Colorado’s been getting some insane weather! Our eighty-something neighbor attests to never having seen anything like this before. We’ve had so much rain in our backyard gauge that I lost track of how many times I’d emptied it. I think we had probably 5 or 6 inches in a couple days, plus another 1/2″ today. Maybe we’ve even had more than that. Our yearly rain averages only about 16″, to put that in context.
At first, of course, I was delighted with the rain; I’m sure we all were. Free Water! And gleefully I shut off the sprinkler system. But right about when I emptied the rain gauge for the second time, I started thinking, Huh…this is a lot of rain.
Even the usual pitterpatter of a friendly rainstorm had given way to more of the bubbling aquarium sound. Which was coming from outside the house, right? And hasn’t the sump pump barfed water into the backyard yet? I don’t think I’ve heard it. It definitely should’ve done that by now.
To get to the sump pump of course, you must go into the crawlspace. And to go down to the crawlspace you must take off your shoes and socks, put on flip flops you don’t care about because the soil down there is really weird, take the phone with you just in case “something happens,” go out back and lift the wooden door, wait for the spiders to skitter off their webs into the shadows beneath the ledge, and then climb down backwards into the darkness. Once down, you can’t stand up straight, no, you must crouch down and clump around at half your height, search for the pull-chain next to the dangling bare light bulb, and then forge farther underneath the house.
The sump pump, sensing somehow that biblical-scale rains were imminent, had developed a crisis.
It was running, all right, aeration-pump-style like in a sewage treatment plant (or aquarium…).
Turns out, it was an easy problem. The hose leading to the pipe which leads to the yard had worked loose from the pump at some point. And although my fix-it solution was perhaps less Pro-Handyman and way…way…more Rube Goldberg, I did feel awfully satisfied when I got it in working order again.
I told my dad over the phone that I fixed the pump. “I’m proud of ya, son” he said. And we had a spectacular laugh because as I described my own botched repair job — perched perilously at the edge of the pooled water, flip flops sucking into the mud, teeth clenching the flashlight, drool dripping down my chin, up to the elbows in murky water, attacking the problem with scissors and string — it began to sound remarkably similar to a few of his own transcendent ‘repair jobs.’
I’m proudly continuing the legacy.
A bit of a mid-afternoon stroll around the neighborhood…
We’re extremely lucky — many folks are in dire straits, and some favorite mountain vacation spots might be looking drastically different the next time we see them. How sad… this new paradigm of extreme weather.
We have a little more rain in the forecast but then hopefully we’ll be back to our more old-school September weather, which is typically beautiful; I think September is Colorado’s best month.
Here at the homestead, things carry on as usual.
I hope all of you are well.