Welcome! and btw, please don’t flush…

Jan 16, 2023 | 7 comments

The Skamokawa Swamp Opera:      Andrew Emlen, Kyleen Austin, Wren Hendricks, Erik Friend

In my mind, it was only twenty minutes until the musicians and thirty guests were scheduled to arrive for yesterday’s House Concert.  But it may have been more like ten miutes… or forty.  No matter.  Plumbers don’t work on Sunday and, suddenly, there was a massive leak under the house.

Andrew Emlen

I heard a strange noise behind a bookcase in the East Room.  Whooooosh.  Faint but steady.  Almost like fire.  Or water.  No outward evidence of anything amiss.  I called and asked if Tucker could come listen.  We were both mystified but Tucker finally decided it was water and asked f or a flashlight and the location of the closest access to the crawl space under the house.

It was only a minute or two before he confirmed:  Big puddle under the East Room; insulation hanging down; leaking pipe.  Quick as a wink, I pulled the plug to our pump:  no pump: no water pressure: no water… period.  No cool sips for thirsty singers, no hand-washing before or after our pot-luck meal, and most worrisome… no flushing.

Erik Friend

I left multiple messages for the plumber.  (Fingers crossed for a response today.)  Thank goodness for the stash of bottled water in the pantry; I  placed several bottles in each of the crucial places.  Carol brought over packets of alcohol wipes and… ready, set, go!

When everyone was seated, my “welcome-to-our-house-concert” included the news.  The response was as you would expect from folks used to power outages and iffy rural water companies — smiles and sympathy.  And more than a few nodded sagely and murmured “Mrs. Crouch.” I surely hope they weren’t right about that.  There are way too many possibilities for ghostly mischief in this old 154-year-old house.

The Skamokawa Swamp Opera, January 15, 2023

But whatever worries any of us had disappeared with the  Skamokawa Swamp Opera’s very first song — “Sheriff’s Report in the Wahkiakum Eagle.”  Immediately, our adventures in country living — broken pipes and all — were put in familiar perspective.   And for those of us who turn first to the “Dispatch Reports” in our own Chinook Observer.” we felt a kinship with the band right from the get-go!  You were fabulous as always, Andrew, Kyleen, Wren, and Erik!   Thank you!

 

7 Comments

  1. mary garvey

    darn. i missed them. Is there a mailing list I should be on? mg

    Reply
    • sydney

      Mary you are already on my House Concert List. I send you every invitation. AWre you not getting them?
      Sydney

      Reply
  2. Robert O Gwinn

    Sometimes I wish we lived there. The concert sounds like great fun. The water leak, not so much. I don’t think Mrs. Crouch would have done such a thing but maybe JC would have.

    Thanks for sharing and hoping for a follow up when the leak is fixed.

    Reply
    • sydney

      Thanks, Suzanne! I LOVE it! I wonder if my kinds in the metro areas of CA will like it as much as we do…
      Sydney

      Reply
  3. Linda Johnson

    Oh dear! Was that a “first” for all the house concerts you’ve put on? That is, the first time you held one when the water was off? The show must go on!

    Reply
    • sydney

      Yes, I think it was the first time for “no water.” But back when we were one “city water” (and not our own well, as now) the power went out early the morning of the concert. I remember that one of the invitees came to the door and asked what we were going to do about the potluck part, especially if lots of people were counting on bring hot foods or dishes that needed to be warmed just before we ate. Nyel had his answer ready: “I’m doing our lasagna in the Weber Grill.” The man, beamed! “Brilliant idea! We can manage that, too.” And so we had a concert and dinner by candlelight without missing a beat!

      Reply

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