then it got worse.

  It is, technically, my summer vacation. I am still working, but my work is done at home and no one really cares that I usually do it starting at about 10:00 a.m. until late, late, late at night. Then I read a little and go to sleep. So, you see, I had only been asleep for about three hours when the pounding started on the door at 7:45 a.m. All boys were with their Dads. I was snuggled away in a room that nobody needed to enter. I did this on purpose. On purpose, I say!!

  Again, with the pounding!!

  Then, my father's voice: "Get up and get dressed and meet me on the porch. I want to talk to you."

  Why is it that this sentence can still strike fear deep in my soul even when I have done nothing and am thirty-eight years old? Why, I ask you??!! He does this just about every other day and I've almost decided to start doing guilt-worthy things so that at least I can have enjoyed myself a little for the terror I feel.

  I dressed, bleary-eyed, and stumbled out onto the porch to find a giant trench dug from the pump house to the driveway and another all the way from the front of the pump house to the back of the pump house. And we had no water in the house. No one told me that part, I just flushed the toilet and watched the last of it go down. Lovely. The disaster looked like this:

  My whole day flashed before my eyes and my body spasmed in pain as if to predict how I would be feeling after this was all over. Dad and I are the only drivers, so I had been kicked out of bed to go to the hardware store and get all the PVC parts we needed to fix a cracked pipe in our water well system.

  The hardware store didn't open until 9:00 and he got me up at 7:45 and there was no water for a shower, so I'm not certain what the lead time was for, but nevertheless I was up and out of there and back by 11:00. The store is NOT close. Then there was one little, tiny, but crucial piece that I got wrong so I got to go back to the hardware store...yay.

  In my absence, Dad discovered this:

  Yes, that would be the main electrical wire coming into the pump house buried directly OVER the water pipe itself. Can you say "STOOPID?" Dad nicked it with a shovel and it blew him onto his butt a couple feet away. THEN Clanpaw remembered that he buried it there with no conduit. Geez. OH-and-by-the-way they share the SAME conduit underneath the driveway and down underneath the house. There, I have recorded it for posterity.

  By 3:00 p.m. we had cut out all the bad pipe and created a bypass with several valves:

 And saved ourselves who knows how many hundreds of dollars that the well services guy would no doubt have charged us on a holiday. Sheesh. And he wouldn't have done the bypass with the valves for easier repair next time around. They always figure there won't be a next time around, but there are at least two "next times" every year with a well buried in clay that experiences a drought. In fact, just about everyone in the terrace has been repairing their buried pipes within the last week. 'Course...none of them seem to have been buried straight. Then the ground dries and puts more strain on the pipe...eventually it breaks. Seems like you'd bury them straight, but they didn't/don't. I can't figure that one out at all. And perhaps it doesn't matter.
  The "little" electrocution event turned Mimi into a screaming lunatic for a bit. She is...well...an invalid to sum it up nicely. She is also my mother, so I try to respect her authority.  Her greatest fear is being without my father--as though I would go hang her by her toenails from a tree?  I think her greatest fear is that no one would care for her if my father was no longer around. This is, well, a silly notion to say the least. Attrition and I would never think of not caring for her, but there you have it...it is a mystery.
 I have no illusions about what it would be like to care for her without Dad, though.  I wish I knew where the joyful parts of her have gone and why she sometimes chooses sadness and depression. Her life consists of watching House episodes on DVD ad nauseum and sleeping. No music. No music for her is like no water for fish.

  We didn't rush right in and tell her that Dad had gotten shocked and she took that personally. However, whenever you enter her room she doesn't like it and takes that  personally. Catch 22, you see. Dad was fine, so I thought I'd let it go. Tell her later. Well, later was when she threw the fit. My bad. Dad wasn't going to tell her at all.  I wasn't either, but Clanpaw wanted to discuss scenarios for repairing the nicked power cable over lunch, so the truth outed itself right there. Ooops.

  I still ardently advocate living together as a family! I just don't know how to live through this season of aging we are in. It is new to me. I've lost members of my family, but it has been to freak accidents and one drug overdose--tragic, but not slow, progressive deaths. Life has been kind to us in the aging department as a whole. Not to my mother, but my grandparents are 83 and only this last year did they encounter their cancers. My grandmother is in remission (and the new pair is on its way, BTW--lots of skin-stretching to be done), my grandfather is losing ground. My mother is, perhaps, altered in a way  that is not recoverable. Admittedly, my father is 61. Not old, but older. My greatest fear, if I have any fear (which I really don't), is that I will lose them all in close proximity to one another...like within ten years of each other.

  It is silly to fear. I always remember Dune when I think about fear. Yes, I am a geek. In Dune, Paul Atreides quotes a saying when he encounters things he fears: "Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration." That isn't the entire quote, but it is the part that I use to remind myself of what fear can do to me if I allow it to eat me up. I shall look that one up and quote it in full here at some point...

Good afternoon, good evening, and good night!

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