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.
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.