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Lessons From Ma and Pa

I am knee deep in a big and not at all enjoyable project.  I'm cleaning the guest room and the guest room closet, which happen to be our household catch all.  I sorted the junk into piles (you know, a keep pile, a give pile, a sell pile, and a trash pile), and then proceeded to put the things in the keep pile away in their various homes around the house.  When I went to take my cast iron camping oven to the basement I was greeted by this...

And this is the THIRD completely unrelated plumbing disaster we've had in the last week and a half.  First one of the switches to the pressure tanks got too cold and stuck, so the water just stopped.  THEN the manifold to one of the outside hydrants (the one that Scott always forgets to turn off and bleed in the fall...) cracked, and when it was warm last week it thawed and created a fountain that we didn't discover until I noticed the water pressure getting low in the house and sent Scott to check it out.  And then this.  No, the pipe didn't freeze.  That was my first thought, but this pipe is in the near center of the basement, far from the wall, and it's like 60 degrees down there.  Once I got the water turned off and looked at it, it looks like it has been previously patched.

So the water is off now until I can get it patched, and then Scott is going to fix it more permanently this weekend.

As I was mopping up the water I was, of course, feeling sorry for myself.  I was composing a facebook post in my brain about how awful my life/luck has been lately.  Then, and I don't remember why, I thought of Ma and Pa.

No, not my ma and pa.  You know, Ma and Pa from the Little House books.  I read those books at least 7 times when I was young, and am currently reading them to my kids (we just started the third book- they LOVE them!).  I thought about the grasshoppers, and when they were forced out of a home they had just spent a year building by hand, from scratch, shortly after planting the fields and the garden.  I thought about the long winter.  And I thought about what they always said when something awful happened- "every cloud has a silver lining."  I don't think that's exactly what they said, but that was the idea.  When they were forced out of their home, they got to finally eat the entire bag of seed potatoes they had been saving to plant.  When the grasshoppers came they were thankful for the chickens who got fat off the bugs, even as they destroyed the crops they had worked hard to plant.  And during the long winter they faced challenge after challenge with grace- they were thankful for having a home in town, for the meager beans and hand ground wheat bread they had to eat, and for the warmth of their home and their family.

As I was mopping up the mess I easily came up with two positives- the air in the house will be a little more humid for the next few days (at least), and the basement floor will be clean.

And I'm thankful- that we don't have a dirt basement (in a house this old it's a distinct possibility- my childhood home had one, as does Scott's), that my husband can fix these kinds of problems and we don't have to pay a plumber, and that nothing precious or irreplaceable has been ruined.  I'm thankful that we were home and caught these issues right away unlike my sister, whose upstairs toilet broke in their home in KC while her and her husband were in Oklahoma for several months for work- thank goodness she had a someone living at the house at the time, but it still leaked for over 24 hours before someone found it and the stairs, ceiling, and much of the downstairs walls and floors were ruined.  I'm thankful that these have been small issues, not actual frozen pipes in actual boarded up walls.

Because, as Pa and Ma always said, all's well that end's well!

1 comment:

Diana said...

I am so glad you found it quickly :)
I too, have learned HEAPS from Ma and Pa Ingalls.
Especially Ma. What a sterling woman she was. Oh! If only I could be as peaceable and pleasant yet faithful and wise as she was !!!!
We just read On the banks of plum creek and my 6 year old was incredulous!!! My 3 year old got a lot from it too. But I think I come away with something new every time I read them :)

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