water at Christmas

“What do you think of E?” I asked of my mom at the 1980 Hycroft Christmas tea. I was twenty-two and E and I had been dating about eight weeks. “He doesn’t talk much” she observed. “Well, I’m going to marry him, so you better get to know him somehow” I replied.

Two weeks later, on our first Christmas I demanded he come to my mom’s house first thing in the morning. Looking back, his  family must have been pretty disappointed that their big brother was disappearing Christmas morning to see some new girlfriend. But true to his word he arrived at our door first thing on Christmas morning. He was still in his pj,s and house coat. It was in his house coat that he played bartender all day meeting various friends of my mothers for the first time, as they stopped in for a drink and A Merry Christmas.

Just before we sat down to dinner, someone, I don’t know who or why noticed the basement was filling with water. The sump pump was broken. There were no plumbers for any price at all, in 1980 Kerrisdale who would answer their phone. My sister, brother, sister-in-law and my new boyfriend waded around with me in the stinky dirty water. Mops and buckets, towels and rags couldn’t keep up to the flow. We could smell the turkey upstairs and I think that was what drove my sisters determination to be rid of this sump problem. She grabbed a sledge-hammer my father left behind and hit the sump pump as hard as she could. Whoooosh.. The water all sucked out the drain…. We rolled our Jean legs back down and E, his pj’s and we all went up for our first Christmas dinner together.

Today, for the first time in five years we had to pump out our septic system. Truth be told, we were dreading it and have procrastinated as long as we could… It didn’t prove to be any where near as nasty a job as we expected. I guess that is a testament to well functioning bacteria in our system

I don’t really know why I thought the story from 1980 was relevant to today’s activity but there you have it. If I could think of a moral to the story I guess it would be:  if you start your relationship mucking out stinking dirty water on Christmas you will be content, thirty six years later, to still be mucking out dirty stinking

water at Christmas



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