silver linings

06 Sep silver linings

This Labor Day weekend, we tried again to escape the heat (and also the memories of last Labor Day weekend.) I’d say we were moderately successful in that:

1) We did escape the heat by camping up on the Mogollan Rim.
2) We escaped the bad memories of last Labor Day by replacing them with a few new, bizarre memories. Namely, the place we chose to camp–an idyllic, remote area in a national forest–somehow drew crowds of drunk hooligans. Our scenic campground was violated by the sounds of gunshots (no joke), country music, chainsaws and various all-terrain vehicles tearing up the forest. Oh, and there was an ambulance, sirens blaring. We assume they had to evacuate someone who either fell off an ATV or accidentally shot themselves.

That said, the kids had a blast, and we savored the cool weather. But after two sleepless nights, we left early on Sunday to escape the other campers and enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend by our swimming pool.

Then, Sunday evening, as I was doing laundry, I heard a strange gurgling noise coming from our downstairs toilet. When I went to investigate, I saw dirty water seeping from the base of the toilet and flooding the tile floor. I stopped the washing machine and yelled to Kris, who plunged the toilet to no avail. He ran the sink and flushed an upstairs toilet to see if the problem was just the toilet, or the washing machine or the main sewer line.

It was the main sewer line. Stinky water flooded half our downstairs. We used every towel in our linen closet to sop it up, and then the shop vac, and then called an emergency plumber (our usual plumber not available on a holiday weekend, of course). Within an hour, a plumbing truck arrived and two guys snaked the line about 100 feet out beneath our driveway, but then they realized the problem was bigger than their equipment could handle, so they called in reinforcements. That’s how we found ourselves Sunday night at 8:30 (did I mention it was our wedding anniversary?), two plumbing trucks parked in front of our house, the news wasn’t good. Tree roots (yes, in the desert, tree roots from the ONE mature tree in our yard) penetrated our sewer line. They cleared it temporarily, and today they’ll come back with a camera to assess the damage. 

This comes on the heels of our air conditioner breaking (on a 115-degree day), my computer crashing and our Subaru threatening to die for good.

Let’s just say we’re hoping for the best…whatever that means. In the meantime, I went through my photos of our camping trip and found several that make me smile. I look at how much fun the kids had playing together outside, how much fun I had watching them play, and realize it wasn’t a failed adventure after all.

Also, unlike last year when I felt really alone, this year we have so many friends and neighbors offering support. Last night while Kris cleaned up the water and dealt with the plumbers, the kids and I crashed our friends’ dinner party…except, they made it seem like we’d been invited all along and they sent a plate of food home for Kris too. I’m so very very thankful for friends like that.

And, dear readers, I’m thankful for you too. I was overwhelmed by the Facebook response to my last post and thankful for everyone who clicked that “like” button to share it with friends. So often, when you blog, you send your words and photos into cyberspace and you never know who reads them and who was touched by your stories. I’m always grateful when you share these posts and comment. Thank you!

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