Always ethereal, always eclectic, I write as the mood strikes, when there intrigue reveals itself. Usually that means something controversial or adventure of some sort.

I've tried really hard to be unprovocative, but have as yet been unsuccessful.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Running Water

The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that running water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’ Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.’
Our manager spent an hour in the middle of the night trying to repair our frozen hose, but to no avail. He came the next day, and had an awful time of it. He and an employee spent hours wrapping the line in heat tape, and then laying down straw above and below, over the ice pond that had formed, to ensure that the line is kept warm and he doesn't need to come out again in 30 below weather. He put down bricks to keep the wind from blowing the straw away. And then, I asked him about the water coming out. He had felt our special hose to keep the water tasting clean was not wide enough, and would freeze too easily, so he used his own hose. But that one had sprung a major leak. In a fit of rage with much cussing, he removed all of the electrical tape and straw bales, to discover a large pond forming beneath the hose. He had to turn the water off, and come back to it later. (I feel for him, but, had he done this two months ago, when he said he would, when the weather was warmer, his work would have been far quicker.)

As he was doing all this, we had to run the water inside the cab so that it would clean the lines. Unfortunately, it appears that the bathroom sink runs down into the sewer line. RVs typically have two lines, grey and black. Grey water is water from the sink. Black water is for your unmentionables (sewage). Typically, only one line is open at a time, to prevent undesired smells. And one would think the bathroom sink runs to the grey line.

So I opened all the water lines, and went below the RV, to open the black line (which must be done from outside), just to flush everything out. Unfortunately the black line was frozen shut. And while I was below, trying to open it, suddenly a torrent of water began dripping down over me. Yes, the the bathroom sink runs to the black line. It filled up the tank, and ran into the shut valve. Then every opening began backing up, including the toilet. So yes, this was raw sewage dumping down on me. And yes, when I went back into the RV, the sewage from the toilet had dumped all over the carpet of the bathroom. (Who puts carpeting in a bathroom? How does that even begin to make sense?)

So the next two hours were spent renting and using a steam cleaner from Ace Hardware (who gave us a generously discounted rate), driving into Waunakee and back only to discover I'd left the carpet cleaner at Ace, and driving back into town and returning. The RV is now cleaner than it ever was, and happily, the raw sewage is no longer sitting on the bathroom floor.

Meanwhile, our manager was able to repair the hose, only to discover that the heat tape system was now soggy with water, and had to be replaced or dried out. Evidently, heat tape isn't actually tape. I had this image in my mind of something like electrical tape, wrapped round and round the water hose. Heat tape is actually a euphemism for an electrical system with a cord running down the length of the hose and plugged into an outlet.

Late in the day he returned, applying more bales to completely cover the hose. He has to wait for the heat tape to dry out before he can reapply it in the next few days. But after hours of work, our manager has provided us something immeasurably important this winter: running water, so we don't have to return again and again to the well Piggly Wiggly to refill. I am forced to admit, he is an agent of the coming Kingdom of God.

2 comments:

Mom said...

when this gets too much for you, consider getting a wntr apt...You're a valient one, Jed. I'm sorry to hear you're having so much trouble (on Beulah Hill the lst wtr, we had no hot H2O, and had to put plastic over all the windows. Babies were SO cold!

@bdul muHib said...

Like someone else said, it's good practice for living overseas. It's all cool- maktub- written by God.