March 4 and March 5, 2013
The plumbing manager DID arrive at 11am and drove the White Dog Army crazy walking the property, reviewing the basement, and looking at the sewer cam footage of the break with Steve. White Dog and Puff followed along just to make sure Steve got a good estimate for the work (although at this point we might have gladly paid anything).
At the same time I was discovering that our Homeowners Insurance COULD cover a sewer backup for an extra $15 a month but no they did not offer any policy that would cover line breakage and repair and in any case our policy did not. We had already cleaned up the basement but I added the backup coverage to our policy (silently crossing fingers it would NEVER be needed). YoYoMa came over and rested his head on my knee. "Looks like we are going to own our own chunk of sidewalk and street," I told him as he licked my hand. "At least all of the piping will be brand new then all the way back to the yard." He pressed closer as I shuddered in anticipation of the hit to our finances.
The negotiators walked in and all of the Army gathered to hear the quote. "$3600.00," Steve said. "We can save $500 if we only fix the break spot and not all the way back to our property but then we run the same risk again if something happens under the sidewalk."
Quinn cleared his throat. "I say we bite the bullet and just fix things so we don't have to tear up the sidewalk or street again because if that happens it will be LOTS more than just $500 they are including now." I hated to admit it but TOWD had a point. The plumbing outfit was the best in town with a good reputation. "Do it," we all agreed.
"How long will it take? Will be have water by tonight?" Steve looked down and softly said "They have to get a permit from the city but they WILL start first thing tomorrow morning." Another night without facilities? Really? I am not cut out for the pioneer life.
Becks and Josh had one more night at the hotel thanks to her wonderful mom back in California. Michael just wanted to stay home and sleep in his own bed. He promised he could overcome his shyness enough to use what had become the "peeing tree" for the guys in the yard. I had horrible memories of my hospital stay so long ago as I used a makeshift chamber pot. No tooth brushing, no showers, no dishwashing left us feeling unclean and motley. The WDA still loved us and were, VERY willing nurses for the drained and exhausted Steve who at least was able to arrange not to teach his late night class. My dreams were filled with bathrooms the size of our entire house glisteningly clean and inviting with flushing toilets and steamy showers and sinks just gushing water down the drains.
Tuesday morning, bright and early, the White Dog Army let us know the work crew was here. They arrived with a trailer full of road digging equipment and blocked off our street at both ends. The White Ones were wild at the invasion and strange noises and neighbors coming by to see what was happening.
"I hope they finish soon," Steve said coming inside from doing his business. This had become a ritual where ALL of the boys, Steve, YoYoMa, Quinn and Oso went out together. "White Dog followed me out and when I looked back she was rolling at the base of the peeing tree." She proudly came back in, marked. "DISGUSTING!" I told her as I used bottled water and a soapy rag to clean her off. "It better be today," I agreed, "or I WILL snap!"
It was four and Steve had to leave for class. The new pipe had been buried for an hour and the crew was dealing with new asphalt. The minute we saw the backhoe shoveling dirt back into the hole, we dashed for the bathroom; Steve to indulge in a long hot shower before dressing to teach and I enjoyed the comfort of civilized plumbing. The White Dog Army all crowded in to join us in this celebration of modern convenience.
The White Ones are a bit disappointed that Michael chose to use his bathroom rather than trekking outside with them when he got home, but I think we are ALL glad that some semblance of normalcy is returning and that Becks and Josh will be home tonight too. I have to admit, I have gone way more times than usual just for the little thrill of being able to add paper and pull the handle.