Angels in Charge of Maintenance

What happens if you add this:


to this? :


Did you guess this?:


Yah, I did too!  She moved in on Tuesday.

Angel and I set up an agreement.  She’s to look after maintenance in lieu of paying rent.

So why did water hell broke loose after her arrival?:

  • The toilet kept running continuously

  • The Hot Water Tank burst

  • The Septic Tank was and is missing

  • The main water line lies where the Septic Tank is supposed to be.

What’s going on?  Instead of living contemplatively with a piece of beauty adorning life, my focus, intent and view turned to this:


Hole, holes, holes. Where’s the ruddy septic tank? Oops! That’s the water line!

Three holes (covered by white “lids”) dug 3 feet deep and still no Septic Tank.  We know it’s here, a previous owner had the camera device confirm the location.  But which way was it installed – lengthways or not?  Where’s the tank’s lid?  Is it too much trouble for installers to draw a scaled diagram for the homeowner(s)?  Is it too difficult to put a structure over the lid that would allow access so the tank could be pumped easily?

I had appointments with two people.  A digger was to come to find the elusive Septic Tank.  After 3 days with no hot water, a plumber was coming to install a new hot water tank.  Both were only available on Thursday.  Could the digging be finished by noon – before the plumber comes?   Could I bathe by early evening in the silent presence of a fixed toilet.

Thursday arrived.  After a few hours of shovelling, I heard the digger talking to himself.  It persisted.  I looked out the window to find a panic stricken face mouthing, “Where is your water turn-off valve?”  I went out to discover a less elaborate rendition of the Tivoli Fountain starting in my back yard.  He had accidentally found the main water line buried where the tank ought to be.  He cracked the line open with his shovel.

Gobsmacked with fear, I calmly called the water company.  The Waterworks man was nearby and came within minutes to shut off the water – using THE special tool that the public is not allowed to possess.  Hmmmm…

With the fountain stopped, my diligent digger cleaned out the 3-foot-deep hole so the plumber could access and repair the water line once he arrived.  Plumbers are not readily available.  I went into the house, practiced some deep breathing, then phoned the plumber’s cell to forewarn of the added work.

Imagine my relief when his truck pulled in a half hour later!

It’s hard to hold firm one’s spiritual grounding in the face of maintenance demands bringing three men needing decisions all at once.  As I moved from one problem to the next, instead of feeling gratitude, a mental cash register taunted, “Ka-Ching!”

However, by day’s end, everything was fixed.  Even though the location of the lid for the septic tank was not determined, I waved to the last vehicle with great relief as it left my driveway.  Exhaling louder than a Grey Whale contentedly snorkeling through the surface of northern waters, I plopped wearily into a chair next to Angel and said,

"Angel, we need to talk maintenance!"

“Angel, tell me again about your connections!”

35 thoughts on “Angels in Charge of Maintenance

    • Hey, Tots! They scare you? Did you have a bad experience or a scary dream? There is a welcome peacefulness and calm around this little sculpture. I traveled in Ireland years ago and saw my Irish friend (who lived there) doing all sorts of crossing, genuflecting, etc. at different places. Turns out there were a myriad of superstitions that she held over so many different things. I said it was no wonder there were so many churches in Ireland if people lived with all those superstitions! 😀

    • We have nuns on the island – the Sisters of Grace – and they were renting a house which is being sold from under them. With sadness, they have been downsizing. I promised to take great care of this angel.

      As you have experienced in your new self-sufficient lifestyle, June, there’s ever an obstacle to overcome. With each one, there’s lots to learn and the next time something like it happens, we are more informed and confident. This is the second tank I’ve had blow on me – and I flush them – so I know the drill for shutting them down safely. I’m grateful I have been home both times that it’s happened!

      It’s amazing how quickly one can adapt to no hot water and change methodologies. I will admit though, sponge baths don’t quite cut the mustard on a longer term basis!

  1. Sorry, looks like Angel is the silent type. I’m glad you managed to get everything fixed. Hopefully at some stage you’ll find the elusive lid of the septic tank for when that needs sorting. xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Thanks, David. Thankfully the whole septic system is working just fine, but local authorities are moving towards setting regulations that we must pump every few years. So it does have to be found. The local “pumping people” have no record of servicing my place. Hate to disturb the tank, but they do deteriorate. A couple of neighbours have had to upgrade…I’d like to avoid that since new regulations for installation are monstrously expensive.

    • She radiates peace, Kim. It’s uncanny. When I picked her up to bring her home, she was covered in spruce needles, cobwebs and dust. I knew immediately she needed a place where she could be exposed to people and where she would be able to give all of us “pause”.

      What do we talk about? I know I run the risk of boring people: Love!

    • So, Charles, you mean I still have to do the “do” stuff?! 😀 If she reminds me to slow down, take a breath, put things in the right order and do it all with Love – she’ll be doing a great job!

  2. Oh my gosh, you have had quite a series of events. I am just glad everything is fixed and you can shower again,lol. As for the septic, should there not be a record of that at City Hall, because don’t the plans have to be approved to make sure the septic complies with all the requirements, when a person is building? That is how I found out where mine in NM was last year in order to have it pumped out, as the lady I bought the house from had died, and the builder was out of the country. I do agree that the paperwork should stay with the house, when I was building a courtyard for Macy last year, could not do what I wanted because the leach field runs all across the back yard, had to make a movable fence vs a permanent stucco wall, which would have looked so much nicer, oh well!!! Glad you are in a more peaceful state, and hope Angel handles the maintenance a little better

    • In our case, the Public Health Inspector has to approve the installation. That was done in 1976 and the drawing is NOT to scale. That’s why the prev. owner had a camera process done to locate it. However, his description is simply where the tank is generally – which isn’t much more helpful than the drawing. (I strongly suspect he did not have the tank pumped. I think he decided not to.)

      I need to know angle and depth of the tank so we have an idea where the lid may be. This one could be very, very deep.

      The local people who do the camera process would not answer my specific question about whether their process could give me the facts so I know where to dig.

      So, I’m currently giving myself some space from the problem so some clarity has a chance to seep in!

  3. Boy, after all that, I’m not sure I’d want to spend time in her company. A rather expensive lady, she is. Whew. Glad you didn’t get washed away in that fountain of water. Good thing you have such great managerial skills, left over from that dreaded previous life. I love your socks, btw. 😉

    • Ah yes, the socks! They were a gift from a friend about 10 years ago and I like the fact they don’t slip down in the heel with those shoes. My niece gave me quite a razzing on FB about them – asking if I’m preparing for the seniors residence where clothing is labelled. I replied – just for that, her Christmas stocking will likely contain some “moisture-flicking” underwear!

      My suspicion is that this Angel, aware of these pending problems, said, “Well, let’s get things up to snuff! I’ll start by making sure all the men are here at the right time.”

      On Wednesday, the man I had hired for Maintenance work at the Seniors Residence came by and took me to the lumber store where there was a great sale on Hot Water Tanks. Bingo, bango, bongo! Saved more than enough to pay the digger! As I stand back from the stressful day, more and more is becoming clear. Pretty soon I’ll know why we need to know where the water line is! I find these “accidents” so often have great purpose.

    • I chuckle, Victoria, because my dear Rotuman friend, Sefo, tells me after he’s had a great day, “I gave God a day off today.” So watch out, my dear woman, you may be telling on yourself! 😀

  4. Amy,

    Reading the post, I can only say that you possess some great people management qualities. Calmness in a panic situation, ability to prioritise and keeping faith without losing your cool. Are these qualities intrinsic to who you are or acquired through life’s experiences? I can only say that in your place I may not have been able to hold such equanimity without losing my cool.

    Hope things are back to normal now.



    • Although my insides may be in knots, Shakti, I need to keep calm so I can think. There’s always a trail of logic and I want to make sure I stay on it.

      Once the waterline was fixed, the plumber, digger and I were admiring his work – while his helper was setting up my new hot water tank. I expressed my relief and gratitude that this happened on a day when everyone, including the Waterworks man, was here or readily available. “All of this can be so stressful,” I said.

      The plumber said, “It’s amazing how water problems affect some people. The last waterline I fixed, the guy who owned the property was so mad his face was beet red and he ranted and raged the whole time I was there. Felt sorry for the people around him.”

      In emergencies, I feel the stress later. At the time, I just want to take the best action needed immediately.

      Besides, if I could amply describe the digging man’s face – so full of dread and horror – you’d understand that anyone being angry would have committed a spirit crime!

      As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I know there’s a purpose to the whole scenario. It was validated by the fact the repair was so straightforward and slick.

      Now…if you receive any visions in your dreams about where the lid is on my tank, please let me know. 😀

      My best to you!

  5. Angel, of course stood quietly by while all of you fluttered about trying to solve the water issues. In her great wisdom, she knew that by end of day all would be well. More worrisome to me is that you have your name on your socks Amy. Are there sock thieves on the island? Do you need a daily reminder of who you are? Is this to remind others, with every step you take, of who you are so they remember you by name along the journey of life?
    ah, there was my dose of silliness for the day. All is well.

    • I have a theory, Lorna, about the Universe using codes. It means we’ll exercise our free will. We have to put effort into it and if we do, it’s our decision without
      Divine dictation. Ya think that seems reasonable?

      • It sure does! Thanks. Also, the lessons I remember best are the ones I had the hardest time figuring out. If the Divine makes it too easy on us, we won’t learn (or the lessons won’t have value).

  6. I was going to say something about the socks–but I’ve decided that MIGHT be a bad plan! LOL I will note that I mighta exchanged a word or two with that angel about the circumstances at hand, but it looks like you were a bit busy to actually DO that. Yeah, I’m needing more practice in trusting the process and the learning curve therein. I trust it–I just don’t always LIKE it! LOL It does look like she had you covered by having all the players available to tend to the issues but really?!?! Maybe she can just gave you a vision of where the darn lid was and the two of you can called it even.

    Gotta tell ya–she’s lovely. And what an honour to be able to give her a home. I scour places for stone angels that are placed in watch (just to photograph and spend some time with)…….and generally not with much luck. I’m not sure why that is. Leastwise I’m hard pressed to find them in these parts–and I look!

    • Yah, those socks…if I was clever, Mel, I would have found a way to put in a “blur” to blank that out. But, the story about how I received them is precious. So in honour of her, I’m willing to stand tall amongst the commentators! 😀 On Face Book, my 50 something niece insinuated I was preparing for the Senior’s residence – getting my wardrobe identified. I told her she may find special lingerie for senior women in her stocking this Christmas!

      In defense of the poor angel, I explained my possible error. Perhaps I could have introduced her under happier circumstances. I presented a defense in my response to GaryBuie01.

      Too busy – time to gear down again. October is a hectic month for me – so I need to do it NOW! I haven’t been with you enough. I’ll get there – I love knowing what you are up to!

  7. I think I’d send that angel, beautiful as she is, right back where she came from and I doubt that it’s heaven! Maybe she’s a fallen angel! Is your septic tank not marked on the deeds for your house? Ours is, so maybe it’s the same for you. Good luck in your search.

    • Thanks, Christine…you give me cause to pause. I’ve been too busy lately and have just come from a great, quieting Yoga class.

      Since the hot water tank has been fending off pressure fluctuations due to Water Works maintenance (!), it began it’s journey out of commission much before the angel arrived. In fact, my neighbour’s dishwasher blew it’s connections and flooded two floors of their house the day before. The septic tank lid location has been going on for a year because the drawings submitted at the time of installation are not done to scale. We’ve dug with no success following the noted measurements. Either the tank is much deeper than 3 feet down or the drawing is inaccurate.

      Thankfully, the tank works fine, but there is going to be a law about regular pump-outs so I’m trying to prepare for that!

      I may have done the angel a disservice by including her in writing about my water problems. Perhaps thanks to her influence, I had all the best help just at the right time. That’s not usual in our rural set-up – it’s a bit miraculous. Plus, we needed to know that water line was there! That wee matter was NOT in the paperwork belonging to the house!

      Plus, this plumber added two valves, absent on older tanks. One prevents siphoning when THEY turn off water and the other deals with the fluctuations. I’m tired of replacing tanks every five years!

      However, I hold Celtic optimism for the angel – nothing like starting her with water problems in hand, the eaves cleaned and my wood chopped and stacked!

      And, dear Christine, I’m sure this was much more than you needed or wanted to know, but it has done me good to take a breath and summarize!

  8. I’m glad to have been therapeutic in some small way! I don’t know about you but all things belonging to a house which are UNDERGROUND worry me!

  9. Loved the way you introduced Angel to us.Such a beautiful sculpture. Something very serene and striking about that face. Lucky you to have her around to chat to at the end of the day. And Lady, hats off to your composure. I was just watching a film on MGM..couldn’t catch the name as I caught on to it after it began. It had one of the characters say about himself…I flow with life , I don’t like to collide with it. Seems such an apt way to describe you Amy:-)

    • What a compliment, Nadira. May I be able to live up to your description even a modicum. It surely is a way to maintain some serenity and peace, but it’s not always easy.

      It was easy today, a week later. I had the young man return to refill the holes and replace dirt, plastic and pebbles. We needed about 12 feet of black plastic to lay over the dirt, before the pebbles. I went to the neighbourhood lumber store to buy this plastic. They informed me it only comes in rolls of 500 feet. What? I said dumbfounded. The young women said, “Go out to the back and ask one of the fellas to give you some plastic off the loads of lumber. We’re happy to give it away.”

      Wow! I was given about 15 feet of plastic of better quality than the stuff in the rolls.

      It’s those times of such help, kindness and simplicity that I feel the Divine’s loving hand on my shoulder!

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