Typically, I cherish my Saturdays. A few years ago, I pondered about how many Saturdays I have and how I wanted to use them. They are special. This weekend, I learned that some can be “special”…yes…in quotes.
A got up early on Saturday to go to a farm equipment auction I had been looking forward to for awhile. It was overcast but ok. Rain was coming but it was supposed to hold off until after noon. I wandered about the auction and discovered that this year’s auction was sort of pitiful compared to previous years. Still, it was fun as I got to hear a few good auctioneers and I got to see all sorts of people. I ran into Granny Sue and her husband Larry so we had a good chance to drink coffee and talk a little. Emily and the kids were to meet me at the deluxe shed around lunchtime so I gave Larry a ride home as he lives next to our property.
Emily and the kids showed up, we ate lunch and commenced working on the inside stuff in the cabin. The rain came and then it picked up and then it got serious. I didn’t think much of it, but all the rain was saturating the ground. We do not yet have a driveway at the cabin…we just drive across the field. We have done it since day one and plenty of times in the rain.
This Saturday, the worst in awhile, was different. As we started to drive off, the car started sliding. I wanted to stop but it was sliding…in WV…which means down the hill. I was trying to go sideways across the field with my trailer in tow, but I guess the weight of the engine pulled the nose of the car down the hill. I was standing on the brakes and all tires were locked up but we were sliding…in WV…which means down the hill, nose first and I couldn’t steer or stop. Isaac and I were in for the ride as long as we had to be. Emily and Abigail were farther up the hill and watching helplessly. Fortunately we crashed through some wood and over a “hump” of dirt which finally stopped us maybe 15 feet from a tree and, more importantly, the edge of a significant cliff of sorts. All told, we probably slid 100 feet or so, totally out of control.
Emily flagged down a neighbor and asked if they could bring their tractor over to pull us out. It was so wet though that we decided that would leave them in the same boat with the tractor. Fortunately, many of the neighbor’s family live on the same ridge and one had a dozer nearby. Now I mean to tell you, WV has some of the finest people anywhere, but our ridge community shines above all other people I think I have ever met. I do not say that as a simple reply to this one incident but this one incident simply reinforces what we discovered early on up on the ridge. Our ridge community is built of wonderful people who would give the shirts off of the collective backs to help neighbors. So far, I have had very little to offer in return but I hope someday…hopefully soon, to be able to spend enough time on the ridge and be a helper in the community of such wonderful people.
So several members of the family…our neighbors, came around, brought the dozer and yanked first the trailer, and then the car up from the abyss. Somehow we managed to escape all injury and damage to us and the car. During the process, I was soaked to the bone with 38 degree rain and became covered in mud. That along with the injury to my pride was a pretty hard blow.
While Emily was waiting with the kids in the other car, somehow the battery went dead. Luckily the neighbors were still around so they jumped the battery but talk about adding insult to injury. We thought we had seen the end of the mess…I mean, two things go wrong…what else could possibly happen? Could this day get worse?
We drove home, wet and shivering. We all stripped down to get cleaned up and warmed up. Our laundry area is on our basement…the lowest point in the house. The lowest point in our house has a floor drain which was spewing water and…uh…stuff…bad, bad stuff…into our basement. I would guess there was 4 inches of stuff in the basement. Our furnace had water in it. The electric water heater had water covering its base. Lots of stuff we had sitting in the floor had water in it. In answer to “can this day get worse?” “YES!”
We have a sump pump so I ran to the home improvement store and got some fittings so I could connect a garden hose. We pumped and the drain kept on giving. We pumped it down to a quarter of an inch or so and the drain would fill it back up. With no idea how deep it would get, Emily and I traded off all night getting up every hour to turn the pump back on and drain it out. Getting a plumber out in the middle of the night would be expensive and we didn’t know if it would matter anyhow if we needed excavation done. That wouldn’t have happened until the daytime anyhow so we decided to save the off-hours fees.
It slowed to where we could just pump every couple of hours so we decided to wait until Monday to get someone to come to the house and fix it (hopefully in the same day).
I don’t wish away too many Saturdays but this most recent Saturday is one I cannot wait to forget…