Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It All Started With A Tree...

So here I am at the library. Not an unusual place for a writer to hang out, right?  Of course not. Except this writer usually works from home.  So why am I not working at home?

Well, you see it all started with a tree. A big tree. In our front yard. Not that we knew the tree was the real problem. We thought it was a simple plumbing problem. One day when I went down cellar there was water all over the floor. So I mopped it up. I thought our washing machine had a malfunction. We even unhooked the machine from the wall.

Well, things got really interesting when the toilet backed up. I knew there was more to this little mystery. So we called a plumber. Apparently there was a big clog in the pipes and they proceeded to suck out the clog with this big, heavy machine which almost didn't make it down our cellar stairs.  But that didn't totally solve the problem.

What do you mean there is still a problem? They did some investigating and discovered there were tree roots in the sewer pipe in our front yard and under the house.  Oh wonderful.

Fast forward to today.  Two weeks have gone by and the problem has yet to be resolved.  We need a tree guy to chop down the tree immediately, but so far no one has been available. Then we need another guy to do some digging to clean out the pipe. The wait goes on.

So basically my whole family has to clear out of the house for the whole day every day until this situation is over with. We can't flush the toilets and we can't run the water.

I must admit I have learned some things during this crisis. The number one thing, I suppose, is just how much water we use on a daily basis. Too much!  Water for showering, water for dishes, water for washing hands, water for laundry, and most important, water for flushing the toilet!

You don't know just how much you value indoor plumbing until you don't have it anymore.  We have had to become very creative. I bought a big plastic basin we can fill with water to wash up. Then we dump the dirty water outside. My sister was called upon recently to allow my son to take a much-needed shower. (He only takes one about once a week anyway.)  Today I washed my long hair using this new basin and a large cup.  A strange way to do it, but it worked.  I also bought three or four boxes of wet ones for freshening up, hand-washing.

Since I cannot wash dishes at this time (this part I actually love!), I've had to purchase easy-to-fix foods which do not require pots and pans.  I have paper plates and cups at the ready.

The toilet issue is the toughest one to deal with.  Five people who need to go.  I have scoured the neighborhood for accessible bathrooms, open long hours. We have a library, a grocery store, a Dunkin Donuts, and a Target pretty close by. If people notice me zooming down the street in my car, you can bet I'm headed for a bathroom!


A tree guy is supposed to be chopping down the tree tomorrow or Friday!  When he came by to check out the tree yesterday I told him how urgent the situation has become. When he said he would do it this week, I must admit I almost kissed him.

I'm still at the library only it's one day since I began this post.  This is my home away from home now.


  1. Ah trees. Love 'em. Hate 'emm when they eat through your pipes.
    Sorry about the home disaster! Hang in there!

  2. Oh, ugh! What a horrible problem, I'm so sorry. Those trees can be so rooted and troublesome. ;) Here's to a quick(er)/easy fix!

    Meanwhile, thank goodness for libraries, eh?

  3. Oh boy, this is almost funny in its strangeness! I'm glad you live in a city where you can go places everyday.
    You're right though, we're all so used to our electricity/plumbing. Very reliant on technology.

  4. Thanks everybody for the condolences!

    The tree guys are here right now cutting down the tree!

  5. Thank you hon. You made me feel better about living in an apt. :)

  6. I know what you mean. Owners have to pay for everything that goes wrong.