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Monday, February 12, 2007

2007: a pipe odyssey

Saturday, 2/3/07: My mother arrives in town, for yet another meeting plus a visit with her beloved daughter.

Sunday, 2/4/07: Morning: Mom and I go for a driving tour, wondering where she might live if she moved to Baltimore – hip, trendy Federal Hill? Historic Mount Vernon? Country living fancy-free in Sandy Spring? Then we head to Whole Foods, where we win free meat (no, I’m serious, we found a little paper football thingy and it turned out they were having a Super Bowl promotion, we won some hamburgers and some Italian sausage) and buy the ingredients to cook a nice dinner (leg of lamb!).
Afternoon: I teach my mother how to play World of Warcraft. She gets so caught up in fighting spiders and running into trees because she can’t do anything but walk in a straight line that she winds up staying until quite late, and by the time I get back from taking her to her hotel I’m far too tired to contemplate attacking the massive mound of dishes in the sink (roasting pan! cutting board! other cutting board! three kinds of knives! fifteen bowls! plates!).

Monday, 2/5/07: I have a day-long meeting out in Hagerstown, MD, an hour and a half away. It lasts two hours longer than it should, and I don’t get home until quite late. Still not ready to do dishes.

Tuesday, 2/6/07: I come home from work, fling everything I can fit into the dishwasher without bothering to rinse, and go to wash the roasting pan. The sink doesn’t turn on. The pipes, they are a-frozen. Panicking, I rush upstairs and check the upstairs bathroom faucets – if I can’t shower, I’m not leaving the house. Fortunately, it appears that only the pipes which go to the kitchen – which, as you may or may not remember, is an addition – are frozen. These pipes are the only pipes in the house which are actually ‘outside’ – they go out from the basement into the crawlspace under the kitchen before going up into the room. When Don comes home, I inform him of the real issue at hand: if there’s no water to the kitchen sink, I’m not cooking – there’s no way I’m dirtying more pots and pans that I can’t wash, even if we use paper plates. We’re not hungry anyway.

Wednesday, 2/7/07: Pipes are still frozen. Don calls a plumber, who comes out to the house and crawls around for a while, then tells Don he can’t get to the area where the pipes are frozen and charges us thirty dollars for his time. We go to Hardees for dinner.

Thursday, 2/8/07: Pipes are still frozen. We go to McDonald’s for dinner.

Friday, 2/9/07: I’m on the phone with my father when I pull up to the house after work. He is quite startled to hear me say a very bad word as I observe water coming out from the bottom of the side of the house. I rush inside – still on the phone – and find that the plumber, in testing the laundry room sink (which of course did not work on Wednesday) has left the spigot on, so the water is now rushing full strength into the sink. I turn it off and breathe a sigh of relief – until I realize that I can still hear water, from under the floor next to the pantry. I say another bad word. My father, who has never been to the house, attempts to offer suggestions as to what I ought to do. This is hard, when he has no idea where the kitchen is.

I call Don, who had been planning on working late, and tell him that he needs to come home right now. He tells me where the water shutoff for the house is, and I turn off the water and call my dad back to tell him that all is mostly well for the moment other than the fact that now I can’t go to the bathroom and all I can think about is peeing. Don calls back half an hour later, stuck in traffic, and sends me to the basement to turn various knobs and examine various pipes to see if we can isolate the problem. I am, for the most part, useless.

When Don gets home, we spend a great deal of time turning knobs and shouting back and forth to each other – “Do you still hear water? How about now? What if I do this?” We finally isolate the broken pipe – it’s the one that goes to the hose spigot on the side of the house, apparently – and manage to get the water turned off to it and turned on to everything else. I can safely pee again. We are very tired. We order subs for dinner.

Saturday, 2/10/07: We finally do the dishes and can once more cook in our kitchen! We order pizza for dinner to celebrate.


Malnurtured Snay said...

Eventful week! Did you yell at the plumber?

Stephanie said...

YAY! You are alive!!! It's been too long!

I hope the pipe fiasco stays resolved!!!

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Malnurtured Snay said...

Hope you're still alive - happy st. patty's day!