Saturday, January 31, 2009

The week that was...

Early Monday morning Richard received a call that the company we have called in the past to pump our septic tank could not come for a least a week. The tank trunk was broke.

Richard wondered if we could wait a week? Absolutely not, I said. I pointed out that if the storm came as predicted, we might not be able to get up to the church to use the bathroom.

He called another company. They said "We'll be there in an hour." And they were.
The man came. He pumped. We flushed. It went down. Hallelujah!

It's a dirty job. I did not watch the process - and I am sure everyone is very thankful that I did not take pictures of it either - but I could certainly smell it. Someone has to do it, and they get paid well for it too. I stuck my head out the back door and saw the huge tank truck sitting there -- bigger even than the propane truck -- and flashed back to the scene in the movie Woodstock where the guy shows up to clean out the portable toilets they had set up. He was so happy and cheerful. The guy that came to our place was also cheerful, and good looking to boot.

Several posts I read regularly have talked about the need to keep back at least $1,000 for emergencies. Very good advice. We have been able to accumulate an emergency fund, fortunately.

He charged $240 to clean out the septic tank and haul it off. I wonder what we would have done if we had not had money put back for such an emergency? Dig a hole?

And then the ice/snow storm hit. And Tuesday morning when we woke up, there was no Internet. And coincidentally with that, the router broke. This is the piece of equipment we need to hook the DSL to our computer and split it to all the computers on the network, and then we also use it for our computer network. At first, we didn't realize the router had broken, we thought it was the phone company that had the problem. Then the network went wonky, and on Thursday, Richard made some telephone calls and realized that the Internet was working, but that now we had a problem. He bypassed the router and ran the DSL straight into his computer.

He ordered the part and had it shipped overnight, and the computer guy came out Friday afternoon and got us hooked up to DSL and back on-line.

And that cost another $100 we weren't expecting.

Moral of the story: An emergency fund is a very good thing.

What was most revealing about the week, I think, was "blog withdrawal." Although I had access to my business e-mail and the FTP sites I access to download work through his computer, I lost 4 days of blogging. Suddenly I was cut off from reading about the adventures of the Country Doctor's Wife and April Showers and the Wild Woman (hey, a squirrley cat with cabin fever is just as bad as JRT), and the two women in Africa whose blogs I read, and the women in Australia, and the 10 blogs or so from United Kingdom I read regularly and....


MuseSwings said...

An emergency fund week! Thanks ever so for not taking pictures of the septic removal - but I'm glad they came when they said and did what they did so you can do what you do!

Miles A. said...

I'm glad that you were able to get your septic tank pumped. The next time it's really OK to observe the process, and it helps ensure that the pumper guy will do the job right by removing all the liquid and sludge from the bottom of the tank.

In fact, although we don't mention it on the website, it's even OK to tip the pumper guy. Either a few bucks, or a Coke. The men and women who do that work are just ordinary folks who happen to have a job that few other people want.