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Monday, July 28, 2014

When good houses go bad

Posted Wednesday, November 4, 2009, at 7:29 AM

(Photo)
This is the new water heater, which came to live in the basement after the last one gave up the ghost - as usual - when I had a house full of company! In its defense, it was 21 years old! This one has a 6-year guarantee, and my handyman friend Chester says that it'll outlive us!
After many bad experiences over the 12 years since my husband passed away and left me to fend for myself out here in the Tillman Wilderness, I have come to the undeniable conclusion that MY HOUSE IS OUT TO GET ME!!

This epiphany came to me Saturday, Halloween night 2009. My sister and my daughter arrived to spend the week with me, and my daughter's boyfriend came to spend the weekend with us. We visited till late, and I was the first to go upstairs to take my bath.

You guessed it! NO HOT WATER! The familiarity of it was crushing: A house full of company, and something major goes out on me. Also as usual, it's too late to call anyone for help.

After taking icy cold sponge baths, we all went to bed and had nightmares all night. The next morning I called my good buddy Emma, whose husband is the Handy Man Extraordinaire, and they - get this - went to Cape, bought me a new water heater, came out Sunday morning while we were in church, and installed it!!! How did I ever deserve friends like this??

Anyway - my point: My house is out to get me! This isn't the first time, by a long shot. In fact, while we were heating water on the kitchen stove, and my daughter Kristin was carrying it upstairs for warm sponge baths, my sister said, "You know, this really isn't too bad! (since she didn't have to carry her own water) In fact," said she, "It's been much worse. At least we have water, the toilets flush, and we have electricity!"

She's right. One Thanksgiving when she, my brother, my daughter, her boyfriend, and an Indiana acquaintance of mine were here, the line to the septic tank stopped up, and I had a basement full of sewage.

Another time, something happened with the electric line, and I had so little voltage that the lights went dim, the clothes dryer quit, and the water heater and the kitchen stove wouldn't work. In fact, the low voltage ruined the television, the washing machine, and the well pump.

Shortly after I had the well pump replaced, the water line went bad, and had to be dug up and replaced. When the water pressure increased, a small leak became a big leak and I had more water in the basement.

We've all agreed that these failures really make us appreciate the daily amenities of modern life. My sister and I remember Mom telling us about how they used to take baths in the kitchen with water heated on the wood cookstove.

Well, I'll have to conclude this blog, because my sister is up -- and I'll have to take her to the doctor this morning. Why, you ask? It seems that she was sitting on the front porch glider yesterday morning, enjoying the view of the pond, when my outside cat bit her! This morning she can hardly move her hand, so we're taking her for a tetanus shot!

I think the cat is now in league with the house.

From the sunny, golden hills of Tillman, Missouri, this is your rambling reporter Madeline, holding onto what thin fragment of sanity she has left...


Comments
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Oh my, what a way to start a weekend with house guests. It could be freezing outside, snow, sleet, oh I'll hush now. It's nice to have friends to help out with those appliances and to install them it's even better. Sending best wishes now for your sis, hope that bite can be handled with good results. Cheers.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Wed, Nov 4, 2009, at 8:09 AM

Oh, my...now I don't feel so bad. I just thought our house had issues until I read this!

-- Posted by fun2teach on Wed, Nov 4, 2009, at 6:44 PM

I think people who live in town have problems with the upkeep of their houses, too, but it can get so much worse in the country. Makes you wonder if a cave might be a good idea!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Nov 5, 2009, at 5:57 AM

I think my car is in cahoots with Madeline's house. Right after coming to her house for a week long visit, the air conditioning in my 2003 Subaru died. This just hasn't been my week so far. It's the first week after losing my 28 year old job (much better one on the way), my airconditioning died (just takes money to fix), her cat bit me (it's much better now-only feels like it's going to fall off part of the time) and I've had to take cold sponge baths (hot water heater fixed). It could be worse. At least I'm with Madeline and we've been laughing our heads off. Of all God's gifts to Man, I think the gift of humor may just be the most important.

-- Posted by mokath52 on Thu, Nov 5, 2009, at 8:22 AM

Fortunately my landlord fixes everything as soon as it breaks. He sends repairmen the same day as I call. He's the best! I recently got a new dishwasher.

-- Posted by Youngest Child on Thu, Nov 5, 2009, at 8:42 AM

Mokath52, seems you can still find a smile after all the events recently. I wish an attitude like yours was catching like the 'flu'.!!

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Thu, Nov 5, 2009, at 9:04 AM

When you live in Florida, the worst thing to go is the AC. The day before our daughter's wedding, ten years ago last June, the AC died.(tons of folks coming and going) By the way, someone ran over the front end of our car in front of the restaurant,as we enjoyed a rehearsal dinner inside. Think she was supposed to reconsider? A friend of my husband's was here within an hour to fix the AC. Car repairs took much longer. One year, the furnace went out just after Mom arrived for a visit. Who knew it didn't work? We seldom need it for ourselves, but she's accustomed to the furnace blowing out 80 degree air in MO. Same fellow was on the job in a flash. Living in Florida,it pays to have a friend in the AC/furnace business. Now, we need to make friends with the pest control folks, and perhaps a good auto restorer.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 8:59 AM

Gonenow, there's seems to be a hurricane 'IDA" heading to Miss, Al coast, hope you're away from that area.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 10:08 AM

Oh, my, I wish I could get the news, so I would know if hurricanes were hitting the coaast!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 5:22 PM

gl, my home page is Yahoo.com and all the news is highlighted there including local(Southest Mo).

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 6:03 PM

Ah, I sometimes look in on Yahoo.com, but I don't usually see the local news. I'll check it. Thanks, D! I did manage get some of the Paducah station this morning to see the hurricane news.

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 7:24 AM

Where I live is probably not in danger--we're in the middle of the state, not on the coast. We can use the extra rain the hurricane will likely send our way. I do pray for those who might be in line with the storm. We will probably have some heavy winds, but no worse than SEMO in March! We call it nature's pruning. GL, you can check weather.com for updates, too. Now--I just hope what I said is true remains true through this storm! Thanks for caring, dexterite!

-- Posted by GONENOW on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 7:41 AM

I hope to be heading to Navarre for the winter, storms should be gone by then. Have a good day.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 10:20 AM

Dexterite, we have more in common all the time. I'd love to have a second home in Navarre, but I settle for a vacation there occasionally. Is there still a fishing peer, or did the last storms take it away? Destin, Pensacola, Navarre--there is no place I'd rather vacation. Sad thing--if I pass you walking barefoot in the sand, I'll never know it's you. I guess you could always have some t-shirts printed with "Dexterite" on front and back! I'll put "GONENOW" on mine. Ha! It will give people something to wonder about. I DO hope the storms aren't too bad in that area. I think they've been hit hard enough in the past few years. I'm just getting ready to check the news. See you on the beach sometime--whether we know it or not!

-- Posted by GONENOW on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 3:07 PM

The old pier was destroyed by the last hurricane but they're building a longer one now and it's been approved to be 45 feet longer. My late wife loved the Navarre island, we have stayed there many times and taken the kids and grandkids over the years. I like the Emerald Surf Condo, have stayed at the Pearl but wasn't really impressed. Love 'Cocodries" restaurant, they have the very best crab cakes. Take care. I read the Navarre Island website, Kenny has a web cam and you feel sometimes the water and smell the gulf.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 3:25 PM

FYI, I was in Ocala last month for my uncle's funeral.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 3:26 PM

gonenow, the website is www.navarrebeachlife.com and the web cam show the waves coming now at 4pm central time and according to the ones who live there the waves are 15 to 20 feet now. They have a discussion forum that folks post pictures and comments. Very interesting if you're a Navarre Lover.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 4:21 PM

I'll go there in a few minutes. I thought I saw you here in Ocala...Our favorite restaurant is across the second bridge to Pensacola--Jones', I think. It's been awhile. Last few times we went to Destin. We stay at San Souci when at Pensacola Beach. It's good to be too poor for a beach house when the storms are here--don't have to worry about it ending up in Texas.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 4:41 PM

Dexterite--restaurant is Hall's. I knew that didn't sound quite right. Pardon us, other readers, for a banter of beaches.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 6:14 PM

Thanks gonenow, I was gonna add the same thing, perhaps MD will forgive us. I like the navarre website, always nice to see the Gulf.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 9:17 PM

Hehehe! You two have been having a really cool conversation here! I checked that webcam, but it said I needed to download java script.

I'm sure MD doesn't mind that you've rambled out through the seashore in her little hot water heater blog... The beach is infinitely more fascinating than MD's basement, to be sure!!!

I want a photo of those tee shirts!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 10:29 PM

Consider it done gl,$1.00 per dozen!!!!!

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 10:42 PM

GL, I'd send you one for free, but mine are all GONENOW! (I couldn't resist--and yes, a trip to the beach is always wonderful, even if it is in our dreams.) It is a rather soggy beach today!

-- Posted by GONENOW on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 8:34 AM

gl, you can download a free java program at the bottom right corner of the square where web cam shows. Java stays on your computer, no charge and you can view the 2 different cameras.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 8:50 AM

MD, during the ice storm, we had a gas hot water heater. It was the only thing that still worked. About 2 months later, my hot water heater went on the blitz, and my landlord had to replace something on it. Until they figured out what was wrong w/ it, however, we had 2 days w/ boiling hot water for baths, and dishes, etc. What's worse, hot water doesn't stay hot long in a cold cast iron tub! So it's definitely not just your house! Oh well...at least mine made it through the worst part of our year thus far!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Tue, Nov 10, 2009, at 10:16 PM

Dexterite, I did install Java Script. That is VERY COOL!!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 6:03 AM

Glad you found it gl, I enjoy the view from the bridge leading to the Island of Navarre. On the lower left there's a Forum you may view and see all the comments much like MD's column. It will be easy to see who I am there. Only one from Missouri now.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 6:22 AM


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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 573-722-5322.
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