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Friday, Mar. 7, 2014
When good houses go badPosted Wednesday, November 4, 2009, at 7:29 AM
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!
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...
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 573-722-5322.