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The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

July 27, 2008

Yesterday’s small headache has turned out to be a gross interpretation of a raging migraine. Or possibly a brain tumor. I feel like the bottom has dropped out. And while I know there are worse disasters than we’re going through right now, this is the worst one that has happened to me personally and I really don’t know how we’re going to recover. I feel like our house is trying to devour us.

The house’s insatiable need for repairs has been leeching away our savings for the past several years and is now working its way through our credit. The $2,000 fix for our wet basement is turned out to mean the diversion of an underground river into our septic field and will surely mean thousands more dollars to come. Water is erupting all over the yard, including an enormous bubble under the turf which sucked off Mr. Spy’s shoes as he walked on it last night. We have turned off the water to the house, to prevent any further damage and to prevent sewage from backing up in the back yard, but the new pump has been running constantly, pumping thousands of gallons beneath our new basement floor. It sounds like a river in my newly dry laundry room.

The septic company came out on an emergency call yesterday, but there was not much they could do. It’s just too much water going the wrong way. We will need to dig a second sump pit and reroute the water somewhere else. We don’t know how or when this will happen. The company that did the work yesterday has no emergency number, only an answering machine telling us they’ll get back to us on the next business day. We are just glad it is summer, so things aren’t freezing up, so we can get outside and wash off in the stream.

In lieu of showers, AJ and I went for an after-dinner swim at the pool yesterday, a brief moment of peace in our day. On the way home, I was worrying about how we were going to pay for this or for our property taxes due in September. I explained to AJ that the problems we’re having with the house would mean that we weren’t going to be able to take a vacation this year. He replied, “That’s okay, Mommy. Now that we already have a tent, we can just go camping.” Right now, though, camping in the yard is out. There is a massive lake, river, ocean just below the surface. But somehow, I need to find a campground for him. Meanwhile, with no running water in the house (at least not in the right places), it is rather like camping around here. We are brushing our teeth with water squeezed sparingly from a bottle and reusing our dishes several times before washing. And in the unlikely event that we can stop worrying long enough to get to sleep, we will be dreaming of showers.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2008 12:18 pm

    Oh no, that sounds very bad. I’m probably slightly too far away to be useful, but you and the rest of the Spy family are welcome to come over for showers and running water.

  2. lemmimng permalink
    July 27, 2008 12:25 pm

    Kids are remarkably adaptable when matters are explained to them. There’s a fairly massive crisis at the moment at lemming headquarters – amazing who is handling it best.

  3. freshhell permalink
    July 27, 2008 1:12 pm

    Ugh, what a nightmare! Have you checked with your insurance company to see if they can help? Or a line of credit (which in the long run doesn’t nec help but you obviously must fix this so you have running water). I’ve lived days without water (or toilets) so I can sympathize with your plight. Too bad arson is too easy to trace these days, huh?

  4. July 27, 2008 2:10 pm

    Oh dear. I would have a migraine too, after all of this. Best of luck with the repairs.

  5. The Lass permalink
    July 27, 2008 3:29 pm

    I’m confused – is the yard flood due to something the workers did in error or is that what they told you would fix the problem? In any event, ack.
    Here are my camping suggestions: Devil’s Lake in Baraboo, WI, Kettle Moraine South (also in WI – probably not too far from you). There are also some nice spots on the Kankakee River.

  6. freshhell permalink
    July 27, 2008 5:11 pm

    I would say your living room would be the best camping spot, seeing as how you’d have to haul in the water anyway. And pee outside. If you have a working fireplace, you can just roast marshmallows there (though I think I remember that AJ, like Dusty, doesn’t like them much) or wieners. Or how ’bout just s’mores with chocolate bars and graham crackers. Turn off the lights, light some candles and tell ghost stories.

  7. July 28, 2008 8:50 am

    Wish I had some advice, but all I have is sympathy. Maybe it would help to sing the song from Avenue Q: It Sucks To Be Me. Although I guess the fun of that is muted (literally) when you have a kid as young as AJ around to hear you.

  8. August 5, 2008 2:42 pm

    oh, hugs

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