Monday, January 18, 2010

Running Water.......

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.


Mamma has spoken said...

It's funny how we don't miss simple things until we don't have it. Here's to having water soon!

Sunny said...

When we were hit with a huge ice storm last winter, we were without power and water for seven days. Thankfully we have a brook on our property, so my husband would fill buckets so we could at least flush. We used bottled water for brushing teeth, etc.
I really admire the old pioneers that lived without all the conveniences day after day!
Hope you get water soon.
Sunny :)

Masala Chica said...

Kathy - I love the fact that you can laugh and write about this with such a great disposition. I really hope that you have some water soon, my friend. You deserve a really, really long shower with lots of warm water.

Rae said...

This has really been a difficult winter for you and those pipes. You must have the patience of a saint. Hopefully Spring will come early this year so you can put all this behind you.

The Good Cook said...

I am thinking that you, my friend, are a saint. Hope there is water REAL RUNNING Water in your future soon!

Brian Miller said...

you seems to be weathering it well...keep the sense of humor. and i hope water comes you way soon...just out of the faucet or shower heads though. smiles.

otin said...

Water or computer? hmmm That is a tough one for me. I think that I would rather have the internet!

Jenna said...

"He who plumbs" I love it!! *LOL*

ellen abbott said...

It's amazing how important running water is to our lives. Hope you get yours back soon.

Meanwhile you have an impressive list of blessings.

Pat said...

Geez - I hope you solve your water dilemmas soon. Couldn't you shower in the main bath house or is that connected to your place? I can't remember.

SkippyMom said...

"He who plumbs" made me laugh too.

No matter what is going on in my litte pond, I can I always count on you to make me smile and appreciate what I do have. And I agree with ellen - that is an impressive list of things to be thankful for.

You are doing a great job of rising to the occasion Kathy - and really are inspiring.

Hang in there and hope the water comes soon.

Jilly said...

You can just come here. Our house might be freezing but we have water :)
I miss you.

Jo said...

Hi, Kathy!

You know, I'm always bemoaning living inland and having no real four seasons: it's not A-typical for us to have triple digit weather three or four months out fo the year -- and us with no A/C to boot! Just miserable!.

I used to live in Colorado and I miss the snow. However, where we live now, we're an hour away from the snowy mountains or the sea air of the coast. Still, I wouldn't mind waking up to a blanket of white....and I think the fact that it was warm and sunny on Christmas day was just wrong and cruel -- give me at least cold, overcast and maybe rainy!

Then I read stories like yours about freezing pipes -- and I begin to re-think my whole weather philosophy!

Hope everything gets back to normal soon -- sounds like you otherwise have a very lovely life and I look forward to getting to know you better.

Thanks for becoming a follower!

Peace and serenity,
'The End Of The Rainbow: Life After Bankruptcy'

Dee said...

Being without water is the worst! Hope it gets fixed soon, and you can take a long hot shower. :)

Stephanie said...

You've had more than your share of plumbing issues lately. It's almost like camping.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Your silly and sentimental comment on my blog today made me smile.



Eternally Distracted said...

keep smiling girl and I'm crossing everything you are soon to be flowing again :)

Missy said...

I would be whining a lot more than you! Is it fixed yet?

Nancy said...

You have the right attitude. Lately I've been trying to stay in that frame of mind, even when things go wrong. After watching the people in Haiti, what can I complain about really?

Karen said...

Hope you have the water back on by now... what a miserable experience!