What Do You Want Me To Do About It?

This past month has been a trying time to say the least.  First we had a water leak in pipes buried beneath the concrete floor in the house.  After a couple of attempts to solve the problem ourselves, we had one ersatz plumber who looked things over and never came back.  Then we found a real plumber who solved the problem by circumventing the leaking portion of the line with new pipes he ran above ground.  The plumbing issue was fixed on a Tuesday, and the following Saturday the tornado that narrowly missed our house came through leaving enormous cottonwood trees piled everywhere as if they were matches dropped at some giant’s campsite.  After 10 days of cleanup from the storm, the third, and I’m hoping final, catastrophe occurred.

Exactly two weeks after the plumbing repair, I was getting ready to leave the house that morning when I noticed a problem with the toilet in our bathroom.  I got the plunger and went to work on it with no success.  I went into the other bathroom to see if that toilet would flush, and I discovered water all over the floor from an unknown origin.  I threw down some towels, and walked into the living room where John was sitting on the couch reading posts on his coon dog forum.  I told him we were having plumbing problems with one stool overflowing and the other with a mysterious leak.  Even though he has never been quick to spring into action when dealing with home repairs, I was still unprepared when he responded with, “What do you want me to do about it?”  Since my grandchildren may read this blog some day, I will paraphrase the thoughts that went through my head.  “How about getting off the couch and pretending like you care,” or “I know I’m going out on a limb here, but what about calling a plumber.”  Instead I simply said, “I don’t know what to tell you to do about it.  I’m just telling you not to use either bathroom,” and I headed out the door.

When I got back that evening, John had the original faux plumber, who couldn’t resolve the water leak issue, back with his machine to clean out the sewer line.  Unfortunately, they were having problems finding the sewer line which resulted in two excavations in the front yard.  After two days of digging, cleaning, and cursing, the line was cleared, and things could return to normal.  Well, almost normal.  John filled in the deeper of the holes immediately as it was in a high traffic area and posed a significant danger to anyone or anything that might fall in.  The other hole is quite large, but it is much shallower and isn’t in a highly traveled area. I am hopeful that it will be filled in before I start my Christmas shopping.

I know that the problems we face aren’t as serious as the ones many people endure, but if the next few weeks were a little less eventful, that would be great.  As I thought about this last adventure, I realized that John had to dig two very large holes with a shovel, cut through the sewer line with a reciprocating saw while standing in one of the holes, dip “water” out by hand after the line was cut, and fill the holes back in with a shovel.  It wasn’t necessary for me to tell him what I wanted him to do about it.  His karma did that for me!

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