Along for the ride:

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Happy Un-Birthday to Me:)

As I walked the dog early yesterday morning, in the silver grey negative light world, I heard the wild turkeys rippling like a busy stream, chattering over and around thestones and pebbles on its path. Oh tranquil moment, how you had me fooled.
The front door of my house was standing open on my return; curious and self-posessed cat had taken up sentinel duty outside. I'm not the person who forgets to close a door properly, so was unsurprised that mahem was afoot beyond the 7am threshold.
My organized and high-functioning friend, who is in residence for a few days, was flapping about, not unlike a rudely awoken wild turkey. The sound of gushing streams was real and erupted from downstairs shower and toilet, carrying toxic sewage debris in an ever-flowing inch thick wave, across family room, bedroom, office and laundry room.
You know the true value of a friendship when a, usually pristine and glamorous, buddy is prepared to don a pair of rubber boots and wade through shit, with a smile, in order to rescue what can be saved from the black water tsunami.
Said friend was left in charge of a seemingly unstoppable waterfall, as I had to leave to meet with clients. I had turned off the house water, which made no difference, other than leaving us to clean our teeth with bottled water. My property managers were not answering their emergency contact line and I had left messages for them and the owner of the home that we rent. I had a cell number on file for, what turned out to be their bookkeeper. I woke her up and she responded like a champ. Calls went out to plumbers and I was rather happy to have a good excuse to drive away.

During my meetings, I received several "updates" from my poor beleaguered house guest. Her adreniline was running as high and fast as our own personal tide of excrement. King Canute would have been overshadowed by her passionate pleas for the waters to receed. Two hours, and counting, into the smelly inundation of our living space, my valiant Defender of Dry Spots had laid down barrages in doorways, using every towel I own, and still not seen a plumbing professional in her sights.
I was in a clean dry place with pleasant people, having creatively satisfying discussions about their kitchen pizza oven and fireplace design plans. I was actually bringing to fruition a couple of client contracts, in order to be able to continue to pay the rent on my sodden abode.
In the meantime, my Gladiator of Contaminated Cascades had called 911 and been put through to City Utilities who concluded that a City water main had ruptured and all of that water was gushing up the pipe of least resistance, as my house is at the lowest point in the neighborhood.
I returned home to find men in orange vests down a manhole at the bottom of our garden and a fleet of green vans loaded with green T-shirted heroes, wielding an arsenal of effluent-vacs and bio-hazard plastic bags, also descending to our rescue.
You don't need all the gory details. There were smells; there was sweat and elbow-grease; carpets were removed and chemicals were sprayed. There are noisy, but necessary dehumidifiers in every affected corner and the clean team will return on Monday to remove the wooden flooring.
No one was hurt. Nothing of great value was lost. We even have an alternate guest room for our much appreciated friend to move into, which she has already transformed into a much more stylish and attractive space than it was as just my home office.
We were even able to escape for a couple of hours to a pre-arranged gathering with friends for a wine tasting and birthday cake, afternoon tea, without the tea.

Tall Gerber Daisies, in, what looked to be, tribal neck braces, and a besprinkled cupcake, were the perfect antidotes to the floating darkness of the first half of the day. We sat at a table in the shade of a large tree, animated by wood-peckers and squirrels, sipped a nice chilled Viogner, from the vinyards around us and watched the trail riders festoon the steep hillside in ribbons of good natured horse ornaments.
This morning dawned another beautiful day. We grilled marinated kebabs and ate in the sun on the deck, overlooking the garden. After our early lunch, Cassie met her new furever Dad and left us to start her Happy Endings.


  1. What a terrible thing to happen to you, yet it appears that you took it all in stride. Way to go!

    1. Stephen,
      nothing life-threatening, unless we count potential for cholera:) The rest I can handle

  2. I still have nightmares from our younger years when we couldn't afford professional help. My theory now is, this is why God invented checkbooks and credit cards.

    1. Silliyak, city has insurance, landlord has insurance, we have renters insurance. We don't have to go it alone. That would be too horrible for words.

  3. Oh crap! That really sounds awful. Glad it all got taken care of eventually. Your house guest is one in a million for not running for the hills but helping out with that mess. At least the day seems to have ended on a happier note.

    Hope Cassie has a wonderful life with her new Dad.

    1. Grey Horse, in olden days my house guest would have been the one with the whip in hand. She takes "motivation" to a whole other level. Everyone quickly realized that she was Queen of the situation.

  4. All's well that ends well, for you, your house guest and for Cassie...but after such a horrible beginning it's just as well that it did!

    1. Helen, the process will take a while. They're returning to remove wood floors today. Once again, I'm happy not to be there. I gave them a key.
      I missed Cassie this morning, when I couldn't just sweep the breakfast crumbs onto the floor. She's set for life:)

  5. Replies
    1. Martin, I can't take it personally. I just need to buy some new towels and a couple of rugs.

  6. You sound amazingly upbeat, considering? But commiserations, and I hope all is cleared up soon.

    1. Frances, Thank goodness there are people to take care of things like this. They're doing a great job already.

  7. A seriously shitty birthday. No pun intended.

    A belated....

    .•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆ ★ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆
    ╔╗╔╦══╦═╦═╦╗╔╗ ★ ★ ★
    ║╚╝║══║═║═║╚╝║ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆
    ║╔╗║╔╗║╔╣╔╩╗╔╝ ★ BIRTHDAY ★
    ╚╝╚╩╝╚╩╝╚╝═╚╝ ¥☆★☆★☆¥ ★☆

  8. Birdie, you are terrible! but very clever with the computer. xx thanks.

  9. Thank heavens for capable house guests. If that kind of disaster has to happen, it’s best to have a knight in shining armour available.

    I hope the aftermath comes up smelling like roses.

  10. Bless your noble friend who ended up saving the day....or at least saving all that could be saved.

    Glad the city stepped up to do the cleaning and took responsibility right away. I hope they deserve the compliment. I know you don't own the house, but you do have to live there.

    And what a delight to hear Cassie has a home! When I read about the open door at the start of your blog I was afraid something had happened to her! But, as it turned out, something good came of it all in the end.

    Happy Belated Birthday!! Glad you were able to enjoy the day despite everything.

  11. Jean, the ongoing theme, for us at least, has been "It could have been so much worse".
    There was no heirloom furniture destroyed (don't have any). Pets and people all doing well. We're installing the home office and the art studio upstairs, starting tomorrow. Heavy lifting help will be available Monday. TAO may never go downstairs again:)

  12. You are so resilient. If it had been me, I would not have been able to even go to a meeting. I would have been home shouting obscenities right and left...

  13. Maria, fortunately (or unfortunately) I have a fair amount of experience handling the occasional disaster and crisis. We've come through them all, so why waste nervous energy ranting against something that already "is" and can't be undone.
    Two cardinal rules to maintain perspective: Is it Life-Threatening?" and "Is this the hill I'm willing to die on?" Those two questions quickly filter out the small stuff and lead us to the next useful step: "How do we move forward?"
    p.s. These questions also work for marital strife, singly, or combined with a disaster:)

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