I knew exactly what it was Saturday morning when I came back from walking the dogs. There's no other sound just like it and few sounds more sickening. Nevertheless, I put my boots back on and tramped through the foot-deep snow to the space underneath the house where the sewage lift pump resides.
Amazing, isn't it? You know what the sound is; you know its origin; you hear it get louder as you approach the space; and yet you are still hoping that somehow, someway it's something else. Nope, it was the sewage pump alarm. Traipsing back upstairs to the garage to turn off the breaker to stop the alarming, I noticed the breaker to the pump was tripped.
Hey...maybe that's it. Just a tripped breaker. That could be it, couldn't it? So I flipped the breaker to "off" and then to "on" at which time it immediately tripped again. So much for hopeful thinking. Oh, did I mention it was on Saturday morning with a foot of snow on the ground (and on the roads)? I gathered my courage, smiled faintly and told my husband that we had a little problem. I sounded a little less calm than the folks who said, "Houston, we have a problem."
The details you can imagine. All service folks were snowed in. One service finally made it out to us on Sunday afternoon, but did not have a new pump on his truck. He promised to get a pump and come back today.
So, for two full days (and working on a third) we have not run any water down any drains since they are all connected to the pump station, and we are flushing VERY sparingly. I feel like the old pioneer woman, running a little water in a basin to "wash up," then pouring it off the deck onto the back yard. Our neighbors have offered to allow us to shower in their homes and while it sounds so tempting, one of us can't leave the house and the other would never be so selfish as to take advantage of a shower. (But give me one more day and see how charitable I still am.)
So yet another stoke of totally unexpected bad luck. Our daughter asked if we had any idea which Deity we might have angered so we could try to make amends. But in the scope of the world's problems, ours are small and insignificant. We're still smiling and laughing since the other alternative is to cry.
We are more fortunate than the thousands here in western NC who are still without power. At least we do have access to hot water...it's just that we can't pour any of it down the drain. We have plenty of food and two dishwasher drawers. I've started washing plates as we use them so at least we don't have to use the good china. Would you believe we don't have a paper/plastic plate in the house?
And I totally believed Arnold (the plumber) who assured me that as soon as the vans were running and he found a pump he would be at my house. After all, it's only 11:00, and I know he will fix everything. It's only 11:00 so I'm sure he is getting things ready. After all, it's only 11:00, right? After he is finished, I'll clean the dishes and tonight I'll have a hot soak with the jets surging. Because Arnold just didn't look like the type to disappoint me.
Meanwhile I have two lovely dogs to cheer my up. And today we have a Purple Finch visiting us in the bright sunshine. The birds are flocking to the feeders as the snow has covered a lot of their natural food.
I finally assembled our little artificial tree and it's not such a bad little tree after all. So life is good. And it's only a little after 11:00.