Doug in a Ditch I Dug, & Diane

Just when I thought everything was going perfectly, I discovered there was a leak in our water line between the new meter that was installed, and the house. I notified the water department asking them to please visit and convince me that installing the new meter wasn’t the reason for the leak. They come up and we had a nice conversation during which they proved to my satisfaction that there were no leaks at the meter. That was disappointing news because it meant I would have to dig around in the yard to find the problem area. A daunting task. I had visions of holes all over the place and the trouble I’d be in if that actually happened.

So, I decided to dig down to the input pipe next to the house hoping I wouldn’t have to dig up the year at all. Grabbing a shovel I got to work. The input into the house is through the basement foundation about 3 feet below ground level. To get there required that I hack my way through the root structure of some really old rhododendron bushes that I dismantled a couple of years ago. Finding the water line may result in the demise of one or more, but that’s OK. I never liked them anyway. Then again, I’ve also discovered that it’s really hard to kill one of those things so they may be just fine.

At the level predicted, I encountered the old water line that was installed, I’m sure, when the house was built in 1957, a good year for Chevys. The 58-year-old pipe I found was very rusty and appeared to be a serious candidate for springing a major leak. Fearing the worst, I sprang to my feet and rushed to ACE Hardware to get the parts I needed to correct this potentially expensive situation.

Upon my return I went to the basement to shut off the water to the house. Normally the whole house cutout valve is located outside the home, but not here. It’s located just above the basement work bench. Then I killed the water on the city side of the meter so I could disconnect the house side from the meter. By adding one crafty attachment to the house side, I was able to attach my new water line hose. At the house, I connected the other end of the hose to the outside spigot that’s conveniently located almost directly above the input water line. Going back to the house cut out valve that’s inside the house, you may wonder why I turned it off. Well, as it turns out, that cut out valve is located below the outside spigot so by connecting the new water line house to the spigot turned the spigot into the house supply point. Here’s what I wound up with.


I figured my task was done. I bypassed the rusty old pipe, got water flowing into the house again, and when everything was turned off, the meter didn’t spin like it did before. Then I suddenly remember that I was married and that there was no way having the hose strung across was going to be a good thing. I called my lawyer and was able to negotiate a deal that would allow the hose to stay in place temporarily while I dug a proper ditch that would allow me to install a proper water line. The only driving factor for completion is the weather … considering the hose is above ground, freezing temperatures could prove to be problematic.

About this time my friend Doug called and offered to lend his considerable talents to help me resolve this problem. Actually, he called before and was the one who suggested the temporary hose solution. I cannot deny him that success because it was an awesome suggestion. So awesome, in fact, that it could easily be a permanent solution in a warmer climate.

This morning Doug arrived at 0900 to assist me with a proper ditch into which we can stuff a new direct line to the house. We began by laying out a huge tarp onto which we laid the sod we removed from the path we chose from the meter to the house. Then it was time to begin the ditch. Doug chose to work in the ditch I’d already dug next to the house, hence the title to this little ditty. I started digging deep at the meter, piling the excavated dirt onto the aforementioned tarp. As we worked in our respective ditches it occurred to me that we represented over 140 years of life experience in the course of our tasks. I pointed this out to Doug and we both concurred that it was time to take a break. It was time for lunch anyway, so we went in to eat soup with Diane.

The afternoon stretch, after lunch, found us moving a bit slower and taking breaks more often to chat. Soon we were chatting more than working so figured it was time to call it a day, which we did. We were dirty and our boots were caked with mud so it took a little bit of time for us to make ourselves presentable enough to administer a proper adios to each agreeing to reconvene another day that is yet to be determined. Doug commented to Diane that he was afraid I’d go to work on it without him and thereby take all the credit for the big finish. I wouldn’t do that. You know that, right?

After I scraped myself clean, then took a shower, putting the temporary waterline hose to the test, I relaxed for a bit and watched the New England Patriots beat the Baltimore Ravens. Then I made us BLTs for supper and we watched the Seattle Seahawks take out the Carolina Panthers. When that was over we switched channels to watch the Portland Blazers play the Orlando Magic. As I rattle this keyboard, there are 33.5 seconds remaining and the Blazers are up by 7 points. In order to maintain their winning ways when they are ahead after three-quarters, they must maintain until the bitter end. Now there are 9.8 seconds remaining and it’s 103-92 Blazers and that’s where it ended.

Now, about Diane. She’s been battling terminal bronchitis for two weeks now and it pains me that there’s nothing I can do for her. She’s on antibiotics and they are helping, but not quickly enough for either of us. She gets exhausted coughing and watching her do that just wears me out. Please pray for her recovery so I won’t get so tired.


One thought on “Doug in a Ditch I Dug, & Diane

  1. Diane is my prayers. Pls pray for me that my cough of a week is not bronchitis. If not better tomorrow morning I will go to urgent care. Vie

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