Monday, June 26, 2006

Weekend Wash-out

I should have known better than to think I was going to spend Saturday at the resort. My first hint should have been the phone starting to ring about 7:30 on Saturday morning — and I’ve let the in-laws know (several times, with various amounts of strength) that they should leave us alone until 9. I didn’t mind taking a turn at the chicken houses in the morning — Daughter Dearest had a headache and I would be enjoying the rest of the afternoon. Before we left, I threw some bread into the machine on the dough cycle, to take care of when we got back.

But as we were wrapping up, her dad came by and asked if I could help with putting an extension on the standpipe in his pond, to raise it up another foot or so. I really didn’t want to, but I’d told him some time back that I would help with that so I was pretty much stuck. Besides, I figured I could still light out right after we finished, and spend the rest of the afternoon and early evening taking a well-deserved mini-break. This pipe thing didn’t turn out so well: he had the extension bolted inside a much larger pipe; the pond water would flow up from underneath and out the extension, but the larger pipe stuck up a few more inches so debris wouldn’t have a chance to clog the outflow. Great idea on paper, but it added about 50 pounds to the weight. To make a long story short, the boat drifted backwards as I was trying to left the assembly into place and the whole thing ended up at the bottom of the pond. I was a lot more upset about it than he was; he said he’d get his grapple and try to pull it out later.

So it was time for Mrs. Fetched to deliver the coup de grace. She handed me a faucet repair kit and told me I had to fix the kitchen faucet at the rental place. $#¡+!!! Like these people are freeking paying rent anyway, more than once a whenever it won’t impact their cigarette budget. I wrote off the day and went to fix the sink.

“Oh, you can go tomorrow after church,” she reassured me. “Hey, we’ll all go after church.” Riiiiiiiiight. Like it wasn’t going to rain. I went ahead and took the photos for work that I’d figured to take Sunday, and then we all went bowling (which was actually an excuse for Daughter Dearest to meet up with a kid that she’d talked to online). The bowling outing went OK, although we would have been better off quitting after two games. The kid’s Dad, it turns out, knows a lot of the same local folks Mrs. Fetched does; we ended up yakking all evening nearly to midnight. While we were out, the rain started rolling in and lightning nailed the DSL box that I thought I’d unplugged.

Sunday morning dawned as expected: threatening. The sky pretty much opened up on us on the way to church; my little Civic hydroplaned a couple of times but I kept the car straight and the speed down, getting there without incident. It pretty much rained hard all through the service, when it wasn’t pouring even harder. We had no idea how hard until we started heading home.

Less than a mile from home, the SUV in front of us stopped and turned around. Once he cleared his bulky self out of the way, we saw why: a tree down across the road. Two ways to go around, and the shorter way involves a dirt road for a stretch. I turned around and headed back, flashing my lights at oncoming cars to warn them of impending unhappiness ahead.

All the creeks were flooding over; one usually scenic pasture on a sheep farm was especially wetter than normal. Crossing a large creek, it looked scary even though the water was still well below the road... and this is what the crossing looked like several hours later. The next creek was even scarier at that time; it was over the road a couple of inches. In one of the less intelligent moves I’ve made since moving up here in the first place, I put it in low gear and crossed it (without incident). There was another tree down just before the driveway, but the sheriff’s office had some prisoners clearing it and they finished shortly enough.

“Resort delayed is resort denied,” I told Mrs. Fetched.
“Hm. Well, you can go next weekend.”
Like I believe she meant it. July 4 weekend? The place will be packed even if I was allowed away from FAR Manor. Even now, it doesn’t do to dwell on it much... anger doesn’t solve anything for me.

Rain gauges were full, so we got at least six inches of rain in the space of a few hours — after six weeks of nearly no rain at all. Making up a rain deficit is one thing, making it up all at once is another.

But the nightmare was only beginning. Whatever wind there was in the storm blew copious amounts of rain into two of the chicken houses... unless it just went under the foundation and came up from below. Oh, and we had to shovel our driveway out of the road. Already in “I just don’t care anymore” mode, I basically shut off my brain and did whatever I was told until it was time to leave.

I might feel differently about things if I felt like I was getting support through the week — things like supper waiting when I got home from work (which pretty much makes everything else possible around here), things either clean or nobody griping about them not being clean, or if I thought anyone had any respect for projects that I would like to work on from time to time. But the way things are, everyone seems to think that I’m obligated to them from 7a.m. Saturday morning to 11p.m. Sunday night. There’s not going to be a repeat. One way or the other.

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