Published March 12, 2013
"Messed But Blessed"
I was looking forward to my Saturday. It was one of those unstructured days which would begin with going for a walk at the mall with two of my cousins. I was looking forward to catching up with them about what's been going on in their lives.
When Paul had gotten the newspaper that morning, he commented about some water in our yard near the sewer vent. That seemed a bit strange.
Before leaving the house, I used the toilet. It didn't seem to flush quite right. Remembering the puddle, I opened the front door to look at the sewer vent. Water was sprouting out of the vent.
First, it was a call to Paul to ask what to do. Next, a call to the city water and sewer department, with two more calls before I got to someone who could help me. He suggested my sewer line was blocked and I should call a plumber, which I did. However, when Paul arrived home and he saw water coming out of the manhole in the street, I again did some calling and the public sewer manager agreed it sounded like their problem.
The public sewer line was blocked right downhill from our house, so whatever came down the line from uphill (or from us) tried to come out our front-yard vent. Yuck. What followed next was watching them try to open the line, while sewer water backed up into my house in my toilet, sink and bathtub, as well as causing a leak of some water into my basement.
When the public sewer line was opened, cleanup began with the plumber, who snaked the lines from the house to street, and ServPro, who used strong cleaners to kill bacteria and brought in huge dehumidifiers and air purifiers for the basement.
This was not how I expected to spend my Saturday, nor was it how I wanted to spend my Saturday. I sat down to list my blessings.
1. I was at home and caught the blockage early. If it had blocked for a day while I was at work, we would have had a really big mess by evening.
2. I heard water running from the pipes in the basement and could put a large trash can to catch the water before the carpet damage was too great.
3. Our son was home and could help me set the bucket and move other things.
4. Paul saw water coming out the manhole, which was enough reason for the city sewer trucks and men to come to our rescue.
5. The sewer manager, plumber and cleanup crew were courteous and very helpful.
6. My basement got wet in an area (which was probably the one spot in that room that wasn't full of stuff), but we didn't have to walk in waste water. My neighbor across the street has a floor drain and they did walk in waste water.
7. The Lancaster Sewer Management was prompt in coming. When we were ready for them, the plumber and cleanup crew were prompt in coming.
8. Most of the costs will be covered.
9. Our main or lateral from sink to street was snaked, so we should be in good shape for some time to come actually better off than before.
10. I met neighbors I had not met in 20 years when I knocked on their door and suggested they check their basement for any water problems.
When I met the plumber at the front door, I welcomed him into the house. His comment was, "I didn't expect to be greeted with smiles. That is not how people with this problem normally greet me." I hope that was Jesus showing through.
Last Saturday was not a day I would have chosen. But, God protected us from worse damage. We were truly blessed as we went through the storm.
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