Monday, January 10, 2011


The South has been hit with a widespread snow and ice storm. For once it's not Much Ado about Nothing. Even Dave has been told not to report to work. I read that Atlanta grocery stores are out of milk and eggs. As for our house, we are well-stocked with groceries, but I'm pining for PVC pipe and a couple of toilet locks.

Yesterday our morning  began at 5:00 A.M. when John, crying and congested, begged for milk. I brought him a cup. He chugged it down. He threw up on our bed. Bull's eye! We have five beds in our house. Only one requires four loads of laundry when it meets a leaky diaper or the technicolor yawn. I began a laundry marathon.

Meanwhile Dave and Tim began work on a toilet. That saga began with a brief but alarming conversation.

John: Ainsey threw a twee in the toilet!

Me: Oh?

John: And den I fwushed it.

Me: Oh!
A quick "test" confirmed that, yes, some foreign matter was blocking the toilet. Not a problem. I'm married to Dave. Where odd items meet plumbing, he's a grizzled veteran. This time last year the nail brush went missing. Seems John had flushed it on its merry way. I called the plumber. He plunged and scooped, dismantled and poked, all to no avail. It was stuck. He recommended we purchase a new commode.

At this point I am tempted to write, "Never send a plumber to do an engineer's job," but I don't want to offend my dear friend who is plumber. But when it comes to all things mechanical, Dave's the man. He twisted and turned, tugged and poked, and - voila! - out came one battered nail brush.

Yesterday Dave and Tim made quick work of the repair job. I spotted the plastic tree sitting in the sink. As they tightened the reinstalled toilet, someone nudged the thingamajig that brings the water into the house.

Was it the cold weather? Was it the ancient pipe? Was it the Devil sitting around chortling, "Hee! Hee! Hee! Vomit and a laundry marathon? You ain't seen nothing yet!"?

The PVC pipe cracked.

A geyser began shooting gallons and gallons of water into the bathroom. At this point we would have been well served to have a plumber doing a plumber's job because the water had to be shut off at the street and, although we own nearly every tool fashioned since the dawning of The Bronze Age, we don't happen to own The One That Shuts Off Water At The Street. Dave dashed to the phone. I held a plastic tub against the geyser in vain hope of deflecting some of the tsunami into the bathtub. Twenty minutes and a plumber's wrench later, the flood was staunched.

Meanwhile Lowe's had closed for the night, and the ice storm had begun.

We can't flush. We can't shower. We can't wash dishes. On the positive side - I'm sure there is one, isn't there? - we have clean sheets on our bed, and I procured enough water to make coffee.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear, that is a quadruple whammy. Some neighbours recently had a cracked pipe and had to melt snow on the stove in order to flush the toilet. An idea for you? Either that or a Travelodge?
If it was me, I would make a little list of what I was going to reward myself with after it's all over with. (Nothing overly expensive.) Good luck with getting repairs done, I will include your plumbing in my prayers!

Kelly said...

Thank you, Christine! Doing nasty, wet jobs in frigid weather is no fun. We can use the prayers!

ami said...

Oh Kelly - your mishaps too easily take on mythic proportions. Maybe this means your family will have the best stories to tell years from now (?)

They are forecasting big snow all around us - but possibly missing Richmond. Our kids will be sorely disappointed.