June 23, 2015

White Dog just rested her head on my shoulder.

We live in what many consider a quaint Craftsman house that is 75 years old. It was built by a man as a wedding present for his wife. It comes with all kinds of great stories like the one about the family hand digging the basement one summer because the family had grown and they needed the extra room.

But it is an old house. And a house built by a husband from a kit. So there are quirks.Mostly they just add to the charm but sometimes...

Steve is an architect and believes that trying to "fix" the charm would have a domino effect...like if you give a mouse a cookie, he'll ask for a glass of milk, etc.

One of the on-going "charms" that we deal with is the fact that the plumbing was not professionally laid out on the true or with a downward slope needed for proper drainage. There is a spot where the drainage line for the kitchen sink and the washer in the laundry area actually has an incline...one significant enough to cause a damming spot where "stuff" collects into a solid mass. We have investigated replumbing but the cost is huge and more important, would require cutting into the bearing and foundation walls. So periodically, without warning, problems arise.

Steve tried to be stoic in this last week of an incredibly breathlessly full schedule. I knew when he began plunging where this story was heading.

As he emptied the cabinet under the sink and lay on his back to loosen pipes, he had a White Dog team of plumber's helpers wanting to get their snooters under the cabinet with him so that they could assess the work needed. Everyone wanted to sniff or taste the water that drained into the bucket from the sink. Zsofia tried to lie on his chest for a better vantage.

He reassembled the pipe and turned on the tap. White Dogs sat watching with crossed paws and hung their heads at Steve's mild expletive.

Next was chemical warfare with vinegar and baking soda...then more plunging...then bleach and boiling water. The WDA was gated at the kitchen door as a precaution. They were unhappy about being moved back but they clung to the doorway in determination sharing Steve's frustration.

Finally, Steve had to leave for work. The sink was still stopped up. And it was a late teaching night. The soonest the plumber could schedule us as a regular appointment (as opposed to the nearly twice emergency rate) was Thursday...Steve's impossible day. So he is to come on Friday morning first thing.

The White Dog Army thinks my washing up dishes in a basin in the bathtub is exciting because they can peer in and "help." Nilla has more than once attempted to jump into the tub and assist. I have set aside my environmentalist side temporarily as we use more paper plates. And menus have been adjusted to include more simple salads and cold things that do not require pots and pans. The WDA, ever willing to do their part, have offered to remediate any dirty dish or pot as clean as a whistle; we need only place said item on the floor and walk away.

I lean into White Dog's furs and close my eyes. And take a deep breath.


The Daily Pip said...

We live in an older house as well with many quirks ...one of which is also the plumbing. Our plumber is here so often that he's almost become like family. Wishing you much luck!

Gus said...

Our house here has many quirks also - but oh...the house of my heart in Mayemphis was such a dream (for our handyman, anyway) Built in 1901, owned by a single family until 2000, then sold to the "new" owner who then sold it to us in 2008, and bought it back when we let in 2010. The "quirks" were many, the remediations were expensive (somewhere along the way it had been deemed "historic" and had a plaque to prove it. But a lovelier Mission Bungalow you will never see. Even had a blue ceiling on the front porch which was perfect for a southern summer, complete with a fan on a rope. ;)

Suggest you throw caution to the winds and call out for pizza.


Traci Romero said...

It’s a good thing that Steve is familiar with working on pipes and stuff. I bet you saved a lot of money by not hiring a plumber. Anyway, it seems like the white dogs enjoyed watching the plumbing get fixed. Haha! Thanks for sharing!

Traci Romero @ Harris Plumbing Inc.

Roxanne Vaughn said...

Oh my goodness, I love the story behind your house! How cool and amazing is that? I've always been super curious about those homes that come in kits, especially one that is so old. I've wondered how sturdy they are because I wouldn't mind buying one. The only thing is, I'm in Tornado Alley and it can get pretty windy with very unpredictable weather. So I'm not sure whether this kind of house would be a good fit.

Roxanne Vaughn @ Total Plumbing Inc.