Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sure, I knew this house was going to be extra work, but the problem is you never know when that extra work is going to occur. Thursday night after a long day with 8th graders on a field trip, my husband invites me to a movie and dinner. Nice, right? Afterwards, I stop at the grocery store and he stops over at the neighbor's house, so that we arrive home for the day at about 9:00 pm.

I'm dragging the groceries up the stairs planning on getting in my jammies, checking my email, and relaxing. I open the door and hear this awful sound coming from the kitchen. It wasn't a broken dishwasher. I realize the sound is coming from downstairs. I drop the groceries and head to the basement. The sound is deafening and I look around to see how to stop it. I find a light switch and turn it off. The water pump stops. The noise stops.

I look around and see water all over the basement floor: all under the worm farm, soaking into the bag of sphagum moss, flowing under the toilet barrels. I'm starting to unravel the problem. The hose that is supposed to be running into the cistern is out on the floor, not pumping into the cistern. That stupid hose never stays where it is supposed to stay.

I run upstairs and check the garden hose in the solarium. It's off, but the cement is wet under it. And then I realize what must have happened. I glance down to the lower pond and, sure enough, the lower pond is over its banks. I remembered.

We had left the water running into the lower pond the night before. It had been a little low. Arrggg! So all night, all day----24 hours the water had been running from the hose and into the water, ever so quietly. If only the green hose had stayed in the cistern, we would have recovered the water. But no.

Curt walks in and I tell him what must have happened. He turns on the kitchen faucet and there is no water. We had drained our cistern dry. It is 9pm. I am so tired and sweaty, I don't want to do what I knew needed to be done, get water.

I gather the electric cords, Curt uncoils the garden hose and we go outside and down to the lower cistern. We haven't opened it all winter and when Curt pulls the door open, the door falls off its hinge. I roll my eyes. Curt opens the hatch in the floor to the cistern. There is 8 inches of ice on the top of the water. I start thinking I may have to dip water out of the fish pond for a shower! We start the pump, but nothing comes out, the hose is frozen into the ice. Time for some McGiver moves.

I pick up an old garden hose with an end cut off. Curt thinks he can use it. He takes the other frozen hose off and forces the piece of garden hose on. With skill he finds just enough of a break in the ice, he squeezes the hose through. Success. He turns the pump on again and I see water pumping out into the driveway. Yippee!

I run to catch it and attach it to the curly hose going into the house's cistern. That is cold water! Curt comes up behind me and we both try to connect the two hoses. Water starts flying everywhere. We are soaked. I wonder what the neighbors think of all our screaming and panting! We realize we have to shut off the water. We can't connect the hoses mid stream. Curt runs back down the hill and shuts off the pump. I screw the hoses together and then I shout for him to try it. (We didn't think we could make the water flow up the mountain that far. We thought we were going to have to take all the hose back down the mountain and get it running first.) It's working! The water starts filling the house's cistern.

We come in and check our email and wait. About 10:30 Curt goes to check to see how deep the water is. He guesses about 8 inches. He flips on the house's water pump switch. The pump starts pumping that same ugly sound. Curt let it pump. He comes upstairs. He turns on the faucet. Drum roll please. . . . . . . .
There is water! Ahhhh. A shower! I'm in bed by 11:00pm!

We figure we lost about 30 days worth of water in one day. Luckily it was spring and we had more water. But we have to make sure we don't make THAT mistake again. All faucets off before you go to bed.

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