Monday, January 13, 2014

Cold Weather Crisis!

I am not a superstitious person. Even though people say things happen in threes, I don't buy into that or any other superstition. Having said that, this will be my third consecutive post about the trouble winter has brought on for us, each one worse than the last. First we had our "snow day"; a school cancellation due to the ridiculously cold and intense weather we were having. That was on Monday last week. Then on Wednesday, Mike got his vehicle stuck in the deep snow and had to take mine, so I was without wheels for the day, causing Micah to miss a second day of school.

Here is the truth of the matter. Those two scenarios? Fun, followed by inconvenient. Yes, snow days are fun. Well, unless you're having one of those desperate days where you need your kids to be in school for the day. But we were not, and Mike got the snow day too, so that was an extra bonus for all of us. And then to have no vehicle for all of Wednesday? Technically that is inconvenient, but let me confess something to you. That day was nearly as cold as the Monday that school was cancelled, so I was secretly quite relieved to not have to drag myself, Micah and Lauren out. We enjoyed a stress-free day at home.

I wish I could say that our third predicament was as inconsequential as the first two. It was not. It still isn't. It happened on Thursday afternoon. When Mike got home from work, he asked me how long the septic pump had been running. I didn't know, though I thought maybe it had been a while. I don't generally consider it in my housewife duties to notice the mechanical functions in the house, so I don't really pay much attention to the pumps. Other than in a crisis, where I have been instructed to do so. Turns out it was a crisis. Our septic tank was not getting pumped out, though the pump was running. This set in motion an evening of frenzied activity, accompanied by the inability to let any water go down the drain. No baths for the boys or for Lauren. No dishes could be washed. No laundry could be done. Dare I mention flushing toilets? Excess water down the drain would cause the whole system to back up into our basement floor. Goody.

Because Mike is still somewhat incapacitated with his knee, I was the one who got to trek out in the snow to the ejector. (That's exactly what it sounds like.) The snow was over my knees, and I was falling all over the place. It was also dark, and I had to go quite far. It was not fun. My complete incompetence in all things plumbing did not help matters. I accomplished nothing other than filling Mike's winter boots with snow (I had to wear his because they are much taller than mine, and even still the snow was well above them), and getting a little exercise.

What happened that evening is a very long story. Let me sum it up like this. Mike's brother came over and was here until 1 a.m. trying to fix our system with Mike. They were not successful. We may have to dig up our entire system, a process that would likely cost thousands of dollars. They rigged a temporary fix, which will hopefully get us through the winter. Then we will have to implement some kind of permanent solution in the spring. The house smelled like sewage, though we did not get much backup in the basement, thankfully. All day Friday I still couldn't do laundry or dishes, not to mention shower. Everything is running now, though not in the best way. I won't describe the details in here. On the surface, everything seems the same, so life is back to normal, for now. We suspect our system froze under the ground, though that should never happen. With the extreme deep freeze this year, it is possible the frost level went deeper than normal under the ground. Who knows?

Anyway, I have two boys here, one of whom is beginning to act bored, and the other who I strongly suspect is into trouble in the basement. In addition to that, I have a girl who has boycotted her nap, yet again. So it's time for me to run. Here's hoping things really do happen in threes and I don't have another winter crisis to report in here.

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