I would all myself a Feminist. I am all for women’s rights. But there are something things that I would just like to leave up to a man to do. I like being in charge of my house and my family but when it comes to maintenance on the house, I would really like to leave that up to Jeff. I want to play my ‘dumb blond’ card and just let him take care of it.
But sometimes, I have to put my big girl panties on and deal with things myself.
We built our house almost five years ago. We have a nice piece of property sort of out in the country. I say we live in the country because we use propane to heat our house and a septic system to rid our house of waste. Being that I was, well Jeff and I both were, raised in the city, we know very little about these two systems.
We learned the hard, or should I say cold, way one winter that you have to monitor your propane tank for when it is time for a refill. And since that time, I have tried to pay closer attention to the things around the house. So I when I heard that you are suppose to get maintenance on your septic system every 3 to 5 years, I made a phone call and set it up.
The kids were really excited when the big truck pulled up and they wanted to go outside and watch was the man was doing. I hesitantly allowed them but only as far as the porch. Why? Well, I have seen ‘Dirty Jobs’ and if you ask me, a septic tank cleaner is just about as dirty as they come. And I had no idea what to expect. I was pretty sure that the stench that would rise up when the lids were removed would cause us all to pass out. Of course, it didn’t but I didn’t want my fears of a child falling in a tank to come true so near the house, we stayed.
After a few moments of the septic guy pushing a long tool into the tank and me seeing brown sludge spill over, I had had enough. And I was pretty sure that my lunch was not going to stay in my stomach much longer unless I moved. As I corralled the kids into the house, Hayden said in a very loud voice, “Mom, you were right. This is a very dirty job. I don’t want a job like that. Its too yucky.”
I looked up from Hayden to the septic guy and gave him a nervous smile and laugh, “Kids, you never know what they will say.” And with that I pushed the last kid through the door into the house.
Safely inside as I got the kids ready for naps, the doorbell rang. I ran back down stairs to answer it. Septic guy was waiting for me.
“Um, hello. I just came up to tell you that I did a test and your drain field is bad.”
I just stared at him with a goofy look on my face. I knew that he was speaking English but I had no idea what he was talking about.
Septic guy tried again, “See my tool out there, when I put it in the ground water came back at me. That means that your drain field is not working. There may be sewage spilling out into your yard.”
“Oh” was all I could muster.
“Ma’am, this is not good.” he went on. “You could have sewage backing up in your yard and all the germs and bacteria that comes with that. This is a serious problem.”
At this point, I could tell that he was not getting the reaction from me that he wanted. I was trying so hard to understand what he was saying, I really was. So he tried a different approach.
“You need to get this fixed. You can’t let your kids out there to play. I have a little kid and I would not let him any where near that area. Your kids could get really sick.”
Now, I was starting to freak out. All I could see in my head was my yard full of raw sewage and my kids swimming through it in little life rafts. They were having a great time and totally unaware of the dangers. It was just ‘mud to them. But then a more realistic thought came into my head. We have been cooped up in this house all winter and now this man is telling me that I couldn’t let my kids play outside. Good God, he must be crazy.
“What am I suppose to do?” I asked trying to keep my voice from shaking.
He smiled just a little because I think that I finally reacted the way he wanted me too. “Oh don’t worry, I made a referral to our drain field experts. They will call you about putting in a new one. Here is your paper work. And you have a good day.”
And with that he left. Leaving me to freak out about keeping the kids inside on a gorgeous spring day and the raw sewage armageddon that was going to take place in my front yard.
I took some deep, calming breaths, picked up my phone and dialed. I called the one person, I knew that would know what to do. I called a man.
(Long story short, my father in law thinks that this guy was just trying to take us for a ride. We live on clay and of course after a couple days of rain and being that it is spring, there is going to be water coming up form the ground. There is nothing wrong with our septic system. He is sure of it. And he assures me there will be no sewage armageddon.)