As I was home alone with the children, I had no choice but to save the day. I threw the kids in the car and drove to the giant pond covering my water meter. With a headlamp & headlights (and two screaming children in the car) I crawled around until I felt the box. I scooped out the mud that flooded it, and after only about 127 phone calls to my brother, was able to figure out how to turn off the valve. It involved two tools and for anyone else this would have been the equivalent of flipping a breaker or something, but for me it was VICTORY. So I am the first hero:
blogger's note: I recognize this is not the most heroic looking picture of me. Jo took it and for some reason it got uploaded in my recent album online so it is the most accessible. Plus I don't have an hour to curl my hair, find the box that my eyeliner is packed in and then pose in the bathroom mirror with my cellphone camera. Plus I don't even HAVE a bathroom mirror. So this is what you get. The bagel I'm eating is a Nob Hill from Portland Bagel Company- a new found addiction courtesy of my friend (and neighbor) Sarah B. The blue painters tape stuck to my sweatshirt is the ends from taping back porch windows.
The next day it became clear that for better or worse, Luke was going to have to dig around the water meter so my Dad could install a temporary line. Years of gravel accumulation compacted by some very large logging trucks of late made this hard, messy work. While a shovel seems the most appropriate tool, Luke had to use a hammer for much of it to break up the ground. So Luke is the second hero in the story.
After about 18 hours of using bottled water, my Dad arrived on the scene to install a "temp line" as they call it in the business. He bent the existing line with his hands (and a big wrench) and had my house equipped with running water again in no time. He is the triumphant third hero in this story.
That's how he looks at you when he's explaining something he thinks you won't believe. He's gotten quite defensive about how rarely I take his word for something, and how often I follow up with some google validation. I bet now he wishes he wouldn't have lied to me so often when I was an impressionable young child, about cows having shorter legs on one side, about farmers tagging their sheep green for st. patrick's day, etc. The inane things my father told me deserve a blog post of their own.
Oh the children. They were completely distressed during this situation. It really took a toll on them. You see, their Poppa pulled up, and instead of holding them both while simultaneously unwrapping lollipops and dispensing jelly beans- he had the audacity to stand 100 feet out of reach and mess with the mud. There were yelps and cries for attention on the front porch. Jo was begging and pleading. Baylor was grunting and gesturing. It was mayhem. But for their patience, they are the fourth and fifth heroes in this saga.
The intensity was palpable.
Baylor tried to remain positive, but Jo was hyper-focused on getting what she wanted, as usual.
She told Baylor, "This is neither the time nor the place for your shenanigans. We are in the midst of a serious sugar shortage and I will not have you merrily ignoring the severity of the situation. You're off the team."
Alas, as Poppa drew near visions of suckers and candies danced in her head.
Finally, there was one more key contributor. Brother moose below showed up to hook up the new water line. In the rain. And mud. Without a single complaint about the fact that his high heels got dirty or that we only had Jim Beam & no Woodford Reserve with which to warm him up. He is indeed the sixth and final hero in this story:
Oops- wait. A black dog is at my feet complaining about being left out of the heroic tale. So here it goes:
And the seventh hero of the day was our dear, beloved, faithful companion, RUCKEROO. Rucker was all like, "MOOOOOOM did you see what dad is out there doing!!??? OMG OMG OMG!!! AHHHH! LOOK AT ALL THIS MUUUUUUUUUUD!" And so he is in fact the seventh, and final hero in the tale of the busted water line.