Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Three Days Away, Three Days of Retribution

My house greeted me when I got back in the same way a cat would -- with savage vengeance for my abandonment. Cats do it by vomiting on the carpet or shredding a couch; the house managed, in my absence, to burn up or break the water pump even though I’d turned off all the faucets before I left. I had a good hot shower when I got home, and then found that was the last of the water! So I’m back to flushing toilets with buckets of water from the neighbor’s hose and stacking dishes in the sink… and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna incur double-overtime by calling the pump guy today. I already have gallons of drinking water stored, so the only thing I worry about is the garden, which has gone three days w/o watering already, and which I’d planned to water last night on my return… since I still have chest congestion that makes me feel like I’m breathing underwater, I haven’t the strength of the old washerwomen to haul 15 buckets or so for the veggies… I may try one or two later…I’m doing it in shifts: carry water, collapse on couch; repeat.

Possibly the house bribed some of the appliances as well: the bread machine failed for the first time in perhaps a year, so when I dumped out what looked like crisp brown bread on to the rack, I got a bread shell and a pound of batter all over the counter (and no water to wash it off, of course). I’ve been stroking the fridge and saying soothing things to it, in the desperate hope that it won’t turn against me as well.

And I don’t know what it is about lacking proper plumbing facilities that gives me the runs… it happened last time, when the toilet exploded - instant cure for constipation. And I’ve been “irregular” as the ads say, for two weeks.. and now is when the internal plumbing decides to unclog?? I’ve read books that say we have another brain in our gut, but mine has a very low IQ… I’m going to bed, hoping the sheets don’t explode.

The guy got here an hour late, and switched the pump on in about 30 seconds. He fiddled around with it a bit to cover that up, but really it was a $120/minute service call. I made him show me how to use my complicated voltage meter just to get some additional benefit. But that didn’t matter, since apparently the batteries are drained and it doesn’t work. Bought it a year ago; haven’t used it yet. He says he doesn’t know what’s wrong with the pump, but my tank needs replacing soon - at least $500 worth of work… and my first thought was that I’d carefully stacked/hidden all those old shingles in their black plastic up against the pumphouse wall, figuring there was no way that I’d need to get near that wall this year - how does the house know to do this?? Those bags are 50 pounds each, if they’re an ounce! I didn’t want to move them again until I haul them to the special dump. Now I might have to shift them another two or three times? Because - as I described in another water-pump posting - the weird “door” (hatch might be a better word) to the shed is way too small to get the pump in or out! They must have built the shed around the dang tank! At least the water is on and the garden is getting soaked… now to wash all the dishes and clothes, and flush the toilet properly…

Ah - I don’t know where to start. With the water pump, out again, the day after the $65 visit?? With the carpenter ants nesting in the shingles that I’ve just struggled to get into their black plastic bags and away from the shed wall?? With the wood covers for the crawlspaces that won’t come out for me to paint them?? With the twitter of birds… or bats.. that I am now hearing hourly through the woodstove pipe?? There was an old movie in the 70’s called “Burnt Offerings” about a house that was demonic, and would basically destroy any family that moved in… I’m beginning to wonder…… maybe taking the shingles off is revealing its true demonic character…. but no - this is such a cute house… that twitter isn’t the laughter of ancient ghosts… the water pump isn’t possessed… [theme from Twilight Zone kicks in] Nooooooo!!!

Sigh… the manager of the pump company says he’ll be out here by dinner time, and promises he’ll get the water running again… it’ll probably take 30 seconds… and then what? I’ve never been psychic, but I’m seeing shades of a depleted bank account in the near future… maybe I can ask how much it costs to put in a bucket and pulley…. I’m getting good at flushing toilets with a bucket…

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