Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bathing and Other Natural Disasters

As some of you Facebook addicts junkies hobbyists might know, we recently had a small reenactment of the Johnstown flood in our kitchen. Two of my boys had gotten dirty in the yard and I told them to go upstairs and take a bath. This is the part where you scratch your head and ask, “Why did she send them to take a bath by themselves?” Well, Miss Nosy Pants, it wasn’t because I was busy outside enjoying an iced coffee and some time with my friend, it was because I subconsciously knew this would uncover a clog in our drain that needed our attention.

After a bit, my friend and I went inside only to see water overflowing out of my kitchen sink. Apparently my husband, possessing the common sense I refuse to engage, decided to check on the boys and found our oversized tub filled to the brim with boys and water once again proving my point that boys as a species could not have survived more than two weeks after their evolution. He quickly shut off the water and pulled the drain plug. The massive gush of water met with the aforementioned plug in the drain pipe and backed up into our kitchen sink and onto the floor in waves reminiscent of the tide coming in on the beach. Let me tell you how glad I am that modern building code requires the waste pipes for sinks and tubs to be separate from the waste pipe for the toilet. Mucky grey water was every where. All over the floor. In all the cabinets and drawers below the sink, and even in the dishwasher which, until this point, was filled with clean dishes.

General hi-jinks ensued as me, my friend and my two girls tried to stem the tide of water while the men folk tried to figure out why the drains were not draining. Eventually Bo and my friend’s husband plugged everything so there was no more water gushing forth and us ladies managed to get the floor wiped up and the counters cleared off. Faced with a non-functioning kitchen sink, the next day I set up a tent outside with washing stations a la Laura Ingalls and undertook to wash half of everything that was in the kitchen. After which I sanitized my counter tops, cabinet interiors and mop the floor. All the while praising God for the invention of bleach and Clorox Sanitizing Wipe.

Clorox, you complete me.
In relating this story to some friends a few days later, one of them commented “What?!? You didn’t turn this into a blog post?” Apparently, they are familiar with my perverse need to milk a crisis for a laugh.

While I don’t want to take away your need to have a good laugh at my expense, there was something else I realized that day: the importance of community. I’m not talking about the casual relationships with friends and neighbors, but people you can “do life with”. Bo and I are blessed to have such a group of people in our lives. I say blessed because I’m far too self serving and opinionated to have cultivated such rich friendships on my own.

We have a group of friends who will have helped us and we have helped on many, many occasions. Sometimes it’s with babysitting or odd household task. Sometimes it’s that kick in the pants you need to do the right thing. Sometimes it’s a shoulder to cry on when things go bad. Sometime it's someone to drink the champagne when things go right. Heck, one of my friends in this group helped me birth a kid.

And it was two of these same friends who jumped right in and helped with the massive clean up. No standing around, no “Oh! Look at the time! Gotta go!” Just rolled up the sleeves and got down to business. It wasn’t just the physical help either, but the camaraderie and laughs we had that made a dirty job (literally) much easier to face. Left on my own, I probably would have swore like a drunken sailor and had a big pity party.

If you have a group of friends like this, cultivate those relationships. You'll be glad you did.

p.s. If you need a good plumber, I know a guy.

No comments: