Saturday, June 21, 2008

Black cloud

I know everyone has felt at one time or another that they have a black cloud hanging over them. Last week, just happened to be one of those weeks for me.

After months of planning and anticipating, I met 6 friends from my online scrapbook group for a retreat at my Uncle's house near Hilton Head. Hosting any event is always a little stressful because you want everything to go right.

Sunday evening, I decided to drop the kids off at my parents and head over a day early to get my car unloaded and the house set up for the retreat. I knew that Monday I would need plenty of time to go to the grocery store and get all of our provisions for the week. It was raining a bit when I left my parent's but I figured by the time I got to the river house, the rain surely would have lightened up. Not only did it not lighten up, it got worse.
I unloaded my van, which was packed to the roof (no kidding), in the pouring down rain. By the time I finished, I looked like wet rat. Thankfully nothing important got wet.

Monday morning, I hopped out of bed and headed to the bathroom to shower. I turned on the hot water and to my surprise, there was no hot water. Figuring that it might be an operator problem, I tried turning the faucet several different ways and still no hot water. So I tried turning the breaker switch off and on, still no luck. And in my last ditch effort to bring forth some hot water, I tried the sinks. But still no hot water.

The handyman came out later that day and worked on the water heater, pronounced it fixed and told me to try it in an hour to make sure the water was hot. An hour later, still no hot water and by this time, the ladies had arrived. My next phone call was to my father who can fix just about anything. He suggested that it might be the heater element and he said he would call the handyman himself. An hour or so later, the water heater was fixed and it did turn out to be the element. Chalk one up for dad.

On Tuesday, we went to the scrapbook store and shopped a little. Except for my food being given to the wrong table at lunch, I encountered no major problems.

We had to stagger showers since there were 7 of us and only one shower. So on Wednesday morning, I decided to get my shower first. I turn on the water and the hot water is working just fine. I get in the shower and wash my hair and apply my conditioner. As I am shaving my legs, I hear this bubbling and gurgling coming from the drain. I turn around to see this brown stuff coming up out of the drain. Within seconds I realize what exactly that brown stuff is. So I stand on the side of the tub to finish washing the conditioner out of my hair.

I came flying out of the bathroom, horrified that the tub had this brown sludge in it. I expected my friends to all be equally horrified but to my amazement they all took it in stride. Of course they found some humor in the situation because they know that I am the biggest germaphobe of the group and of all people for this to happen to, it was me.

After a couple of hours, the sludge is actually getting worse. My dad comes through again and makes the trip over to check out the lines. Eventually the handyman is called over and to open up the septic tank. My friend Sandy and I were outside watching them dig and when they got ready to raise the top, we both slowly started backing away at the same time without even a word said. It was determined that the pipes were at an incorrect pitch and that tree roots were clogging the pipes causing the waste to run back up the pipes. Now why this happened when I was there, is beyond me.

Anyhow, I'd just like to say that I thank God everyday now for the public water system. If I had to worry about a backed up septic in my house, I'd just have to move. I am apparently 100% certifiably a city woman.

On Thursday we had a huge storm with more torrential rains and high winds. I talked to my dad who flipped to the weather channel. He said that the center of the storm was right where we were staying. When I left on Friday, there was a tree down in the road.

The trip home was uneventful, but when we got home, the house had been taken over by fleas. Never mind that my dog is on expensive flea medicine and I had sprayed the house before we left. The fleas were apparently unaware of this as they had decided to take up residence while we were gone. So, I sprayed again and we left the house. As we were returning home, the rain started again and we had a major storm that brought high winds and 7 inches of rain in one hour.

That night, my phone rang and on the other end my dad asked if I felt like that black cloud was following me? What could I say since it really seemed that way. Thankfully that black cloud seems to have moved on. Let's hope it doesn't come back again soon.