Ghosts and Plumbers

A few of you have asked me about my plumber reference last week.  I mentioned that it wasn’t a pretty story and therefore I would not be sharing it. Well, I have since had a change of heart. You see, my blogs are my inner thoughts. That means, just like me, each written blog will be a bit of happy, sad, funny, ironic, baffling, ugly, innocent, frustrating, sarcastic and all honest!  So then why shouldn’t I blog about my plumbing problems?

This really got me thinking.  As you are well aware, blogging is a new thing for me.  I have been writing all my life but with a particular audience in mind.  I knew their age, grade and reading level.  Many of you however are a mystery to me.  Unless you comment, like, share, personal message, email, re-tweet, call, see me on the street, at the gym or grocery store… I have no idea who you really are.  Not sure of what is appropriate to write about or not and have to trust you will make that “call.” My daughter tells me these are ghost readers. 

Now about the only thing I know about ghosts are a handsome Patrick Swayze, Casper the Friendly Ghost and the time I thought we had a ghost in the basement of our home in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  That turned out to be nothing more than the hot water heater turning on after my son took his shower at night!

With that out of the way, back to my plumbing story. The very home I adore has a septic system. For you city folk, this means there is a very large box under our property that collects all that drains from our home pipes.  Laundry, sinks, bathtubs and yes, the toilets! When it works, you don’t even know it’s there. When it doesn’t, well . . . 

It started with the basement toilet and shower floor not draining properly.  We unscrewed the drain cover and pulled out all the hair. Ugh. Next the toilet would not flush properly. So we took off the toilet and snaked it. Oh and by the way, this was such a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. What happened next we were not prepared for. All that was draining out of our home was actually filling up the basement shower floor. As I said there is nothing pretty about this story. The septic tank company arrived the following morning, which was conveniently one of the coldest and snowiest days of the winter. They spent all morning trying to locate our septic tank since of course we had not a clue where it was under all that snow! Four hours later as they were leaving they instructed me to call a plumbing service since we still had no indoor plumbing! Next, arrived the cockiest and kindest plumber. He strode into our home like Clint Eastwood, and said he would have it fixed by the time he left and HE DID just that. 

While he was writing out the bill, we discussed proper cleaning formulas, the science of the septic system, the importance of using single-ply toilet paper and what NOT to put down all drains. We also spoke about life. Yes life. Once someone cleans out your clogged pipes and such you sort of don’t have any more secrets! We talked about the chickens he raises and how we both share a love for coffee.

When he made an emergency call just two weeks later for the very same problem I made a fresh pot of coffee. He arrived with fresh eggs from his chickens in one hand and his tools in the other. After he unclogged our drain he thought I should see the culprits. 

No worries, I am not sharing those details with you, but suffice to say that was the moment I decided a sign in every single bathroom would be better than having that awkward conversation with each guest. You catch my drift? For those guests that plan on smuggling in that plush two-ply toilet paper that we miss so much, we search and confiscate here at the Stoutland Inn.

Moral: You will find friends in the most unusual places if you keep your eyes and heart open!


Your friend,


*A little thing I need: If you, including my friendly ghost readers, have any suggestions that might help this city gal living in the country, please share them with me.  My home, our septic system and I can use all the tips we can get!