Oh Crap, Literally: Counting My Blessings


So it’s not exactly fortune cookie material…

Count your blessings, because in the blink of an eye you could be ankle deep in your own poo!

All right, I admit it wasn’t really ankle deep, but there was definitely poo involved.  It was definitely a crappy thing to have happen!

This past weekend we had a not so welcome gift from the sewage fairy.  Some roots from the tree outside our house got into our sewer line.  Our basement went from 0 to a lovely spread of muck on the floor on one side in a few hours.  I just happened to go downstairs for a loaf of bread and ended up playing a game of stepping stones to get to the freezer.  I more or less had to sit IN the freezer to get the bread out, and I hollered to Evil Genius to come look at the basement.

The next morning we had a quick visit from the city guy who simply said “Yup, you’re backed up.”  This was followed by waiting a few hours for our local Roto-Rooter guy to come out and snake the drain.

Yeah, this tree.  I like this tree...

Yeah, this tree. I like this tree… I’m sad about it.  It’s going to have to come down.

And by the way, he didn’t have to do it once.  Or twice. He had to run it FOUR times.

Lucky us!

Incidentally, I have discovered what the worst smell in the world is.  If you have kids, take their worst diaper or poop accident and multiply the smell by 1000.  That is the smell that will linger after Roto-Rooter has left your house.  I started smelling it about the time he was finished, and then he brought the weird drum shaped device through the upstairs he stopped and showed me the sewage covered tree roots.  I just about threw up, it smelled that bad. And remember, that stuff doesn’t usually bother me.  That means it was really, really bad.

As he often is, Evil Genius was amazing.  He came home from work while I was at my job and cleaned it all up.  By the time I came home my house was transformed from stinky mess to a lovely Lysol smell.  And I like the smell of that particular cleaner, so that’s quite all right.

Confession time:  I have to admit when it happened I went a little nuts.  I worried and I cried.  Because that’s what I do.  Having to shell out a large chunk of change ten days before Christmas when you’re not exactly rolling in the dough makes your wallet hurt.  Add to that fact that I had just had my hair colored for the first time in many years the Friday before. It was my Christmas gift from my husband.  While I loved how it looked and it wasn’t terribly expensive, the guilt of spending that money on myself instead of my kids just about killed me.

Moms do that.  We put our family first.  So it’s a natural mom reaction to feel bad in these situations.  Even though no one was dying and nothing really terrible was going to come of it, I still felt bad.

And I continued to feel bad about it.  I was so preoccupied that I ran into the side of the cart corral at Target.  While the car was fine other than a few scratches in the paint, my already wounded pride was aching.  And then I burst into tears in the store, because here I was surrounded by all of the things I would like to get for my kids, but couldn’t at the moment.  Not that my kids NEED anything, because they have plenty of toys.

So then I felt bad for feeling bad.  After all, we still had a house, food in our kitchen, heat, running water, clothing, and so forth.  Why was I fretting over the fact that we might have to postpone Christmas?  They would be spending time with their extended family and would get gifts from their grandparents the weekend before.

I guess because I don’t want my kids to know just yet that sometimes life just really sucks.

And we’ve had it worse.  Much, much worse. Three years ago we had a flood.  During this flood our sewer system got overwhelmed and backed up.  And kept backing up-all the way up our basement stairs.  It was one of the scariest moments of my life.  My husband was at work and couldn’t leave, and I thought we were going to float right out of our house.  We lost our furnace and thought we’d lost our freezer, which was floating around in the basement.

Weeks later miraculously our freezer came back to life.  And we got a new furnace through a local organization who happened to be helping winterize our house at the time.

I also have to keep in mind that this is the first Christmas in a long time that one of us hasn’t been out of work or in school.  My husband is working a job that while the commute is long and some aspects of it are stressful, he is doing what he loves at a company that is very supportive and truly appreciates him as an employee.  We have good health insurance.  We have great benefits.

So what the hell am I upset about?  Counting my blessings makes even the worst situation seem a lot better.

Speaking of blessings, I want to thank my blogging friends who had kind words to offer me as I was fretting about the whole thing.  It really meant the world just to hear that things will get better!  Sometimes it’s nice just to have someone listen. We don’t need any help, we will be fine!  It’s just another setback in a series of things that are getting better slowly but not quite fast enough to make me happy.  I just have to remember that sometimes it’s one step forward and two steps back!

Oh, and by the way, I’ve got about a thousand crap references saved up since this whole mess started.  I bet you can’t wait!

crapNow before you go away thinking “Sheesh, I thought this lady is supposed to be funny!”  I want you to remember that even the funniest people have unfunny days.  But you can get your laugh on over at Moms Who Write and Blog, where they have a little shindig going on known as Mom For the Holidays!  You can read many great posts (but not ghosts) from Christmases pasts!

And to go right along with that, tomorrow is Fly on the Wall, The Holiday Edition, going live at 10 am EST/9 am CST!

32 thoughts on “Oh Crap, Literally: Counting My Blessings

  1. You’ve described the cycle of mommy guilt. I am not a mommy so I haven’t experienced it, but I’ve seen it happen many times over. Taking a financial hit right before Christmas is hard and sometimes you have to cry–so you can smile later and let your kids know that everything will be alright. What a crappy situation.

  2. HUGS HUGS HUGS!! I have so been there, on both situations.
    We had what I call The Great Basement Flood of ’10. Our sewer pipe broke and the entire basement flooded with crap. It was awful. We called Roto Rooter and had them come out. Then we had to fight with our rental agent to get the money back. Then she kept refusing to actually have the pipe fixed!! We had to move on top of losing everything in our basement. All my baby pictures and a ton of the kids’ baby stuff that I was saving. The washer and dryer. NIGHTMARE!!!
    But we made it through.
    Now we are just past our 3rd move in a year.This will be the 2nd crappy Christmas in a row. BUT we are all together. We are all fine. We can deal.
    Sending more HUGS your way!!!!

    • Oh no Stacy! Aaaaaaaaa! All of the responses from people who have gone through it-I guess you can say we’re bonding through crap. HA HA HA! Thanks for the wishes, and letting me know that I’m not the only one who’s been through this!

  3. It can feel catastrophic when stuff happens, particularly when it involves some kind of damage/intrusion to our home. Even though, rationally, we can put it into perspective it can still feel devastating.

    Wishing you peace for the Christmas period.

    Gary (alias Bryan Jones)

  4. Oh Sarah!!!! What a freaking MESS!!!!!! Everything about this screams MELTDOWN…I surely don’t blame you for having done so!! I mean, poop- sewage, alone in your house? Uh… yeah. Totally worth a good cry! And shelling out money around Christmas time (And really any other time) on SH– is about the lowest low you can go. AMIRIGHT????

    Bless your heart honey!!! Here’s to deep breaths and new starts…. with no poop to speak of. 😉

  5. OH NO! That sucks…..poop. That happened to my in-laws several times and it is just awful! I don’t blame you for having a little freak out! We’re ALL entitled to a freak out! The awesome thing is that once you had your freak out, you found humor and perspective << those 2 things will pull you through any situation! Good for you. (and as a mostly humor blogger, YES, we all have unfunny days! that's what makes our blogs dynamic and have depth) I bet your hair looks beautiful. You deserve it.

  6. Oh Sarah!!! That sucks so bad. I’m sorry you’ve had such a CRAPPY week! UGH! Your hair does look beautiful. Truly really gorgeous. I promise that Christmas will be okay…they won’t remember not having as many gifts, I promise. Sending lots of hugs and love your way!!

  7. That’s terrible!! I’ve had my basement flood, but it’s never backed up. I can’t imagine how difficult that was to deal with. I’m sending good thoughts your way for a wonderful Christmas. I’d hate to be the Roto-rooter guy who deals with situations like this for a living.

  8. I love your crap references but I HATE that you had to go through this–especially right before Christmas. Don’t stress so much about the gifts–your kids will understand. They are so young, they won’t look back on this as being a “slim” Christmas—they will laugh when they’re older and say stuff like, “Remember that time we had poop floating around in the basement?” I promise you the poop will make a far bigger (and funnier)impression on them than any toy could.

  9. Awwwww…I am sending a big bear hug your way. My car broke down last week, and I was whining about it nixing some of our travel plans. But, I do have so much to be thankful for; thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    • I thought I saw something about that-I am such a crappy blogging friend these days, obviously in more ways than one. See what I did there? I hope your car issues disappear soon-it seems that you’ve really been plagued with that this year! XO!

  10. Oh boy Sarah, this sucks. I know how you feel for sure. We’re blessed for sure, but we do live paycheck to paycheck and these unexpected financial obligations are a real kick in the nuts. That it happened right before Christmas just makes it suck even more. Your kids are so sweet, it’ll work out ok I’m sure.

    • I just keep thinking that man, we should be getting to the point where we’re getting ahead now that I’m working. HA! Not! From what I understand, we are far from being alone these days.

  11. I so empathize with what you’re going through. I just went through my own little plumbing experience, although I admit that it wasn’t as bad as yours. But I can definitely say that I know what you’re talking about when you say it smells like s*&%. Nothing worse to have something like that happen and right before Christmas. It can only get better.

  12. Well, that sounds like a crappy experience! We all have our meltdown days, and this stuff always happens during the worst times. I’m sure all will be ok in the end. Just try and enjoy the holidays.

  13. Let me pull my head out of my own self pity part for a moment to tell you this is really shitty.

    It sucks and it happened to a really great person. But . . . I hear things are looking up for you now 😉

    K, back to hating Christmas in my hole.

  14. These things always happen at Christmas, don’t they? My washing machine gave up the ghost this week, in the middle of a wash, and I had to lug the whole dripping soapy mess round to my neighbour’s to finish it off.
    Thank God these setbacks are only temporary!

  15. Pingback: Deck the Halls With Lots of Vomit, Fa La La La La… | The Sadder But Wiser Girl

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