Misadventures In Home Ownership, Part 1

When I first started blogging, I had so few readers that I’ve decided to recycle some of the ones I wrote back then. Here’s the first in a three-part series, originally published on June 24, 2011. Hope you enjoy it.

After far too many years of renting, I have had some very eye-opening experiences over the past few months as a first time home owner. I’ve also discovered that some of these experiences are, well, something less than pleasant.

The most notable example having begun, and note that I said begun, not happened, on a Thursday night as I was packing to leave for a three day weekend in Mackinaw City..

Or not.

Because, without the slightest bit of warning, the toilet in the main bathroom started backing up. Into the bathtub. Which was, to put it mildly…disgusting.

Thinking someone must have used just a little too much toilet paper (I‘m not classy enough to say bathroom tissue). I think to myself, ‘One of the kids can take care of that, and I’ll just keep packing.’ But I shortly after they started to plunge, I heard gurgling from my kitchen.

Aghast at the thought of some of that stuff backing up in my sink, the sink I wash my dishes in, I immediately grabbed the plunger that I keep in the kitchen and did some plunging of my own. Ah, togetherness…

During the short breaks to rest our arms, I was pouring baking soda and vinegar down the drains like mad.


Around two-thirty in the morning, after nearly four hours of trying to clear the drains, I realized that we can kiss the trip goodbye because, Houston, we’ve got a problem.

So instead of loading the van, first thing the next morning I called a friend who also lives in the country and explained what was going on. She thought it sounded like the septic tank needed to be pumped out. Great. Having only owned the house for four months, I realized that we were going to have to pay to have other people’s waste cleaned out of our tank. Even better, we bought that waste the day we bought the house.  Talk about a superfluous purchase!

So I whip out the phone book and discover that we have only two companies in the area that are into the most awful job I can conceive of. My hope was to get someone out right away in an effort to salvage most of the weekend.

The first woman was one of the nicest I’ve ever talked to. In fact, she was incredibly pleasant when she said they could squeeze us in sometime Tuesday morning.

I quickly started counting on my fingers because, having stayed up half the night dealing with the stuff nightmares are made of, I was more than a little punchy. Hmm. Four days away.

Given that we’ve got eau de latrine wafting through the house, courtesy of the cesspool in the bathtub, I’m thinking that Tuesday morning just wasn’t going to work for me.

So I quickly thanked her and called the other company. They only charged ten dollars more than their competition, and could be here that very afternoon.

All we have to do is dig up the access hole and remove the lid.


What’s an access hole?

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