Thursday, June 28, 2012

Compassion--Don't ask. Just DON'T ASK!

My phone rang the familiar Stuck on You ringtone. I knew it was hubby on the other end and I knew what his first words to me would be. "What'r ya doin'?" He has asked me that question every time he has called me for over thirty years. He is so dependable. I love that man. But sometimes, when he asks me that question, I want to tell him, "Don't ask. Just DON'T ASK!"

At first I thought about making up some good story, but I try to make it a practice not to lie to the man I love, and I knew I'd have to come clean about my activity eventually. So, "I'm sitting down resting."

No big deal, right? But then I had to explain why I needed to sit down and rest. Ohhh, I did not want to do that!

It really all started the night before when I took one of those ease your pain PM pills. I slept like a dead log and even overslept a few minutes. A text message got me out of bed and I jumped into the day full steam ahead.
Well, not really. I kind of stumbled into the day with a head full of furry cobwebs. You see, when I packed all my junk back into the camper (those are details I haven't mention here in my blog that I may have to do as a flash-back post) I packed the coffee beans, the grinder, and the white mocha creamer, but failed to put in the french press. Consequently, all day long I fought the effects of the little blue pill that made me rest so well the night before. So what happened later was not my fault. Really. Sort of...not...anyway...

When you live in an RV you have this thing called a holding tank. We've got three of them in our rig. One catches the water drained from the kitchen sink. One catches the water from the shower and bathroom sink. These two are called gray water tanks. And the third tank catches the water from the toilet and is known as the black water tank. (ewww) I don't want to get too boring technical here, but just so you will understand--we leave the valves on the two gray water tanks open all the time we are camped so they consistently drain into the campground sewer system. We allow the black water tank to hold the...well...the...STUFF...until it gets pretty full, then we empty it by pulling a little handle thingy which opens a valve. Then SWOOSH, most of the STUFF goes down a big hose and into the sewer system. Some STUFF will lag behind and has to be rinsed out. No big deal. There's a little dohicky where you attach a garden hose, and when you turn on the water, it runs into the tank.

The procedure goes like this: Attach hose to the dohicky. Open valve. STUFF starts to drain. Turn on water faucet, wait for STUFF draining from tank to...well...look less like STUFF and more like light brown water. (There's a section of the drain hose that is clear so you can see without smelling. Pretty cool.) Close valve and allow water to continue to fill holding tank until you hear a squeely noise (air being pushed up around the seal in the toilet) that lets you know the tank is full. This usually takes a while, especially when you are staying at a place where the water pressure is low. You can do other things while you wait like fold clothes, sweep the floor, talk on the phone, look at cool stuff on Pinterest, read blogs, etc. When you hear the squeely noise, DASH back outside, (try not to fall down the steps in your haste or whack your head on the bedroom slide as you run round the corner) open the valve, SWOOSH, turn off water, wait for tank to finish draining, close valve, remove hose from dohicky, and you're done.

It's a simple routine that works well. Pretty well...except when...

Hey! Is it MY fault that the water pressure was SO low that it took the tank SO long to fill that I totally forgot about it? And it really wasn't MY fault that my head was full of fuzzy cobwebs because I had taken a pill and hadn't had any coffee for a whole WEEK so it was easy to forget that I had left water running! And it sure wasn't my fault that this one time, for reasons unknown, the toilet didn't make it's usual squeely noise when the tank got full! Maybe I shouldn't have been so focused on folding clothes and sweeping floors (that part about reading blogs, talking on the phone, and checking out Pinterest was just examples of what one COULD do, if she wanted to, while she waited) that I didn't recognize the sound of water splashing from the toilet rim to the floor at the very first drop, but I was trying to do a good job! Okay?

After my guardian angel pulled some fuzzy web out of my ear and I realized what the splashing noise was, I rushed to the bathroom and found the toilet trying to imitate the falls of the great Niagara. The water pressure had miraculously increase several gallons per minute. That black water tank was clean now!

I'm sorry I didn't take pictures for you to see. It was something to behold!

Back to why I needed to sit down to rest. When the toilet overflows, its contents makes its way into the heater duct work and through slight openings in the floor around the plumbing and into the "basement" of the RV. The basement is full of things like lawn chairs, fishing waders, bird feeders, you name it. Emptying all that out and cleaning up the flood made me tired. Very hot and tired.

Empty out, vacuum out,...
and let the hot wind blow through!

After I explained why I was sitting and resting, hubby was silent for a moment. Then, "So I guess I'll have to replace the floor in the bathroom when we get home."

I was silent for a briefer moment, then I started trying to break the world's record for how many times a woman can apologize for a single offense.

Hubby seemed less upset with me than I thought he should be, especially since he was sitting outside in 102 degree temperature waiting for a tow truck to come get his broken down pickup. When he got home that evening, he remarked, "The time I did that, water came out the vent pipe on the roof."

Did I tell you how much I love that man? He didn't tell me it was all okay, (I kind of wish he would have) but he didn't yell or scold me either. He had clemency for me. Though he didn't know it, and he might not have meant to, or maybe he did, he reminded me why sometimes we have trials, bad days, and tough times.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
May we remember to show compassion and comfort with the comfort we have received.


Deanna said...

The time Randy did it was a little different situation...and we discovered (by accident) that our bathroom lavatories actually drain to the black water tank. He was trying to fill the fresh water tank...but maybe he had taken a little blue pill the night before, I don't know...anyway, he mistakenly began filling the black water tank. He too must have gotten busy...ummm, not sure he was folding clothes or sweeping, tho he does sweep sometimes...probably reading Fox news on his laptop. Anyway our first clue was the gurgle coming from the bathroom. I went to check, and suspicious light brown water was coming up into both lavatories. OH NO! Randy ran outside, I just kept screaming HURRY!...hoping it wouldn't overflow. Thankfully, it didn't. I put on disposable rubber gloves and filled the lavatories full of crumpled paper towels to absorb it, and Randy scooped it out into garbage bags. The only problem then was that Randy also scooped out our little stoppers and I then had to dig through those garbage bags to find them. YUCK! Then I disinfected everything and we were back in business. I'll bet most RV'ers have a similar story, you think?

Talkin' Texan said...

Ha Ha! Thanks for sharing your story Deanna. Makes me feel a whole lot better. :)

Heather said...

Oh my goodness! What a day you had! You deserved that rest! Aren't you glad that most days don't involve predicaments like this? I am always so grateful that those sorts of events are few and far between. You have a very kind husband. Thank you for the kind comments on my blog. I'm glad I found yours.

Talkin' Texan said...

Thanks for stopping by Heather.
Yes I do have a kind husband. :) Yes I'm glad every day is not like that day, but those days keep life from getting too dull. And anytime I can be reminded of God's presence in my life, it's a good day.

Idaho Frank said...

I absolutely loved your post! You have quite a talent for writing.

Lavonda Pflug said...

Thank you very much, Frank! And thanks for coming over to visit here. My pen has been silent for quite a while, but your comment encourages me to consider a new attempt at putting words on the page again. :-)

Lavonda Pflug said...

Thank you very much, Frank! And thanks for coming over to visit here. My pen has been silent for quite a while, but your comment encourages me to consider a new attempt at putting words on the page again. :-)