Years ago I had problems with my septic system. If you’ve ever had this kind of problem, you know what kind of problem it can be.
I lived on my old farmhouse in the middle of the woods and had no idea where the sewage was going until it suddenly went nowhere. That’s when I called the septic tank guy.
The house (and probably the septic tank) was 100 years old, and I had never had the opportunity to be too curious about where the septic tank was or exactly how it worked, until it was not the case.
The guy in the pit located the tank and then made what I thought was a shocking comment. “There’s another one here somewhere,” he announced, and walked into the woods, looking for another septic tank cover.
“Are there two septic tanks?” I asked, confused.
“At least!” he said.
âIsn’t that unusual? “
“Not at all! I saw up to five!
“Five septic tanks? “
“Yep” The septic guy was rummaging through the brush now like a hunter stalking his prey. He smiles broadly. âThe septic system is always an adventure! he said.
Honestly, I never thought of it that way.
Yesterday we had a somewhat similar situation under our feet. Fortunately, this did not concern the sewage, but only the soil, which was getting worse every day.
The humidity got the better of the inexpensive engineered wood flooring installed by the guy who turned the condo upside down before he sold it to us. The damage started out as a loop in the hallway, has spread to a few ripples in the kitchen, and now weaves its way through the living room like furrows in a freshly plowed field. My husband, Peter, had it.
âI don’t even like the color! He said looking at the rippling black landscape. “I think we should tear it up!” “
And so yesterday a nice parquet floorer named Hayden came to visit us. Hayden did what I thought was appropriate when he saw the ridges stretching the length of our floor.
“What’s underneath?” Hayden wanted to know. Like my old septic tank, it never occurred to me to investigate.
“Tear it!” Pierre told him. “We’re getting rid of it anyway. Hayden grabbed a piece of engineered wood and pulled.
“Parquet,” said Hayden.
“Sorry?” I didn’t know what Hayden was saying, but it sure couldn’t be “parquet”.
âThere’s parquet underneath,â Hayden said, pulling out another plank so we could see. “And it looks like it’s in pretty good shape except for the paint they poured on it.”
Peter and I gazed at the beautiful oak parquet hidden under the terrible undulating parquet. So now Hayden is going to fix up the floors we didn’t know we had.
That night I spoke to Vern, the guy at the front desk. He remembers Elizabeth, who owned our condo from the year it was built until her death last year. He was a character and a bit of a hoarder, but apparently a wonderful person. “I bet she threw carpet on that floor and forgot everything!” Vern said.
Today I’m grateful Elizabeth never had time to remodel, grateful the pinball machine was too lazy to remove the old flooring before installing the new one, grateful that Peter is quite sick of the growing bumps to do something about them. I keep going back to the hole Hayden dug in the ground and look at that cute wooden floor hidden just below the surface all this time.
There are adventures everywhere, and not just in the field of septic tanks.
Till next time,
Carrie Classon’s memoir is called “Blue Yarn”. Learn more at CarrieClasson.com.