From bucket lists to buckets – I saw it all in the past few days.
The joy of walking in my first 5K this past Saturday, was overshadowed by a series of incidents that left me hesitant to throw off the covers, get out of bed and start a new day that just might be filled with more calamities and catastrophes.
First, our computer system at work crashed. Thursday morning I was checking in and discovered that nasty message “site not reachable” so I called our computer guy at 5:45 a.m. The whole system was down. Compounding that little difficulty was the fact that I had three documents to be finalized to send to the client in advance of a big meeting and my boss was leaving for Georgia on business. Well, great – just great. The system was down for 24 hours, and sure, Thursday was a free day for me, but I had to scramble around on Friday, when I had other fish to fry.
Friday, I had a crew of four coming to install insulation in the house. It was an all-day job and it started raining two minutes after they began to drill a series of holes in the bricks and siding to inject foam insulation. I predicted it would rain a month ago when I booked the install date. (Just sayin’.) The rain eventually stopped but the drilling didn’t. The noise was deafening. It rattled my nerves as I was trying my best to make up for the lost work day and keep everybody happy on the work front.
The crew left the premises Friday evening and may be “long gone” as Ernie Harwell would say, but the mess they left behind will not be gone for a very long time. I could have cried as I looked downstairs in my already-messy basement. Well, baby steps I thought … that’s how to approach restoring order to this area once again. I vowed to start cleaning up once I returned from the “Rails Rally” the following day.
Flash forward to Saturday afternoon. I was a few minutes into cleaning up the laundry room when I saw water in the plastic dishpan I keep under the laundry tub. I peered in. Then I ran the tap and watched as the water flowed down the sink and into the dishpan. Not good! Of course we were in day #1 of a heat wave that would see temps soar into the 90s, and the hose for the A/C drains into the laundry tub. So, I could empty the pan every few hours, including overnight, or shut off the A/C altogether.
I chewed on those two options for a bit, then I stewed awhile and figured I just wouldn’t run the A/C. How hot could it get? After all, I had new insulation to keep those hot rays at bay. Why couldn’t we have enjoyed just a few more cooler days in the 60s?
So, at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday night, I called the plumber who just moved his business from Taylor into the neighborhood. He charges the same for days/nights/weekends or holidays and was willing to come out right then, but I was content to wait until Sunday.
So, Tim and Chris, the plumber and his helper, showed up at 10:00 a.m. Along the way, he fixed my small leak in the upstairs double sink as well. I won’t bore you with the details of the idiosyncrasies of a double sink, that was installed in our Bicentennial year, and the white PVC pipe that cracked up at the top, necessitating a whole new double sink pipe fixture. It had been problematic for a few months and I just monitored the tiny leak, intending to get it fixed eventually. Yup, the kitchen pipes were a bit of a bugger of a job, but I digress.
Meanwhile … downstairs, the laundry tub pipe needed to be replaced as the pipe was corroded and I watched that leaking pipe fall apart in Tim’s hands as he hooked his wrench around it. I said a silent prayer to say thank you for not having done a load of washing and gone upstairs until the load was finished and returned to find water everywhere. Of course, the A/C had to be shut off, while he ran to Home Depot for supplies and I watched the thermostat climb to 78 as I awaited his return and the new pipe was in place and the water and the A/C could be turned on again.
Then Tim inspected my drain in the floor – “oh-oh” he said, “going forward, you’d better monitor how fast your laundry tub drains, because if it drains slowly, we might have to clean out the floor drain.” I nodded sagely … after all, a hot water tank had sprung a leak back in ’92 and our neighbor helped us steer the water down the drain by using an oversized squeegee because the drain was not functioning well at all.
So I said “okay, let’s do it!”
All too soon I realized that the teeth-jarring drilling that reverberated in the house most of Friday was tame, compared to a jackhammer drilling two feet into the neatly tiled floor, right beneath where I was sitting upstairs in the hall. The pair cleared the drain and cemented it back up and put in a shiny new drain in the middle. It now looks like a big gray cement donut, about two feet in diameter, smack in the center of the laundry room.
It’s a great conversation starter for those who frequent my basement like the Flame Furnace tech, who will be doing his routine Spring A/C check this coming Saturday.
I told the plumbing guys their boss sure was glad he took my call on Saturday night, almost twenty-four hours before, as I was good for business.
There have been some angst-filled hours over this past week. I shudder each time I look downstairs, which is a shambles after the insulation crew moved items and neglected to put them back in place, not to mention a fine cloud of cellulose dust that is clinging to all my possessions. A similar scenario exists in the garage. I now have two projects to keep me busy every weekend for the rest of the year.
Life is so full of highs and lows … gains and losses … fulfilling bucket lists to filling buckets.
On the plus side, I’ve got zero water worries now … but my pocketbook is lighter.
Oh, I’m sure that I gained a few gray hairs to boot.
And, it’s a darn good thing no M&Ms were handy, as I just may have gone off the wagon and polished off a bag or two or three.