Of water and fire and why sometimes rural living isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. (But three cheers for volunteer fire departments!)

When I woke up this morning, I had no water. Again.

In fact, since I last wrote about my water saga, I’ve lost water twice more in two days. We returned from frolicking on winter beaches to water galore. Kind of. Water flowed free from the bathroom taps. In the kitchen, I had a trickle of cold that diminished throughout the day. Of hot water, I had none. The line from the hot water (that runs along one cold, thin, uninsulated wall) had frozen. But not for long! The line defrosted sometime in the night, and that filter thing on the end of the kitchen faucet? It was clogged. A quick scrub later and water, both cold and hot, was positively gushing into the kitchen sink.

Then. THEN. Then I went to bed. The fire was roaring, the cupboard doors were open (so the line wouldn’t freeze where it comes into the house, right? Right?) and at 2 a.m. when the baby stirred I checked the tap and water flowed. But at 9 a.m. there was nothing. Nada. No water.

I may or may not have lost it at that point. You’ll never know.

I called for backup. My brother-in-law sourced the trouble to the blown light bulb in the pump house. Normally the bulb emits enough heat to keep the house above freezing, but the light was out and the mercury dropped to – 18 overnight. My poor water line didn’t stand a chance.

I went skiing while he lit a propane burner (BURNER, not heater. A propane BURNER) inside the four-foot square pump house. Despite the questionable safety of it all, I had hot water for an apres-ski shower, and cold water to run the washing machine.

When I grow up I want to live in a house with real plumbing.

But that doesn’t end my strife with the elements. Last week, it was pesky fire. I’ve chronicled life with a volunteer fire fighter before, but never as the source of the call coming over the pager.

It’s important to note none of this would have happened in the resident fire fighter had been home. But he wasn’t. So at 3 a.m. when I woke to a burning smell and an overbearing heat, what else could it have been but a chimney fire? The funnels were scalding and outside the chimney was throwing up sparks. I called. “Hi, I think I have a chimney fire.The funnels are really hot and there are sparks.” I picked the baby up, still sleeping as she was, and paced the porch floor until the men arrived, lights blazing. They sized up the fire box and climbed on the roof to peer down the chimney.

It was clean as a whistle. Any fire that may have been in the funnels had burned itself out. It was 3:17 a.m., and I had just hauled 7 men out of bed to come to my unnecessary rescue.

Embarrassed would be putting it lightly.

I know I did right by calling, but having been so often the one left behind because of false alarms just like this one, well I was a little sheepish. Served me right the baby didn’t go back to bed until 6.

I wonder what trouble earth and air has in store for me yet.


2 responses to “Of water and fire and why sometimes rural living isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. (But three cheers for volunteer fire departments!)

  1. Pingback: A cow and a codfish walked into a bar… | The Sheds Project

  2. Pingback: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa… (or why I quit my job) | The Sheds Project

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