Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Back with a Vengance

So perhaps you may have noticed a longer-than-usual break here at The Knitting Queen. No reason, really. Between my new job at the bank and trying to manage all the people in this 5 acres of craziness, time has somehow slipped by. I can't say I'm accomplishing much of anything these days. My knitting is practically at a standstill, I seem to read about 3/4 of a book and then move on to the next, and the laundry is in a constant state of needing to be put away.

Stuff just isn't getting done these days. Including my blog. But just when I was beginning to wonder if I would ever have anything of interest to write about again, the mother of all stories presented itself to me this weekend.

We had a bar-b-que this last weekend. Regular old bar-b-que for Memorial Day. Just like all of you. We invited a group of people over for a bar-b-que. My first clue that this wasn't going to go as planned was the torrential rains. It has been raining here for 3 solid weeks, so I guess no one should have been surprised about rain over the entire holiday weekend, but one can always hope.

One of our guests asked to bring her dog. He's a sweet little Jack Russell mix and Nicole didn't want to leave him alone for the long day. We're not really "dog people" and, while we don't really have a dog friendly place, it also didn't seem hostile to dogs, so we told her it would be fine on one condition--Max would have to stay outside because of our indoor cats. So Max was having a grand time running around the yard, chasing rabbits, playing ball with Eric...the perfect guest.

After a bit, Benita and her family arrived. These are people I had never met and they had never been to our home. At the moment we opened the door to them, I'm thinking what is that horrid smell? They were carrying armloads of food, but the smell was positively rancid. At the same time, Benita and her family are walking into a strange house for the first time thinking what is that horrid smell and I'm sure instantly regretting their decision to spend the afternoon with us.

Because this was the precise moment Nicole hears Max yowling and whimpering. And she and my husband follow the sounds, and the smells, to the trap door that leads under the house. The trap door Mike was about to send Eric through, until I flew out of the house and shrieked THAT'S THE SEPTIC! The septic. In 5 acres, 5 entire acres, this is the one place Max managed to find trouble. Under the house. In the septic tank.

Then, in the pouring down rain, Mike has to reach in there and pull Max out. Max, the white dog, who emerged gray with sewer water pouring off of him. Who then proceeded to shake it all off and run around the porch, still shaking, while we all ran around screaming and retching and laughing until tears poured from our eyes. Benita and her family were sort of frozen in the kitchen, witnesses to the worst bar-b-que ever, while I ran through the house to find old towels and shampoo and buckets and Mike and Nicole tried to give Max a bath in the driveway in the pouring down rain while Max, who was frankly a little put out by what had happened to him, continued to shake and fling droplets of putridness all over. And my boys were scared to ever go on to the porch again, because the smell lingered for a long long time and I then had to do a load of laundry in the middle of our party because Mike and Nicole certainly couldn't carry on as they were and no one could bear the thought of those clothes not immediately being boiled.

And did I mention that these were people I didn't know? They are friends of my husband, but this is the impression made upon these people who had never been to our home and never met me.

And then my parents, who were on the mainland for the day, called to tell me they were on the ferry coming home, so I proceeded to tell them of the days events, which made my dad laugh so hard that he was unable to speak. He actually had to hang up and then call me back after collecting himself to let us know that that particular septic was for the kitchen, not the bathroom, so technically it was gray water. Which is not the very very worst it can get. It's the 2nd worst it can get. And still worth boiling water and throwing away the slippers worn by Mike during the dog washing because he was too panicked to change into shoes and still worth throwing away the mop used on the porch floor because can you really think of a reason not to replace it?

And then we all somehow managed to eat. And drank more than we maybe would have had that not happened. And a special bond was formed.

Later that day dad mentioned that, due to the house being over 100 years old, and everything in it being over 100 years old, the lid to the kitchen septic had disintegrated and was needing to be replaced. It just hadn't been high on the list. The mile long list of things that need to be done around here. Which caused me to ask how can anything possibly be ABOVE that on the list? Which caused another complete laughing fit from him when I questioned the split rail fence taking priority over THE LID TO THE SEPTIC TANK.

And if you think this story is concluding, read on: the next morning Mike, my husband with only one good eye, woke up with an infection in that one good eye. Causing all of us to panic a bit when we realized that dipping into the septic tank and becoming intimately close to a dog covered in gray water may have had something to do with that. And because I had promised my parents that I would help move my mom's antique stall from her current antique mall to the one across the street (which is a story for another day), Mike took the boat into Everett with the boys, on Memorial Day, to see the doctor and relay the story to explain his great need for antibiotics.

Folks, you can't make this stuff up.