Mortal Illness, Entertaining, The Great Flood, and How I Managed to Not Get Electrocuted

(Apologies for the delay in programming: see title for instant explanation.)

I believe where we last left off, I was sick enough to volunteer for the Undead Hotline. Then Shaun got sick.  In another part of the country.  The kids got sick.  Shaun came home and we had a germ exchange program in place. You haven’t had this flu strain?  Oh here, let’s switch. The Three Stooges had nothing on us.  Seriously.

We warned our impending visitors (also family), but they figured it was okay, they’d already had all the strains this year.

I reviewed their itinerary when I got it, a few days before arrival.  Notice they are arriving at Wrong Airport in the town of Far, Far, Away, at midnight. Flurry of phone calls and transportation research.  Luckily, a genius family member (not me) figures out how to get the tickets changed to SFO, which is only two hours away.  Phew.

At this point, Shaun hasn’t entered the virus exchange program, so she can pick them up. Did I mention this fabulous trip to sunny California was a birthday gift to a family member who lives in the land of Eternal Snow?

It’s pouring rain.  Driving rain. Wipers on high, drive-slowly rain. It continues to rain at this intensity for the duration of their stay.  The sun finally whipped out into an insanely clear, blue sky just as I turn the ignition over in the car to take family on the two-hour drive back to the airport on departure day.

With their new best friends. Unfortunately, they were mistaken about which virus strains they’d had.

What better vacation than one that drenches you, infects you, and then sends  you home with individual, industrial-sized boxes of tissues?  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!


We’re a determined bunch. Despite the family propensity for car sickness, we do a driving tour of San Francisco (A few hills, a few turns, what’s the problem?), Highway 1 (a few hills, a few turns, what’s the problem?) and the giant redwood forest (ditto).

In between, we all collapsed in the living room, waited for our green tinges to subside, and watched coverage of the horrific devastation in Japan, where we have (luckily, as safe as one can be there now) relatives.

Did I mention Happy Birthday?

As soon as the terminal doors closed on them, the sky clouded over, and it rained. The ground is fully saturated.  There are mudslide warnings in some areas. I watched as the street drains became overwhelmed, until there was no where for the water to go.

Except…out of the street, across our lawn, and under our house.

This is how I ended up underneath our house, sneezing and coughing, sitting in 4 inches of water, holding an electrical cord in one hand, and a paper booklet of instructions on how to hook up a water pump. In Chinese. (Also, French, Spanish, and Italian.)

  • This is what I can say in:
  • French: you are stupid, and not very nice.
  • Spanish: hey, you want a tamale? Pork, chicken, or cheese?
  • Italian: my mother! Very good. Hello?
  • Chinese: Happy new  year!

I couldn’t find any of these phrases in my  booklet. Therefore, I felt totally incompetent.

I look at the diagrams. Hey! A phrase in English! Petroleum Jelly accompanied by red arrows pointing to a disassembled pump interior.

You have GOT to be kidding me.  I have to take the pump apart, put Vaseline inside, and put it back together to prime it?


Problem.  Two hands, one of which is holding electrical cord.  I toss the instructions onto the water, crawl/slosh out from under the house, unscrew the pump housing, and smear Vaseline inside. Put it all back together.  Hoses are already in place.  All I have to do is hook them up, place the pump, duct tape the bejesus out of the electrical cord to a high pipe, crawl/slosh out, and plug in the extension cord.

It worked!

Until the motor burned out on the pump. The one the hardware store assured us would be able to handle this volume of water.

Back to hardware store.

That was yesterday. Today? Sunny.  Blue sky.  A few scattered puffy white clouds. Spontaneous wading pool removed from foundation, and I’m not electrocuted.

It’s a miracle!

(And I missed you.)


10 thoughts on “Mortal Illness, Entertaining, The Great Flood, and How I Managed to Not Get Electrocuted

  1. My familynseems to visit when we have either worms hanging from trees or 100 degree temperatures. Our two population control techniques.

    Glad you survived the pump fun. Might be time to invest in a French drain.

  2. You know something? My family always insists its had all the flu strains, too. They come out, get sick and I get to hear about how unhealthy the air is and why I should move back home. Next year, I’m just sending them a link to this post to remind them of how could it could be 🙂 Thank you so much for giving me a good giggle for the day!

    1. Whoa. I should appreciate my good luck! No skunk under the house, which would certainly have fit with my Skunk Karma. Maybe…dare I hope…I have finally worked through the skunk karma??

    1. Ah, we have some Hudson for tomorrow! Barbie moves into her hotel, er, I mean birthing stall, on April 1. Appropriate date for that. 😉 Then it’s a waiting game…

      (with repeat checks to make sure all camera/video batteries stay charged!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s