“Is it Ever Going to Be OK Again?”

This morning I went out to clean up after the dogs and found that the plumbing was again backing up into my backyard. Twice this has been investigated and nary a sign of any problem in my house’ plumbing has been discovered. Both times there was a block at the place where my plumbing goes into the city sewer line. And, indeed, today I saw that it was coming back from that direction. Still, it’s not right.

My neighbors recently had to redo all the plumbing from their house to the main line. I anticipate doing the same, but I’d rather not do it now. BUT the guy has been out here twice in six months and that’s a LOT.

I called my neighbor to get the number of the company that did her work. Somewhere in one of our conversations she said, “Is it ever going to be OK again?” She’s going through harder stuff than I am right now (for the moment, knock on wood, etc.) We agreed that we had to believe that it will all be “OK” again.

You see, we don’t want much. The big deal about doing this work in my yard for me is that they have to tear out my fence and they won’t put it back up. I will have to board the dogs for the duration and then have a fence built. I’m having a hard time putting a good face on that, in fact, I just feel daunted.

And just in the trough of dauntedness this afternoon I went outside to photograph the mural with the horses on it and saw a guy in my OTHER neighbor’s yard cutting down elm trees. I said “Hi” and he let me know he was cutting down the tree that hangs over my house and that was ripe to fall on my roof in the next heavy snow.

A person bought a painting for twice what I charged for it and said it was worth it to her.

All of this has left me with the sense that nothing makes sense and maybe things are always OK in some strange paradoxical way that we don’t understand.

Big Excitement in a Little Town in these Times

Yesterday I mowed the lawn (as long-suffering readers of my blog know) and the sun was fighting for place behind a dark cloud. The breeze was trying hard to become a strong wind. It was one of those moments. I pushed and turned, and pulled and avoided and did all the things one does when one mows their smallish front lawn. A couple of Hispanic grandmas walked past pushing a stroller. “Morning!!!

“Morning!” Big smiles and incipient laughter from all three of us. “Happy Monday!” one of them says and all three of us crack up.

I finish and start to take the mower down the alley to my garage. I run into my neighbor.

“You’re walking like you’re 102!” she says.

“Yeah, well, this thing makes me feel like I’m 102.”

My neighbor has a heart as big as the world and she said, not knowing I’d already finished the job, “You want me to do that for you?”

I told her my new dream, a dream that came to me while I was mowing the lawn. On the very very very very sad day when Bear is no more, I’m divesting myself of my house and getting a motorhome. Teddy and I are going to become vagabonds. I’m sick of yard work and even at this moment, I’m waiting for a call from the plumber (not someone like him).

“I’m sick of this. I had the line cleaned out in March!”

“I remember.”

We’d texted about this Sunday when the problem started, and I blamed it on 3 ply toilet paper, the only kind I could get during the “great toilet paper crisis” of 2020. Both of us have lived with septic tanks and have experienced the wonder of single ply toilet paper’s unique ability to break down immediately in water. “3 ply toilet paper?” she says, “Might as well flush paper towels.”

We talk some more abut my future dreams of motorhome life, O! the places Teddy and I will go!

“Oooh!” she said, “I have something for you.” The first clap of thunder and five rain drops. “Wait here!”

I said, “I’ll go put this away,” gesturing toward the lawn mower.

“OK. I’ll meet you somewhere.” She hurries to her house. I walk like I’m 102 to the garage and put the mower away.

When I meet her, she has something behind her back. “I never shared this with anyone,” she said, “I’ve never given this to anyone.” She hands me a plastic grocery bag and I know immediately it contains single ply toilet paper.

I’m thrilled! Shortly after I got back inside the house, the sky broke loose with a thunder-booming gully washer, our first real precipitation since December!!!!! Yesterday evening, Bear and were able to sneak onto the golf course. ❤

If I were keeping track on a chart of the number of times I’ve forgotten to use the prompt word in my blog post, I’d have a nice, straight line to the upper right hand corner.



I know some things, but they are not especially useful. There are many, many more things I do not know. The things I don’t know, there are so many and most are practical, are sometimes overwhelming. I LIKE it when someone tells me what to do. Granted, I might not do what I’m told, but I appreciate it, even though — like everybody else, being told what to do when I KNOW what to do can raise my hackles. I try to put a good face on that.

A friend of mine — who’s owned many properties, does construction and home repairs and is professional gardener — came through Tuesday. I love seeing her. We spent our adolescence on the same street and her older brother was one of my two best friends. She wanted to see my garage. I wanted her to see my garage. My house is old, but it was built at a time when construction was done differently than it is now, in many ways, it is more solid. The walls of my garage are obviously square and there is a real foundation. Through all the leaky roof drama, I have never thought the garage had to be torn down or anything radical had to happen to it, but I was prepared to do that if that was what it was going to take to fix the door and the roof.

My friend stood in the garage, looked at the way it was built, looked at the leak and said, “You just need the roof fixed and a new door. This is a good, solid garage. Leaks are bad, though. You gotta’ fix that. Call a roofer and a garage door guy.”

It sounds so simple and obvious, but for me, somehow, that’s not simple. I was very, very grateful for being told what to do by someone who had knowledge. It was nice that the knowledge corroborated my instinct, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

So a garage door guy came out yesterday with a catalog and measured and then said, “What kind of door do you want?”

I said, “An economical one.”

“What color?”

“Uh, color? I don’t care.” I honestly do not care. My garage is in the alley. It’s ugly (in general but not for here), paneled in steel. It’s never going to win prizes or be featured in Architectural Digest.

“Do you want windows?”

“Windows are nice. I had a garage once with windows. I liked it.”

“Uh, I don’t want to sound stupid or anything,” he said, “but with a garage like this on an alley, I don’t think windows are a good idea.”

Thank you. I wouldn’t think of that. “Good call. No windows then.”

“How about this one, these squares and in white.”

“White’s good,” I said, idiotically but he agreed as we are both white haired.

All I want is something I can close and lock that’s weather tight and safe.


“We can do this with metal. You want a metal roof?”

“I like that idea. You can slope it more than this, right?”

“It’ll cost more.”

“That might be OK.”

They never asked me what color. 🙂

So, thanks to my friend, I might be getting somewhere with this. I hope so.