Friday all the kids returned to the nest for Spring Break. I’m pretty sure Divine Providence aligned Auburn and Michigan Tech’s academic calendars this year to enable all the kids to be home at once. And as much as I do appreciate having them home, it’s not lost on me that I have to cook for 5 again, have to endure the television being on at all hours again (I don’t like to turn the thing on unless there’s something specific that I’m going to watch. I like the quiet), and enjoy bantering and what not.
I know, I’m never happy.
I think the Universe collaborated on this because I’m pretty sure this is the last time we’ll have a break like this with all the kids home. The oldest kid is getting ready to head off to Grad School, at best will be several thousand miles away from Minnesota, read “not coming home except for big holidays” and at worst might be in foreign countries, read “not coming home for anything”. I think these family reunions are close to taking on the look and feel of a real reunion, meaning once or twice a decade and or when someone dies. And since I’m probably first on that list I won’t even get to enjoy the time.
Because nothing good ever comes without a price, there is a downside to having Auburn and Michigan Tech aligning their academic calendars- graduation. Both sons have finals the same week and for the young man at Auburn that includes a final on Friday. Which means we have a clusterfuck of a logistics problem trying to figure out how to get him packed up and out of the dorm in Alabama on Friday afternoon, and into a seat for Pomp and Circumstance in Houghton Michigan 18 hours later.
Houghton BTW, one of the most remote places in the contiguous 48 states. No one gets there easily.
Actually it’s not the lad that we’re all that worried about, its how we parents are going to be able to do this. One of us will have to go down to Alabama and facilitate the evacuation from Lupton Hall. The other one of us will have to pick p Grandma at the airport in MPLS and get her to Houghton, a 7 hour drive.
At this point I have no idea how all of this is going to come together, I keep thinking about the fable with the wolf, the sheep and the sack of grain and how many trips the farmer will have to make across the river to get everyone over safely before the scorpion stings him in the back and they both drown because it’s what scorpions do… It is a situation that is that confusing.
And when my wife needs me to think clearly and come up with a solution for something like that I like to retreat into my basement hidy hole and eat tater tots and watch MASH reruns until the feelings of confusion go away or I fall asleep and nap for a few hours. Problem is there is a kid living in the basement this week so I’m stymied once again my this “full house” thing.
And.. for the 1,395th time there is water in the basement.
Mrs S and I were off at the Chanhassen Dinner Theaters for a little Lodge event yesterday afternoon. More on that even later, suffice to say while I enjoy the shows, I don’t like spending 5 hours on a Saturday in one place and the food sucks. I digress.
Water problem in the basement.. There are 11 identified conditions which can cause water to appear in our basement. Among them:
- Drain pipes not glued together- shitty contractor there, but was fixed in 2010. We think.
- High humidity- we’ve had enough condensation down there to create pretty good sized puddles that soak the carpet. Dehumidifier in stalled in 2009, re-installed (backward condenser) in 2011. Seems ok for now.
- Power outages- In the spring or when it rains the sump pump down there runs about every 20 minutes. If the power goes out… Installed a battery system in 2011. Installed moisture alarm in 2012.
- Tampon Tidal Wave- flush enough high absorbency items down the stool; hygiene products, entire rolls of toilet paper, old mop heads, kittens etc… and the main sewer line clogs which causes the downstairs toilet to explode which causes us to have to bring in Service Master which causes me to have to look up words like “coliform”.. Solution- remove all trees and shrubs between the house and the city sewer line and get the line rotorooted every year. If nothing else works please G-d let this one never happen again.
- Fast Snow Melt, frozen drain pipe. BINGO.
OK no one gives a shit about my basement issues, price I pay for living in a hole. This time around it was the fast snow melt. Good news is, both boys were home, saw what was happening and fixed the problem on their own, bailing out a flooded window well AND bypassing a frozen drain pipe thereby limting the water in the basement to the cement floor in the mechanical room.
And in that one instance making 22 and 18 years of care and feeding all worth it. I can now recommend having sons, which up until then I was on the fence about, about children in general actually. Actually the best part of this whole affair was coming home and watching the boys having a great time together solving this problem. Kidna cool, Mrs S did a great job parenting these kids.
But Sank, you have a daughter.. jury is still out on that, she’s a teenager at the moment and wouldn’t be fair to judge.