Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Sky is Falling and Other Newsworthy Events

Blurry image of wonderful grandson receiving tremendous honor (along with about 50 other kids): student of the month and maintaining a GPA of 3.75 or better. Would have been a 4.0 except for Mrs. Warden, English teacher of legend. She was also the deal breaker for Ben when he was in the 7th grade. Although the mere mention of her name makes grown-up former students quake, both Ben and Logan list her among their favorite teachers of all time. They say yeah, she's tough, but you learn. And both boys are great readers and writers. So I guess she did her job.

In other news, a couple of days ago, I ventured downstairs to the John Deere room (yes, there really is such a place in houses in this part of the world), and found the floor very wet. Jumping to the most logical explanation, I thought a pipe, either sewer or clean water had broken under the cement floor. Or maybe a spring had spontaneously erupted forcing a geyser through the concrete. What else could it be? I went to bed with palpitations, trepidation, and fears of having to vacate before the house came tumbling down into a developing sinkhole. The next morning , I tried to talk myself out of panicking and into taking an analytical practical approach to the problem.
  1. First -- scope: how big was the problem. Well, it covered about 2/3 of the John Deere room floor, but didn't go under the wall into the family room. No puddling was evident in the outside surrounding area, although the ground and grass were still damp from recent rain (clue).
  2. Second -- source: fresh water or sewage? Not sewage, no odor and no areas outside where the grass was greener. Also, not much color. Okay, it must be fresh water. The water bill had just arrived and it was very normal, no evidence that a lot of water had been running out of a pipe. Checked the meter -- it wasn't running while everything was apparently turned off. I used my carpet shampooer to suck up as much water as possible and again confirmed it was not sewage. But, a fair amount of water was sucked -- several gallons. No doubt a spring sprung up under the house. And I went to bed the second night, wondering if I would rebuild or relocate.
  3. Third -- check progress: the carpet is nearly dry, no new water.
  4. Tentative conclusion: the punching bag, weighted with water leaked, or rain came in during a recent heavy storm. If I knew whether or not the water was chlorinated, I could figure that one out.
  5. Next step: wait and see. BTW, nothing was damaged -- nothing was stored in the affected area and the floor is all concrete and indoor/outdoor carpeting.
I'm afraid my panic is a symptom of age and a creeping feeling of helplessness and I hate it. Just as I was certain my tooth pain was terminal bone cancer, I was certain the flood meant my house was falling down.

Last news item: yesterday evening, Ben found a bird with its foot ensnared in wire near a nest under our deck. In thrashing around the bird had also injured its wing. Ben released the foot, but because the bird couldn't fly, he held it in his cupped hands and brought it in the house. I wish I had taken a picture. I don't think there is any greater image of helplessness than a bird in the hand. He finally decided to put the bird back outside in a sheltered place not far from the nest and wait and see. We'll never know the end of the story because the bird was gone this morning -- either it recovered or became prey.

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