A Series of Unfortunate Events


Purple Cactus Flower at the Huntington

Purple Cactus Flower at the Huntington

I am not speaking about the events that befell those poor, poor Baudelaire children. Although, I am watching and quite enjoying Netflix’s new Lemony Snicket series that features them. No, these events occurred much closer to home. There are some days that it is probably for the best not to get out of bed. Just rollover and go back to sleep. That would have been the wise thing to do today. Well, it’s too late for all that now.

This day dawned rather innocently enough. The second round of freezing rain that was forecasted never materialized. Instead, we got just regular old wet rain. We’ve been getting enough of it lately that the sump pump can now be regularly heard roaring in its corner of the basement. It all began, when Anne flushed the toilet. “I didn’t do it. It was on accident.” It flushed fine, but then it made an odd sound. On closer investigation, I discovered that the reservoir tank was not refilling itself. We both tried fiddling with the plumbing in the toilet tank, but no joy. What used to be called the ballcock is now more politely referred to as simply the valve. It looks different from the old ballcock used to look, but it performs the same function and in much the same way. It does act as a valve letting the tank refill and it has a float so that when the water level reaches the right height it stops filling.

At this point I decided to go to the hardware store and get a new ballcock or valve or whatever. I hopped into the Prius, which I had pulled quite away forward in the driveway. My thinking being that if we did get the expected ice storm, I didn’t want one of the branches from our last Silver Maple dropping on it. Well, to make a long story short, I got stuck in the mud. Our driveway is just two narrow strips of concrete and in this season those concrete strips are afloat in a sea of mud. Backing up I first slipped off of the concrete and then just at the crest of the driveway, with two wheels on either side of said crest, the wheels began to spin digging a pair of ruts. I gave up when I heard the bottom of the car scraping on the crest. I called a wrecker and was told that it would be at least two-hours before it arrived. That estimate turned out to be wildly optimistic.

Figuring that I had plenty of time, if only I knew, I went to the hardware store and picked up the device. I was back with the thingy lickety-split. I removed the old one and installed the new one without too much difficulty. Except, then it continued to drip. I fiddled with it. As of writing the dripping is much reduced and I am content to leave a pot under it for tonight. The tow-truck eventually arrived and the Prius was successfully extracted from its predicament. The only real downside to the whole event was that since the flatbed truck was as long as the street is wide a certain amount of backing and filling was needed to position the truck. All this maneuvering created even more ruts. The yard was already a mess from last summer’s neglect, now it looks like a war zone. Come spring, gardening will be my new hobby. I guess that’s about it. Oh wait, Anne’s iron died and she had to get a new one, which also might or might not be working.

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