We didn't come nearly as far south as usual on our trip home from Connecticut, because we enjoyed a wonderful visit with my cousin, her husband, and other family members. We hadn't seen each other since my Dad's memorial service in 2002, and only just scratched the surface of reminiscing and catching up. We could have lingered longer over breakfast, but we needed to get going, and anyway, our hosts were dealing with a clogged kitchen sink. It was a great visit, but it meant we were still nearly 850 miles from home. We were thinking of stopping around Savannah, but ... things happened.
The trip began uneventfully, unless you count the good event—the trip from Washington, DC to Richmond has never been so easy. Probably that's because we're usually hitting that stretch in the late afternoon, and this was morning. No traffic problems at all! But we made a gas stop in good old Walterboro, SC, and as we drove away the car door locks began randomly and repeatedly cycling: lock, unlock; lock, unlock. We tried this, we tried that. We searched the Internet, where what we found most useful was learning that other people have had the same problem, though there was no consensus as to a solution. I whined on Facebook, and received some replies that cheered us up, but no practical suggestions. Our own mechanic had gone home for the day.
So we just kept going. Instead of stopping in Savannah, we decided to go straight home, not knowing what might happen if we stopped the car and left it overnight. There were some promising breaks in the lock cycling, but it would come back again. And again. Until finally it didn't.
Although we no longer had our Personal Percussion accompaniment, the I-4 stretch had enough to keep the driver awake: a long construction zone, with no street lights and no lane markers, in the pitch dark and pouring rain. At least the other folks on the road had the sense not to be driving the posted 70 mph speed limit. But we made it to the grocery store, where the car locks behaved normally, for a few staples and some sushi for dinner—as I said, we hadn't wanted to stop the car while far from home.
And then we were home! All seemed well, and we walked over to the neighbors' to pick up our mail. There we discovered that both of them were sick in bed. This is relevant to my tale because of what happened next: Porter went to turn the water to the house back on, and discovered the valve was leaking—and who knows how long it had been. He had the material needed to repack the valve, so instead of enjoying our sushi, he went to work. Normal procedure would have been to borrow from our neighbor both his assistance and the tool needed to turn the water off at the street. But ... (see above). Not without difficulty, Porter managed to make do with me as an assistant and wrenches plus a lot of effort to turn the water off, then on again, then off again when we realized things were still leaking, then on again when the repair was finally complete. Well, almost—we have water, and we've left the finishing touches for a time when, we hope, the "sun comes out and dries up all the rain." So the day that began with plumbing, ended with plumbing.
Oh, and we also replaced the battery in one of our smoke detectors, which was beeping so insistently I could hear it from outside the house.
We may be getting to bed a lot later than we had hoped, but we're home, we're thankful for a wonderful vacation and a safe return, and we trust that daylight will reveal no further problems—our neighbors keep a good eye on things while we are gone—and we finally had a chance to enjoy our sushi. Soon we will be off to bed, after I write one more post....