Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Life was boring

As he walked into his backyard, he watched his neighbor in surprise. Whatever was she doing in her backyard, fully dressed, washing her hair with the garden hose?

Actually, I don't think any of the neighbors saw me. But I'm sure they would have been perplexed if they had. Sometimes, though, drastic measures are necessary.

I mentioned that I was exhausted by Friday, so I skipped washing my hair. I wasn't going anywhere, I was just cleaning up the house, etc., so I didn't think it really necessary. In the afternoon, I started washing some laundry. I glanced out the window and saw the water that was draining out of the washer running down the hill of my driveway, rather than disappearing down the sewage pipes like it should.

Uh oh.

We've twice had problems with the enormous tree in my yard growing into the pipes and blocking the passage of the dirty water. Both times, the problem thankfully ended up on the city's part of the yard. They brought out the machinery, dug up the yard, cut out the roots, and replaced the pipes. Since then, I've tried to put root-killer stuff down the drains every so often, just to make sure they don't grow back. It's a real pain, because it takes them about two days to do everything, and I meanwhile have no drainage. Think of how often the drain is used, even just for flushing a potty... and what would you do if said drainage was not available? Those are not fun times.

Seeing the water running down the driveway - times like this, I'm very happy about the enormous incline of my yard, since the flat yard I would like would have let the water come back up to the house - gave me a slight panic attack. I don't recall the last time I put the tree stuff in the drain, and I knew all the pipes in the house were working just fine. It was definitely a problem with the outside pipes. So I went out to check them. Sure enough, the water was completely backed up. I started to realize that a couple of times I've seen the driveway wet when I didn't think it had been raining, but I hadn't consciously thought about it. My only consolation: when the problem was the trees, it was a gradual problem, and this seemed to have popped up pretty quickly.

Off to Home Depot to look for a drain cleaner. I bought some of the root killer, but that needs running water to work. What I had was definitely NOT running water. The only running part was the overflow that ran down the hill... The one I found said to dump it in and give it 7-8 hours to work in slow or standing water, preferably without using any additional water during that time. Normally, I would have poured it in at bedtime, but since we couldn't use any water anyway, what was the point of waiting? Glug glug glug.

8 hours later, we took a flashlight outside to check it. Nope, still looked just the same. Bummer. Maybe it needs a little longer. Checked it Saturday morning when we got up. Nope. 18 hours after application, and it still looked the same. This was not good news. I now had places to go, and needed to look decent. If the water was just dirty water, maybe it wouldn't matter if it overflowed, but I'd seen some... other waste... bobbing along in the pipe opening and was not keen on having that floating down my driveway! So what to do?

Thus I took my shampoo and a towel out to the backyard to wash my hair with the hose. The water was surprisingly warm from the sun, which was nice as I'd been expecting it to be freezing. I felt rather like I was camping or something, except it was in my yard. In an odd kind of way, it was sort of fun. To do once.

While I was at the meeting, I kept praying about the drainage problem. I truly did not want to call a plumber on the weekend. They are expensive enough during regular hours, I didn't want to pay the emergency call fee. I was trying to figure out if we could survive until Monday. I was also claiming God's promise to be a father to the fatherless and a husband to widows. France is a little far for my dad to just to stop over to help out, so I was effectively fatherless. Didn't that count?

When I got home, it was about 22 hours after we first poured the cleaner into the pipes. At 18 hours, the stuff had not moved even an inch. At 22, however, the whole thing was cleaned out and operating properly. No more blockage! We flushed the toilet to make sure the water was not still stopped up just out of sight. Nope, washed out like it was supposed to do. I did a load of laundry, no problem. Ran the dishwasher, no problem. All better! PRAISE THE LORD!

Life can be interesting sometimes, no? I guess I'd been on a streak of humdrum activities, so I got a little surprise to spice it up for a bit.

And yes, I've applied the root killer now, too, just in case. I'll be fine with boredom again for a little while, thankyouverymuch.