Monday, December 22, 2008

Where Debra Almost Bites It In a Snowdrift

I don't know. I just don't know.

Maybe I'm not cut out for this Simple Country Life after all.

I've not mentioned our septic system alarm here, but it's been making us wild. The alarm, in the basement, goes off---riiiiiiiiiiiiing--about every other day--or less--or more. Sometimes twice a day. It worked fine in the summer and early autumn--stayed silent. But the last few wet weeks I've too often had to race down to the basement to push the off button (with a hand over my ears to protect them from the shrillness...remember that Star Trek episode? Kinda like that.).

That's the easy part.

But then I must go out the back door, circle around the house, and walk about fifteen yards to the inch-off-the-ground outlet with the tiny reset button inside a clear cover which sticks like crazy. Then I have to get down on one knee and practically press my face to the ground before I can see the microscopic reset button to press it, listening, feeling carefully by my fingertip for the correctness of the clicking noise, signaling the pump is back on.

Well. Try doing all that in pitch black darkness with howling winds, blowing snow in your face and a 0 degree windchill after traipsing through two (or more) feet of snow (snow which is covering the bucket we've placed over the outlet, so where is it?), no gloves (don't ask) and with no one in the house to care you're out there and the neighbors unable to see you or hear you if you fall and can't get back up.

That was the latest episode at Healing Acres last night. Tom was at work (I'd not have let him go out, anyway) and the alarm went off at 8:00 and I couldn't find my gloves, got the snow shovel and went out anyway-- and two of my finger tips still feel weird this morning (does that kind of thing heal?). And by the time the wind pushed me back into the house, (nightgown and robe all frozen at the bottom under my long wool coat) and after recalling those Little House stories of people being discovered, frozen, very near their houses, I was gasping deep gasps, trying to breathe and fuming and so mad that I was spitting nails. Or almost.

This is just a test.... this is just a test.... this is just a test...

There's some kind of a flaw in the septic's outlet/circuit/pump/whole design because the system was drained just over a couple years ago and you can usually go five years, or so, especially with just two people in the house, as was the case before us and with us now.

But this morning I've calmed down. We are going to call an electrician, first, to check it out.

I do not care that we have no extra money for this. I do not care what the cost will be (though, don't tell the electrician that). My life is worth a few hundred dollars. At least, I think so.

The good thing? Our neighbor across the street came yesterday morning with his snow blower and cleared our entire driveway and in front of the whole barn. Bless him.

Always, there is something good for which to be thankful. You remember that and I will, too, ok?

Alas, Tom thinks he has an idea... one involving a very long extension cord... an idea which would also show us just what is wrong, exactly. We'll see how that goes. If we can bypass the electrician, hooray.


Joy and Phil said...

Pleeaassee! Be careful! Be thinking before you are leaping, okay?

Saija said...

we had septic fields, sump pumps ... and all that lovely stuff to - once upon a time ...

i think that everyone should experience it once in their lives ... then they can really appreciate the town variety a whole lot more!

don't freeze out there ... do like little house on the prairie and follow the clothes line!

sorry - but i was shaking my head with a little giggle at the descriptive pic of you! hope you have lots of hot choco milk for afterwards!

bless ya! hope tom's idea works!

Jammie J. said...

I don't know if that fingertip thing heals itself. But I hope so. At least it doesn't appear to have impaired your typing ability and, selfishly, for that I'm happy!!

Hopefully the extension cord jimmy-rig idea works... :)

Kay @ The Rustic Cottage said...

I have a septic system just like this! Why can't they mount the switch on a higher pole so at least it would be at eye level?? Glad that you made it through ok.