Thursday, December 8, 2016

Another Word for Gratitude

I was enormously thankful yesterday that my cleaning people came that day instead of their usual Monday, because they always vacuum the basement and therefore saw that the septic tank had backed up and overflowed out the basement toilet and bathtub sooner than I would have noticed it myself.

I was also enormously thankful that my publisher uses such thick strong sturdy boxes to ship my books in, because I had a stock of books, in their boxes, stacked against the wall of the basement storage room that is shared with the basement bathroom. The backed-up sewage soaked the boxes, but mostly not the books themselves--I'll only have to throw away a dozen or so. Trust me, it could have been so much worse.

I was beyond thankful that my contractor, who built the house in the first place and whose crew is currently painting and renovating the barn, could get here with a backhoe yesterday and unplug the sewer line, so that I could use my house again. Then, while I was chaperoning basketball practice, he and his crew cleaned up the mess in the toilet and the tub, washed the carpet, and put big blowers in the basement so everything would dry. I can't even begin to express my appreciation for that. My husband and I sat on our couch last night, shaking our heads, wondering how to properly thank him. We can't.

That's a whole bunch of gratitude I wouldn't have been able to express if the sewer hadn't blocked up. Pretty lucky, aren't I?

But you wouldn't necessarily know it from the message I sent my daughter, a few hours into the sewer mess. The slop was contained, the contractor called, the books mostly rescued, etc. I went out to move one of our horses, Pal, from the field where he was turned out with Sarah, my bossy mare, and Silver, my friend's mare, and into the field with Syd, another friend's horse, and Shakey, our ancient pony. As I was leading Pal through the gate between the fields, Sarah barged into him, on purpose. He jumped backward, and she ran into the new field, because she's like that. She ran over to Shakey and tried to claim him as her own ("Pony! Pony!" Sarah loves ponies.) but Syd knows Shakey belongs to him (Syd also loves ponies) so he chased Sarah away. They proceeded to act like complete and utter morons for the next 15 minutes, galloping, snorting, bucking, trying to kick each other, etc. Meanwhile Silver went nuts in the adjoining field because she was missing out on all the fun, and Pal trotted along gamely because that's what he does.

In complete exasperation I phoned my daughter at her college and when she didn't pick up I left a rant. My daughter hit the turn-voice-message-to-text button on her phone, and the results were so hilarious she sent me a copy. Here it is, with one pertinent word in the middle semi-redacted. I'm pretty sure some of the "said"s are supposed to be "Syd"s.

"Hi, it's your mother _______ standing in the middle of the field having a difficult morning because I want to move pal was _____shaky Sarah ran into I know she's trying to take the pony from said and said just tell me not to let her________all just being m@therf#ck!ng _______ all alone in the past you're running around going to come back so I want to also the septic _____ overflowed_______ the basement tub and toilet and into the storage room and ____ some of my books but not too many but everything ___that should look at is _____water so I'm ______ be love you bye."

As my daughter commented, it missed a lot of the details but it did get one word perfectly right.