Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Be Prepared" Season

Hard to believe that the summer is winding down.  Several clues have been catching me by surprise lately, but I'm trying to just ignore them and to insist the inevitable isn't so.

Norm called last night.  Norm sweeps out chimneys, and Norm does his work before winter.  He's ready to come and sweep our chimney for the 2010 season.  

Back when we lived on Great Northern Road, the chimney sweeps didn't know us very well.  We were a bit lax about getting that done, unless we had a small chimney fire, that is.

Then, we'd hurry right up, call someone and tell them to get over there right away.  Once the immediacy of said chimney fire passed, we'd move on, hoping and praying that the chimney would clean itself.

We were kinda like that with our septic tank too.  In fact, when we had to get our septic tank pumped before moving away from the place, I got a big lecture from the septic-tank-pumper man.  He started out by telling me it hadn't been wise to have that thing partially uncovered for so many years.

He pumped a whole lot more than human stuff and toilet paper out of there.  He kinda resented the hundreds of tree cones and the brush and rocks getting mixed in with all the yucky stuff.  Those items don't go through pumper truck hoses very well.  Of course, I had to be the one to stand there and listen to the lecture.  

My husband was nowhere to be seen at the time.  And, I HAD mentioned a few times prior to the pumper visit that it might be nice to put that big heavy cement lid all the way back over the septic tank----Bill heard my suggestion a time or two even.  So, like the septic tank man, I kinda resented getting the blame for our maintenance inefficiency.

I've been talking to Bill for the past couple of years about how we ought to have someone come out and pump our tank BEFORE WINTER comes and all the wet weather conspires to shut down our toilet operations.  

By the way, this tank here in Selle  is covered with a lid and grass,  and I---the lawn queen of the Lovestead--- would even allow the area west of the house to be dug up this fall  for a pumping.  Bill doesn't get too excited about such things.  He tends to be REactive rather than PROactive with housing and utility needs.

He does listen to Norm, though, cuz, like clockwork,  Norm always reminds us it's chimney sweeping time. That's also how we know for sure another summer is winding down.

In the past couple of years, I've mellowed a lot about the late-summer chimney sweeping appointments, especially cuz  Norm and his crew do such an efficient and clean job of their annual sweep.   Ya hardly know they're there, and there's no sign they've been there once they leave.  'Cept for a nice, clean stove, that is.

And, this year I'm kind of excited about the chimney sweepers paying a visit.  Since this last winter, we've had a long strip of  loose roofing  tin dangling and banging in the breezes that blow through here.  We've talked about getting it fixed, but when the wind is not blowing, we don't think about it up there.  So, we forget.

Well, when Norm called last night, a lightbulb went off in my head.  They climb up there to do the chimney.  No reason why they can't step over a few feet while they're up there and rip that tin all the way off.  

Of course, there's always the possibility its placement might be key to the placement of the rest of the roof up there, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Norm said last night he thought his crew could do that for us. This year we'll be getting an extra bang for the chimney-sweeping buck, and if all goes well, we won't have to listen to all that tin banging the next time the wind blows through here.  

As for the septic tank, I'm gonna bring up that subject to my "Be Prepared" Boy Scout husband again.  That will probably occur long in October when my annual yard-beautification efforts end.  

Even I can stand a temporary pile of dirt out there, knowing that the toilets will still operate and that  someone will not have to come out here when we have six feet of snow and have to use a water witch to figure out where our septic tank lives. 

In the meantime, the flowers are still growing, and the cukes are even bigger than they were yesterday.  So, I'm not gonna spend too much time thinking about winter and plugged-up toilets.

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