Leaking away

June 27th, 2007

The sound you hear is the sound of my level head drip, drip, dripping away. It has puddled in a spreading pool on the patio. It is seeping up from underneath the parquet floor. It has muddled into the unmistakable morass of a household catastrophe. It shouts SLAB LEAK.

Two little words, and with it, walls crumble.

For those of you with the incredible good fortune to have a life other than mine, this means that when the house was built, they put galvanized steel plumbing pipes into the concrete foundation. A good recipe for ruining my day sixty years later.

I am staring into the undernethers of a total household re-plumbing job, and I am doing it alone.

It started months ago as an inch-wide water stain in the corner of the dining room. No big deal. I moved the furniture to cover it up. No big deal. Then it spread into a creeping shape the size of Afghanistan. No big deal. Then it started to seep out from the foundation and lounge all day and night in a wet spot on the patio. No big deal. Then the plumber came and told me to sell my firstborn. No big deal. Then he said it would take five days to fix and wouldn’t include repairing the gashes in the walls or bathroom tile. No big deal. Then I remembered relatives are coming to visit next week.

No big deal, my husband says. It can wait. He says this from a secured, undisclosed, undisturbed location out of town. The relatives coming are his.

The sound you hear is the sound of my dying hope of rescue, my fleeting wish for a different ending, my sweet dream of salvation, leaking away. I’m calling the plumber and getting started today.


  1. all i can say is, AARRGGHH! i’m so not in a rush to be a home owner again.

    sending you un-leaky thoughts,

    Comment by Wendy — June 27, 2007 @ 5:45 pm

  2. Joko Beck wrote about how it is necessary for practice to flourish to have all your hopes die. I’m sure life provides everyone with this opportunity, but kids and old houses make it so obvious that hope must go.

    In our household experience, delaying a response to leaks is always followed by negative consequences 🙂

    Comment by Chris Austin-Lane — June 27, 2007 @ 9:40 pm

  3. Ouch! May you and your family find ease in the middle of great leakage.


    Comment by Leah — June 28, 2007 @ 4:29 am

  4. What a coincidence. This morning, while attempting to sweep cobwebs off my daughter’s popcorn-covered (and probably asbestos-filled) ceiling, I discovered a wet spot. So much for the 50-year guarantee on the new roof…

    Comment by Patty Ann — June 29, 2007 @ 7:13 pm

  5. Aw, houses. Aren’t they fun? We’ve been painting, painting and more painting for five days straight, hoping this old beauty will start shining again. I hope your water pipes get the uplift they need with little suffering on your part.

    Comment by Shawn — July 1, 2007 @ 10:54 pm

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