NEVER underestimate the power of a neighbor couple’s invite to use their shower.   Now if this were a totally random offer, the great power it wielded would likely be ‘creepiness’. 

“Hi!  It’s been so nice to chat with you over the fence.  Do you want to come over?  See my flowers?  Chat awhile?  Use my shower?  We just got a new hand held thing.  It’s amazing!  You want to take it for a spin!?”

Yeah, that would seem odd, even to me. 

However, when that offer is extended in the right circumstances…

Let me set up a ‘for instance’…

1) You spent yesterday afternoon/evening weeding in the ‘mud’ and slapping mosquitoes

2) You spent last night at grandma’s in a bed with a child that wakes you up from her crib in the next room when you’re home because she’s such a noisy/squirmy sleeper… and now she’s next to you… nuff said.   But hey, you read an entire book in a single night AND 

3) …you got started at dawn weeding in the ‘mud’ and slapping mosquitoes and continued in the same vein until noon.  (If you don’t understand why this is an integral part of the story, just dip your hand in mud or flap a very muddy weed root-ball around  and slap your arm a few times… then legs, shake your shirt so they get off your back, rub them off your neck, slap them out of your hair…. Instant mud monster.  That’s what it is!  Mud monster!  RAWR!) 

4) You came home this afternoon anticipating a shower/bath/hot tub pulled by a limo or something that will be absolutely heavenly after the kids are in bed (because at this point everyone is exhausted,  more because sleeping elsewhere = not asleep on time than due to weeding in their case, though they did assist often and well) since at this point it would be ludicrous to leave them to their own devices,

5) You ran ALL but the napping infant through the tub before realizing your electricity was… was… um… not exactly ‘off’, but working kind of like a starter in a car struggles to turn with a dead battery.  It was the WEIRDEST electricity problem I’ve ever seen.  dim lights in one area, things completely off in another, some things running sub-par, next to rooms operating perfectly. 

6) The electricity weirdness that you had resulted in a well pump not running, which meant those baths ran you completely out of running water which is not the focus of your concern; nevertheless, thank goodness for water bottles and wet wipes!.  This also means you left the hot water heater running empty while…

7) …You made a bajillion calls and waded through the rising basement water -sump pumps also need electricity to work- (wait, did I say we were OUT of running water?  We were out of CLEAN running water. There was plenty of ‘running’ water in our basement! 😉 Anyone wishing to backfill the entire basement and put just a regular old foundation under the house for cashews, please contact us.  It’s a big can of cashews and still mostly full.  If you wipe all memory of the beautiful “finished/rarely gets any water in it” basement ever existing from our brains, we’ll pay you peanuts too!) to look for possible solutions after being assured that neither the house nor the water contained therein was electrified or siphoning the power somewhere in a sinister plan to arc at you when you pass, making an electrocuted cartoon character-skeleton thing 

8) Watched the power company fix the electricity, waited for the well pump to catch up while I tried to make up for being all “Shhh!  I’m on the phone! SHHHH!” that evening with a few fun items, turned the water heater off (oops!) only to realize the well pump has pressure, but the pipes are apparently blocked.  Also, when I began to try several water sources to feel out the situation, my two year old was angry that I would not recreate that perfect, drinkable water trickle from the hydrant after it slowed…

and stopped. 

Angry, I say! 

“ON!  ON!!  DRINK!!!  OOOOOOOOoooooooONN!!”  (remember that this is an almost two year old who had no nap and a poor night yesterday plus a short nap today and imagine the appropriate amount of self-control)

“Flee to thine water bottle already granted thee, oh overwrought miscreant and be-est not a thorn in my weary flesh!”

Okay, so that last line was implied, not spoken. 

The good news, I don’t need to call an electrician tomorrow. 

The bad news, I probably need to call a plumber tomorrow. 

The good news, after taking advantage of the proferred shower and donning non-muddy clothes (and pieces of cake to bring home!) were obtained because our neighbors are the best and offered such luxuries while calling to see if we had figured out the electricity weirdness (I had called on the recommendation of one of the many advisors I’d been calling that evening to see if theirs was acting up too or if it was just our house.  They called back to see what I found out and ‘Is there anything we can do?’)

The bad news, I’m supposed to share the cake with my family or something! 

Bottom line, that offer of using the neighbor’s shower?  That one little joyful respite might just be the wave that carries me right on through trying to find a plumber that will hopefully come after the younger kids’ library thing at 10:30, but before or after the older kids’ one at 2:00, but not during the fire dept event at 5:30 and have it all fixed by the time my niece gets here that night.  

I’d consider just pre-emptively calling off the entirety of our ‘busy’ day, but the previous plan does seem spaced about right for bathroom/drink breaks if the plumber can’t be here right away… or at all… tomorrow…

Brothers/brother-in-laws who answer silly, random questions and grant good advice via phone…  also priceless.

And husbands that apologetically leave for work, but take the time to offer sympathies and help where he can before leaving… well, Matt’s pretty much always been my favorite so I might be biased, but I’d have to say that he ranks as invaluable. 

In the meantime, I’m sorely tempted to start fiddling with pipes and see if I can back-flush them myself, because.. you know… what could go wrong?!?  Especially when most of the items I put my hand to work so… um… smoothly.  And… um… not at all disastrously.   Because I’m so… handy.  And fix-it-y.  And stuff.  My {cough} record proves it. 

On the other hand, sleep sounds like the exact right follow-up to my no-longer-muddy state.  

Yeah, all of it is helpful. 

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