Everything but the kitchen sink

I was relaxing in my favorite green chair in the living room while Scott was taking his shower this morning. Our bathroom is directly over that chair, and partway through his shower I heard from above – in addition to the WORLD News podcast he often listens to when showering – a very loud and somewhat rhythmic thumping. I couldn’t figure out what he could possibly be doing up there other than maybe… dancing?!?

Oh, well.

And then – for the most obvious reason – I visited the first floor bathroom, and when I flushed, the toilet commenced a most disturbing mighty roaring and thumping sound that made me jump. I hollered up to My Hero who concurred that there was “something wrong with the water.” Indeed. Back in the kitchen, I turned on that faucet and it just sputtered. Hmm… A bit of investigative research on Scott’s part revealed that yes, the holding tank in the well house was empty, and no, the pump wasn’t running, but it turns out that wasn’t because the pump had died. It was because the power line that runs diagonally across the back yard from the clothesline pole (where power comes onto our property) to the well house was severed. Evidently some heavy overhanging limb had blown against it and snapped it. This was not good, but a lack of power is better than a dead pump, especially since we had plenty of power in the house.

There were no limbs down in the yard, but one end of the power line from the clothesline pole was just lying in the yard. Probably still live. And it looked like it was about to rain.

The inconveniences caused by having faucets that produce no water became obvious pretty quickly. I was thirsty and my water bottle was empty… but I couldn’t fill it. It was time to make lunch… but I couldn’t wash my hands. I had just spent 75 minutes putting away a massive grocery run, and because that had involved a lot of food prep (dividing, organizing, chopping, etc.) and because some of last night’s dishes and cooking pots were still on the counter, I had a LOT of dishes to wash before I could even create counter space to make our lunch salads… but I couldn’t wash the dishes – or even wet a cloth to wipe off the very small bit of counter space I could clear. I usually use hot soapy water to wipe the counters, but I figured that in a pinch I could just squirt a little cool water onto a dish cloth from my water bottle… but wait; my water bottle was empty. Etc.

We do use water for many tasks. Drinking, washing dishes, washing clothes, showering, flushing, you name it. So I contacted a couple neighbors to ask permission to use their outside faucets to fill some jugs and other assorted containers, after which, much like the woman in 2 Kings 4, Scott took a great number of empty vessels, “not a few,” loaded them in the Durango, and went to get water. Unfortunately, it poured down rain for about five minutes in the midst of his journey, but Scott is never easily deterred. He made a successful trek and returned home with our small yellow water cooler, our large red water cooler, our soup kettle, our massive canner, and our new blue ice chest all totally full of water. The back carpet of the Durango was also soaked, but wet Durango carpet is not newsworthy. The driver’s seat carpet was already wet because we’ve had a couple days of rain.

We now had plenty of containers of water, so we set some to heat for later dish washing and then enjoyed our salads while I soundly beat Scott at Minus Five.

Meanwhile, he contacted a workman who had done the wiring for the hot tub at the Alpine to see if he could come and advise us on how to deal with the live wire out back and how to restore power to the pump.

I will say that doing that massive lunch clean up was significantly less than recreational, but by pretending I was camping in the kitchen I was able to keep a good attitude. Of course I did have hot water and dish soap to wash the items, but I had no way to rinse the greasy ones before washing, so the water got pretty nasty pretty quickly. And then there was the matter of rinsing the soap off afterwards, but I figured out that by balancing the yellow jug on the edge of the sink and squeezing the spigot valve, I was able to fill the watering can, which it proved ideal for rinsing off soap suds.

Shortly after I finished the dishes – and be it noted that the tower in the dish drainer is impressive – only 90 minutes after Scott called, Tim arrived, and Scott went out with him to survey the situation. They decided that a ditch would need to be dug diagonally across the yard from the clothesline pole to the well house, but until we could arrange that little excavation project, Tim had rigged us up a temporary power-to-the-pump fix. I looked out back and saw what appeared to be an orange extension cord strung through the trees. While that did give me pause, I certainly knew better than to complain, so I just rejoiced with Scott that we could once again have running water. He confirmed that the pump was working, and I suggested the name of a friend who might give us a good deal on ditch digging.

We walked back into the kitchen and turned on the faucet, but (read it and weep) no water came out. Well, that kind of made sense; the line had gone completely dry, so it would probably take a few minutes for the holding tank to fill and water to run back into the house. Meanwhile, Scott walked through the house turning on other faucets, all of which worked just fine. It’s now been an hour or so, and without exception, every single faucet, tub, shower, toilet, and washing machine in the entire house is working perfectly, except for the faucet in the kitchen, which we use all day every day, and out of which comes absolutely nothing, no matter what.

Hence the title of this blog.  = )

 

[Update four hours later: After church, Scott called Mr. Bill, who in less than 30 seconds diagnosed the problem as a clogged aerator filter on the end of the faucet. Mr. Bill is rarely wrong and this case was no exception. The filter was totally full of what appeared to be mud, which offending sediment has been removed, and as a bonus for the past year of generally uninterrupted service, our friendly filter is now enjoying a relaxing overnight vinegar soak.]

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