We alternate families on Thanksgiving. Even years, it's my parents. Odd years, it's David's sister.
The last time we went to my parents, my mother had us go around the table and tell everyone what we were thankful for. So I'm trying to give this some thought in advance. The last 5 days or so have helped me on this track.
Daughter Heather arrived home from OU last Wednesday with her big basket of laundry, proudly announcing that she had done no wash since her last visit here (about 6 weeks ago). That night, I decided to start in on her laundry. About 20 minutes after I turned the machine on, I heard David yell "A FLOOD!!!" Now God knows what he'd be yelling if we lived in New Orleans when Katrina hit. I came running into the utility room and yeah, there was a fair amount of water on the floor. The bathroom, which is right off the utility room, also had a fair amount of water, but upon further investigation, we realized the water didn't cross over from one room to another. We discussed if we could we have two separate problems. David said in this house we could have many problems. So we mopped up, the toilet seemed ok, and that was that.
On Thursday, David called me at work to announce that he was doing wash and flushed the toilet and there was water and poop floating everywhere. We discussed who he should call. We decided against the "weird plumber." My sister had recommended the weird plumber a while back. I thought he was pricey and David thought he knew what he was doing, and we both agreed that he was weird. He told us that my nephew, my sister's son, had large poops based on the plumbing he did. I told David I did not want this plumber announcing to anyone the size of our poops. So we agreed to find another plumber. He was successful, and it turned out the toilet had to be pulled out and we had tree roots underneath the toilet. The problem was fixed, for $300+ dollars. Did I mention that I had previously told David we needed to spend less this holiday season?
So the plumber left, and David gave the utility room and the bathroom a thorough cleaning. I thought well maybe this was a blessing in disguise; it's been a very long time since those floors have had a good cleaning.
On Friday at work, the roof over my office started to leak. Brown water started dripping in. I put a bowl on my credenza and was losing my mind with the sound of the drip...drip...drip. When I arrived home from work, my dear 14 year old dog Pepper was sitting in a corner, shaking like crazy. We agreed we would call the vet first thing in the morning. Meanwhile, Pepper started to pee uncontrollably all over the dining room. I mean huge puddles. I'm yelling "HELP!!!" Again, we can't imagine how we would respond in a real emergency. So we moved the dining room table and David gave the floor a thorough mopping.
Saturday I took Pepper to the vet, and a urinary tract infection was diagnosed. She had an x-ray and was given a shot of antibiotics as well as oral antibiotics to take home. It was also discovered she had ringworm, so we got pills for that. The vet wanted to know if she hunts. Hunts? Yeah, she wanders around the house hunting for crumbs. Her time outside is limited to slowly walking to the grass, doing her business, and slowly returning to the house. The bill? $188. It was when I returned home with Pepper that I noticed our kitchen faucet had stopped working correctly. The water would come out, but more was coming out where the faucet is attached to the sink (I am not a technical person). The problem got progressively worse, and eventually, when we turned the water on, it would fly straight up into the air, soaking the drying dishes as well as the person using the faucet.
After a morning of doing laundry, I went upstairs to rest. Poor Pepper couldn't climb the stairs. David decided to be nice and he carried Pepper up the stairs. He put her down on the bed with me and then yelled "OMG, she's peeing." Yeah, I had just finished putting the clean sheets on. The pee went through the quilt, the blanket, the sheets and the mattress cover. I said well I guess I know what I"m doing tonight. We normally don't have terribly exciting plans on Saturday nights, but this was ridiculous.
Sunday we had a group of guys over to play poker. David put a sign on the faucet that said "do not use." I had no idea how hard it is to LIVE without a working faucet. We served bagels for breakfast and switched to paper plates for lunch when we ordered pizzas.
This morning David called the plumber, who came out and fixed the sink. Meanwhile, I was at work and noticed a sudden dripping sound and saw that the leak was in a new spot. So I moved the bowl to the new spot. Then I noticed my hair getting wet - the roof was leaking on my head! So I removed all papers and books that were in the way. People joked about me getting an umbrella installed so that I could continue to work. I commented to a co-worker "I did not need this today" and she responded "well what day WOULD you need this?" And I said just not on a 3 day work week.
I came home and the sink was fixed. David commented that he has never been so happy to have a working sink. And I realized all of the things I have to be thankful for. Being able to wash clothes and flush a toilet without there being a flood. Having a dog that is healing and who does her business outside. And having a sink that works. It's the little things in life that mean a lot.