Disaster Number Three


They say trouble comes in threes. First, the furnace. Second, my car. Third–water.

And I don’t mean what is today on the national news about West Virginia water. There is, in fact, a state of emergency in West Virginia in nine counties because of chemical contamination in the supply of a major water company. I do have public water to the house and the studio (because of health department approval), but the water company involved in the chemical contamination is not my water company. I also do have well water at the barn, so my animals don’t use the public water and I can get well water at the barn in an emergency. Many people don’t have the option of their own water supply, so I am fortunate. Stores in Charleston are running out of bottled water. Restaurants and schools are closed. It’s an incredible, horrible situation.

I have a completely different sort of water problem–broken pipes. Since I had my pipes redone, I’ve had very few issues with pipes breaking, but there are a few places where the old PVC pipes remain and of course that is where I had the breaks. Two breaks. The sub-zero temps really put them to the test. The breaks became evident at different times (apparently, thawing at different rates due to location), so no sooner had my neighbor fixed one than the next one showed its ugly head. The first break was fixed yesterday afternoon. The second one will be fixed today. I haven’t had water at the house since yesterday and have been dealing with the various inconveniences associated with that plus running for plumbing parts, holding a light for my neighbor while he’s fixing the pipes, etc.

My neighbor is a wonderful person who probably wishes I would either move away or get married.

And if trouble really does come in threes, the water disaster should be the end of disaster for awhile. Right? RIGHT? Because I’m just plum worn out.

P.S. That’s Ross’s ATV in the picture, which was finally delivered over here yesterday in time for Ross to come back from sea and enjoy it!


  1. Joell says:

    You truly have a very special neighbor–he is gold, they are few and far between today. We have a friend that has been like family for the past 50 plus years, he is always there to help folks that are in need, there is a special place in heaven for these guys.

  2. tractor57 says:

    Good neighbors are like gold.
    I’ve had my own water issue – not as bad as yours and limited to the hot water supply to my tub – totally my fault as I did not drip that faucet although I did drip the sink in that bathroom. The upshot here is I didn’t have hot water to the tub for a couple days until things thawed. Luckily no burst pipes (score one for having my plumber replace all the piping here when we remodeled about 20 years ago (time does fly). That plumber is now retired and 90+ (doing well) and has some great, great grandchildren. Gotta find me another midget plumber to be able to crawl under the house here.

  3. mamajhk says:

    I thought about you and everyone else on here who lives in WV when I heard that on the news. I agree that neighbors are gold and we have been fortunate to have had several in our live in the last 45 years.

  4. Pat says:

    So glad to hear you are not involved in the water crisis in WV. When I heard that on the news, I immediately thought of you. I’m also so sorry for those affected. We did without county water for a week after a hurricane 2 years ago. (No water + no power + no phone = a very cranky husband who didn’t grown up in the country like his wife.) Your water system is somewhat an albatross for you. Thank goodness for your nice neighbor; I know you would do the same for him and his wife if you could. Our next door neighbors are like family, and we work to get through all kinds of messes together. True friends are golden.

    I also believe in the “threes rule,” so you’ve gotten your disasters out the way by mid-January, and now it’s going to be smooth sailing for the rest of the year! Don’t you feel better now, knowing that you are ahead of the rest of us?

    Hope you have a good (uneventful) weekend.
    From Eastern NC

  5. Lois says:

    Learned after having to deal with water breaks all over my house that if I needed 1 fitting, I’d buy several more for spares. Same with water line. Need one? Get more! I’m pretty well stocked at my house. I moved in with my daughter the next town over last year and just shut off the water to my house so I don’t have to worry about it. Three freezes so far this year, 3 breaks in this older house. Kicker is – all these pipes are galvanized, not PVC. So much for having spares! I love ‘tractor57’s’ comment about midget plumber! They’d make a fortune, wouldn’t they? LOL!

  6. bonita says:

    Yep, freeze and thaw sure does a number on water pipes. Sooo glad you have a willing and handy neighbor. That info should always be part of the real estate ad!
    I’m out of water AND isolated from any car/foot traffic–water mains in the street have cracked/broken. Street (not yet plowed from foot-deep snowfall) flooded and froze in below zero temps. Found out this pm that the mains (1 over 100 yrs old, one 3 yrs old) are broken/separated in three locations! At least it’s warmer–although still below freezing)–so the workers can get some repairs done.

  7. abrusco says:

    I just found your blog while reading my country woman magazine. I live over in frederick, md and like you we have a small farm and our pipes broke on Wednesday and flooded our house. Although still live able for the most part it will be a long road to being back to normal again. And like you I am thankful for my helpful neighbor who came to shut off the water until my husband got home…as I hadn’t idea how to do that!!

  8. SharonFromMichigan says:

    OMG! I feel so bad for you. You are truly rising to the occasion and seem to be handling things as they come. We just got done digging out from the 1 foot plus snow and horrible cold weather. Every time something goes wrong here (the freeze thaw thing is just beginning here) I keep thinking of that song that says What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger. I really feel that there is some merit in that saying. I will be keeping you and your family and friends and golden neighbors in my prayers. :hug:

  9. holstein woman says:

    Its really hard to read all the things that go wrong on your farm. My heart really goes out to you. I know you will bake or something for your GREAT neighbor. They are far and few between. We had a triple day yesterday and I don’t want anymore period. Car broke down 3 times and we never did get home in time to feed before dark. Needless to say I was out EARLY this morning to feed. BLESS YOU.

  10. Dana says:

    We are also having a horrible winter up here just across the border in Canada. From none stop snow to a few ice storms and people with no power for a few days before Christmas in -25. And with the wind chill warnings it’s -30. Have been very trapped. The chickens water kept freezing even with a heat lamp :(. But they are still laying. We have had two frozen eggs! Our duck Christine is even laying. Very sorry to hear of this terrible water contamination disaster! It is always a shock to hear something like that can even happen….good luck with your pipes! Give the neighbor lots of cookies!

  11. native daughter says:

    :no: It just burns me up knowing what has happened to our beautiful state of WV and all those affected by the chemical spill in our mighty Elk River. I pray they can clean this MESS up.

  12. DeniseS says:

    I did not see the news on the W.V. water disaster till the afternoon. I immediately checked C.I.T.R. to see if you knew. Others who had seen the news earlier in the day had already commented, so I realized you were alerted to the problem. Winter always seems to be the time when, if there are problems, they show up whether it’s cars, plumbing or roofs.

  13. whaledancer says:

    Whew! It’s been just one darned thing after another at your place lately. Hopefully, you’re due for a break for a while. Time to start thinking of something extra special to bake for your neighbor. A 7 layer cake? Or maybe creampuffs. Or maybe have the whole family to dinner.

    Now that your water’s back running, would you be able to help out providing water to those who have lost theirs? That would be a cool way to pay it forward.

  14. Flowerpower says:

    First thing I thought of when they mentioned the water disaster was you and would you be affected. A very bad situation and it seems you are in the middle of one yourself all ready. It froze many things here in Tenn and I heard that the local hardware and lumber co ran out of plumbing pipes. That should speak volumes. Nothing burst here mainly because the pipes are under the house with the central air ducts. I have a wonderful neighbors too and don’t know what I would do without them. I hope your 3’s are over with for a long time! :happyflower:

  15. joykenn says:

    What is with the weather lately? We had a high, A HIGH OF -17 in Chicago and it continued below zero weather. With the winds we’re not too surprised if the wind chill was low but this was preceded by heavy snows and lasted two days. Everyone jokes about the horrible winters in Chicago but really, this was bad.

    But, With incredible luck AFTER it started warming up we headed for Florida. I don’t think my body is ready for a 90 degree temperature change. Such a shock. Worried about pipes and furnaces but our son reports all is well at home. Wish I didn’t have to go home from vacation until at least March….though we do have snowstorms and blizzards in March.

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