YES, I AM STILL HERE looking out my window on Main Street, and I am incredibly thankful that you cannot see my eyes right now. They are red, rojo, rouge, rossa — you get the picture no matter the language. They are red because of the sleepless events of the last several nights.
Also, some frustration and weeping may have been involved.
This is a long story so let’s get started.
FIRST, in heavy rainstorms water sometimes doesn’t drain off fast enough from my patio. Twice in bad rainstorms of recent years the water has actually gotten inside my house just a little bit. When it gets close I get nervous.
SECOND, to stay completely dry during bad rainstorms I now sometimes put a sump pump beside the drain and it pumps water away in a garden hose through my carport if the patio water level gets high enough to worry me.
We had been strongly warned of likely severe flooding from Hurricane Laura, so I was paying attention.
THIRD, I got the pump rigged safely with an extension cord but then I got to worrying about losing electricity during a really heavy rain, because, you see, we had also been warned of lengthy power outages by the electric power company no less.
FOURTH, so I went out and bought the last small generator in southwest Arkansas. It was barely in my budget and it was in Ashdown. My brother Mikey stopped making smarty comments long enough to help me unload the generator from my buggy; prep it; and hook up the extension cord so that I could plug the sump pump into either the electrical outlet or the generator.
I made him promise me that he wouldn’t brag about having to help me with such simple tasks.
FIFTH, but all that work was for naught, because Laura came and went with a lot of fanfare but little cake.
Still, I was happy. I had a swell new generator out in my carport just waiting for the next rainstorm and power outage.
SIXTH. I must have done something really bad in a previous life because karma came out of the bushes to bite me.
A strange noise wakened me at 2:30 a.m. Friday morning. I tried to ignore it for awhile, but finally got up to check. My feet hit the carpet and it was soaked.
I raced to the door off my bathroom to see if the patio was flooding.
No, but water was squirting on my back.
It was that little flexible hose that puts water in the tank of the commode.
I calmed down enough to turn the valve and stop the eruption. But, water was standing in the bathroom and the whole bedroom carpet was squishy.
This was on a weekend, naturally, when all plumbers and electricians get out of cell phone range to have just a few moments of peace.
SEVEN. Things may get better. Huck came and tore out the wet carpet. The plumber was to come Tuesday. A damage restoration company was to come, also Tuesday. And the carpet place is anxious to help me with my floor covering needs. Oh, yes, the damage is mostly covered by insurance. The house smells sorta funky, but maybe the restoration company can do something about that.
The only thing that makes me unhappy is that when I bought the generator I had them sell me a 3-gal. gas can to boot.
This is one of the new and improved gas cans I knew nothing about. The old ones worked just fine.
I tried to put some gas in the can. The pump kept turning off after putting in only 15c worth of gasoline. I went inside and drug a clerk out to show what was happening. She couldn’t do any better. I thought, “Man it’s going to take a long time to fill the can at this rate.”
Finally a good ole boy at the next pump came to help. At first he didn’t have any better luck, but luck did intervene finally. We discovered that if you put the gas nozzle too far into the new and improved gas can the nozzle gets rejected.
If you know who invented the new and improved gas can please tell me so I can drive by their house and act like the devil.
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ANIMAL CRACKERS. It has now been three weeks since I’ve had a Mom and Pop Bluebird sighting.
What should I do with the four tiny blue eggs remaining in the nest? Should I throw the nest out because maybe it is jinxed.
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THINGS I LEARNED from opening (and believing) anonymous emails. “The Law of Mechanical Repair — After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to pee.”
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WORD GAMES. Another set of siblings: Whigs and Tories. I don’t understand all I know about politics in England.
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HE SAID: “Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.” St. Augustine, Algerian-Roman philosopher and theologian
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SHE SAID: “No one was there with you, Harry, no one saw what you saw. The whole world loves to second-guess a split-second decision you had to make.” Lt. Grace Billets, Los Angeles Police Department, Hollywood Division
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SWEET DREAMS, Baby