Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The great water adventure...

The great water adventure...  Last night as I was just getting ready to head for bed, my phone rang.  It was my neighbor, Tim D., calling to let me know that we had a “water problem” – our neighbor's teen daughter (Gracie L.) was mowing their yard, and accidentally struck and broke one of the irrigation water “risers”.  That's precisely the same thing I had done earlier this year, so I knew exactly what it was like for Gracie :)

Tim and I talked for a couple minutes, and figured out that between the two of us we had almost everything needed to repair that broken riser, both parts and tools.  We'd need one more part, but Tim figured we could find a neighbor who had that one.  So Tim and I gathered up what we'd need, and met over where the broken riser was gushing water 20' or so high. 

As I walked up, another neighbor got the water shut off.  The geyser was gone, but a small pond remained around the broken riser.  People were gathering – adults and kids from the immediately adjacent neighbors.  Shovels and buckets appeared, and an organized effort to drain the water around the riser got started (this was necessary because the solvent used to weld PVC pipes together only works on dry pipes).  The drainage effort was made more difficult by the fact that the broken riser was near the low point of a few hundred yards of pipe, and all of that was now draining backwards through the broken riser.

Now this probably doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun, but ... we were actually all having rather a grand time.  There was much joshing and laughter.  Two dogs (Annie and Dallas) were splashing around in the water, spewing mud in every direction, splattering us all from head to foot – and we all were laughing about it. 

Eventually the draining was finished, and we got the water level down.  We used a towel to dry the pipe, then cut and glued the new parts in place.  A neighbor did have the missing part.  It was after dark by the time we finished, but I had brought a nice LED flashlight that was providing plenty of light. 

When I got home, I discovered a sad email from Gracie, the girl who had accidentally broken the riser.  She wanted to tell me just how very sorry she was for breaking my riser.  My riser?!?  Until the moment I read that email, it had never occurred to me that the broken riser was mine – but Gracie was right about that: it was on our property.  She was mowing a little piece of what I think of as their lawn when she broke the riser, but that 6' or so wide piece of lawn is actually on our property.  The whole time we were all working on that thing, I was thinking that we were all helping Gracie and her family out – but in reality that whole crew was helping me out.  What an odd feeling that was as I changed mental gears there!

I love living up here...

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