I'm reminded of the advice "You can view life's events as a tragedy…or as a comedy."
Here's thinking if I write it tomorrow, we'll be leanin' toward the latter.
(Right now…Not feelin' it so much…So I shall sleep first…write later.)
But may I just say, You really can't make this stuff up~
The Morning Report:
For all I boast of country living…helpful neighbors, mentoring farmers, charming children who come love your goats, etc..etc..there is a dark side to every sunbeam, and I fell into it head first when I came home last night to find that I had no water. Why, you ask, might this fate befall me? Well, it seems I did not pay my bill. In my newfound quest to simplify my life, I merged and purged two checking accounts a couple of weeks back and inadvertently overlooked an autopay that, to put it nicely, will get your water shut off quicker than you can say “Bob’s-your-uncle”~
Yep. My bad. My clerical oversight put me on the 15-day-late list and it turns out there’s a zero tolerance policy on this matter. With zero warning, no phone call, no notice, those Laguardo folks will cut you off for the $22 you owe them. And don’t even try to argue.
Of course, I DID try to argue…
I called the main line only to find the nice automated voice that gave me the number to call in an emergency. (At this stage, I had no clue why I had no water. That discovery came later.) I dial the emergency number only to get a recording that this man’s voice mailbox is full. I call the main line again. I call the emergency number again. This time I get the man (and a very rude man he was). I explain my plight asking if the lines are being worked on at this hour. NOOo. He says most judgmentally.You don’t pay your bill, this is what you get. Clearly, I was one of many whose water he’d cut off this day. Try explaining to a man who cuts off people’s water for a living (from 8 to 5, he bragged), who then gets to spend the rest of his evening fielding panicked and angry phone calls and you start to get a feel for JUST how this conversation was going.
“But I have critters!” I plead. Forget me. Haul me to debtor’s prison if you must, but don’t take it out on my babies. This nets me no sympathy whatsoever. To the contrary, it only adds to his power play as he now chides me further with “You shoulda thought about that when you didn’t pay your bill.”
In case you’ve ever wondered what you’d do in times like these, let me share …for while I can live without a bath here and there, you cut off my critter’s water supply and you’re gonna have a battle on your hands. (Even if it was, again, I admit, my fault.)
Before leaving home yesterday I noticed my water pressure was low. No biggie. This happens quite often with this company. They’re forever working on a line here, dredging a pump there. In moments like these I pause to consider life in a third world country where low pressure is better than no pressure. I thank God I live in America and I move on.
Fortunately, since my critter-lovin’ life is a never-ending cycle of cleaning food bowls and rotating water buckets, I never step foot outside my door without toting one or two fresh water pails to the goat pen, where I switch them for dirty water buckets, which I bring back in for cleaning. These I’ll scrub, fill and place back beside the front door for when next I step outside. (It’s both exercise and efficient! You learn to think in cycles when you live on a farm.)
Double fortunate for me, it’s now started to rain. So I gather up anything I can find…a water can, a trash can, slop jars, etc…and set these on the front porch in true country living style, after all, I’m only assuming the water company will have me back on by morning…But what if they don’t?
From the two “stand by” buckets at the door, cleaned and filled from the morning’s dribble, I fill water bowls for Boo and Minks and scoop enough to fill my Brita water pitcher in the frig. (Are you getting this? I’m taking water from a goat pail. I’m stealing from my kids! I feel awful in so doing but after all it IS raining outside. Right now I’m anticipating every possible need I could have between now and whenever, from the water I’ll drink to the teeth I’ll brush.)
Next up: supper for 6 dogs, 1 cat and 17 pygmy goats, bowls for which were NOT cleaned before I dashed out the door to meetings this morning, but bowls that shall now be used unscrubbed for serving dinner to goats and dogs who (it turns out) don’t care. (The cat got a new, fresh clean one from the cupboard, for the cat does care.) I choose the dirtiest 3 dog bowls for the puppies’ food as they are remarkably good at licking things clean. If the water’s not back on by breakfast, I shall choose the NEXT dirtiest three, and rotate. I Do have a back up dishwasher in these pups and am not afraid to use it. Everyone around here has to pull their weight in times of emergency.)
I toss on my slicker…head outdoors, where my unconditionally loving family has nary a clue there’s any problem whatsoever. They are just happy to see me… happy it’s supper-time.
I spot check their buckets (not that there’s a dang thing I can do about it) and thank God for the rain. Before heading back in I squat to hug everybody goodnight, as is our ritual, when the stress and guilt take tearful hold. I nuzzle the babies and cry. “Mommy’s SO sorry! I’m So sorry you have to drink through twigs. Mommy promises you’ll have fresh, clean water by tomorrow. Mommy will do better…” at which point a goat jumps on my back and Hiccups starts to hiccup.
I leave their bowls outside in the rain. (After all, we may need the water) and head back in. Given my day, the hour I got home and the Tylenol PM I had at my fingertips, I decided Alan Alda was right -“Comedies are tragedy plus time”. And my dad was also right --I DID need a nap. So I unplugged and I’m glad I did. The person I get to speak to in another hour and 14 minutes is going to have a much more pleasant girl on her hands as a result.