With the higher temps comes ........... leaking pipes. The pipes that froze and burst have now thawed. Happens a couple of times every year, but this last cold snap was wicked and I have been without water since yesterday morning.
I always leave my dinner dishes as a morning task. I don't mind washing dishes and I wash as I cook, but I prefer to wash the dishes in the morning because the hot water gets my hands going, loosens the joints and, well, just feels good. So, yesterday as I was washing and waiting for the coffee to brew I noticed that the water pressure was not good. It hasn't been good since the last re-routing of the pipes.
Love of my life wandered into the kitchen and I told him it was particularly bad. He did a "drive-thru". A "drive-thru" is when he climbs into his truck and drives through the park looking for signs of damage. He likes to do "drive-thru"s. This is when he smokes his vile cigarettes and ponders his lot in life. I can gauge the extent of the problem by how quickly he returns.
Yesterday's "drive-thru" prompted the dreaded phone call that instructs me to turn off the water. He was scheduled to work at 10 AM, so he attempts to fix the problem before he leaves and fails. He only has to work 4 hours, so off he goes, saying that he will re-route a cut-off, so that when this happens in the future I won't have to be without water in the house. You are all thinking what a wonderful idea this is and that he is on top of it...........
He bought all the stuff involved in this endeavor while we were in the throws of the insane cold snap. He cluttered the utility room with long and short pieces of pvc pipe and little cans of that smelly purple solvent that seals the pipes together and various odd shaped "joints" of connectors. Several times on days that he was off his wife suggested that it might be an opportune time to install this new handy-dandy cut-off valve. More than once I did this. He always had an excuse to not do it. He didn't do it.
I was a little perturbed as he left for work. I couldn't finish the dishes, I couldn't shower. Without water you can't flush either. Okay, four hours is not so bad. My BFF was here and even though we couldn't shower, we brushed our teeth, using chilled bottled water (very bracing) and thanked our lucky stars that I had brewed coffee before telling the man about the water pressure. We dressed and went into town. Not only could we leisurely shop, but we made sure to take advantage of the bathroom facilities before returning to the house with no running water. We stayed gone the entire 4 hours and didn't come back until he who plumbs was back from work. We were even wise enough to purchase a gallon of water to bring home.
He who plumbs decided that he should install that handy-dandy valve yesterday. I was ensconced in my sewing room doing a little hem job for Deb, while she was on the computer working her magic with getting our website out there even more. It was her turn to cook, I cooked last night (we play so well together). Using our minimal amount of water we put the tea kettle on and she put together a feast involving stuffed peppers. We stayed clear of the plumber, as things were not going well in the utility room.
As the smell of the nasty purple stuff permeated the air I began to anticipate the convenience of running water ................. I heard the pump come on with a loud snap and then I heard the water gushing from the pipe. I saw the water heading into the kitchen as the built up water pressure subsided. He who plumbs was unhappy and said some words while Deb and I laid low. When he disappeared again, Deb chastised me for laughing! Did she want me to cry? Of course we all know what happens when older women drink hot tea and then laugh .......... had to pee. No flush! I seriously considered grabbing a bucket and going out to gather some snow in the woods so that I would have some flushing ability after it melted.
We bought a cabin in Wisconsin when we lived in Minnesota. That is what Minnesotans do, they like to go "up north" to relax. The only reason I mention this is because the cabin came furnished right down to the "art". The decor was definitely backwoods with jigsaw puzzles glued to cardboard and nailed to the walls. The bathroom came complete with a plaque over the toilet which read "if it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down". Little did I know that I would have to live by this credo in the future. After another attempt at the pipe sealing and another gush of water we convinced the plumber to eat dinner and give it a rest (hey, we were hungry).
So we ate and Deb went home to where the water flows freely and my plumber made one last attempt. He tells me to shower quick as he has just a trickle leaking and that he will have to go get more supplies come morning. Instead of a shower I grab a big bucket and fill it with water while also filling all the empty vessels I can locate. After flushing the toilet I tell him to turn it off for the night. I was even clever enough to fill jugs of warm water to wash our hands in and brush our teeth.
That was yesterday. It is now noon. He who plumbs has to go to work at two thirty. He who plumbs could use a shower and so could I. Unfortunately that isn't possible right now and as much as I want to be optimistic ................. it doesn't look too promising. I prefer not to observe the progress (or lack thereof) and hope to be pleasantly surprised. If I thought it was inconvenient to not have hot water, well, was I in for an epiphany! As I sit here and wonder what I should be doing instead of reading blogs I am cruelly reminded of all the things I do every day that involve running water. I can't wash dishes, do laundry, mop floors (well, that got done last night, actually, more than once, too) and so many other things that we take for granted every day.
I suppose it could be worse, though. I have a cooler full of bottled drinking water. I have a bucket of flushing water. I have a fire to warm my toes and I have electricity to shed light on my computer screen. Most importantly I have wi-fi! The TV works and I can watch HGTV and try to hone some plumbing skills of my own! There are still plenty of household chores I can do and I can sew. I am thankful for what I do have. I am thankful that my husband can rise to the occasion and eventually fix things. I am thankful for my sense of humor that keeps me going even when I want to cry. I am thankful for the land of blog into which I can escape for a few minutes every day.
I will be so thankful for water that flows with the turn of a lever.