How to add a lake to your backyard

Every Wednesday I leave work early so I can get home to greet Reilly off the bus. Her PSW arrives a few minutes afterwards and from that point on I can resume work.  Yesterday when I opened the door I heard this loud odd sound coming from what I thought was the furnace.  At the back of the house is our dining room and kitchen and when I stood over the dining room heating grate all I could hear was this loud rattling push of air. I went down to the furnace room and again could hear a rattle.

I looked at the service log and noticed that my husband didn’t bring anyone in the fall to do the annual service and cursed that if we had to bring someone in that it wouldn’t be under warranty. So I phoned him and told him that there is a strange sound coming from the furnace and asked whether I should phone the furnace company (after expressing my annoyance it wasn’t maintained this year) and he said no, he would take a look at it when he got home.  My husband is not a furnace guy – what the heck could he do that I couldn’t do right now? Anyways after a heated exchange of wills, he said it was up to me when I promptly turned the tables back to him saying this is his area of maintenance so he could choose what to do.

I go upstairs frustrated and partially worried that there might be something serious with the furnace but tried to assure myself that we have a carbon dioxide monitoring device (2x) and it is probably something stupid that can easily be fixed. I try to sit down and relax for the remaining 10 minutes before Reilly’s bus arrives, when the door bell rang. Puzzled I slowly go over and answer it when I see it is my 90+year old neighbor looking a little ghastly. I was worried that she was very ill and needed me to phone the ambulance or something, selfishly a thought went through my brain saying that is all I need right now.  I asked whether she was okay and she replied “not really, so I will keep my distance”.  That comment provided some relief and confusion at the same time.

She then proceeded to say in her brittle voice “your tap is running in the backyard”.

“My tap!?” I exclaimed, “what, you must be mistaken?.”

She said “she tried  to come over before but no one was home”.

So quickly I went to the back of the house out the kitchen door to see a 3 feet radius of water coming out of our outdoor tap, which is just on the other side of the wall to the dining room heating grate. So the noise I was hearing was not the furnace but the deluge of water coming out of a broken tap onto our deck, pooling at the side of the house underneath the deck and creating a LAKE in the backyard.

Of course I panicked and cursed and then cursed some more as I foolishly tried to plug the hole with my finger. I ran for the phone, started to dial my father-in-law for he is Mr. McGyver and thought it would take him too long to get over to our place. Then I wondered if the outdoor tap was shut off for the winter. So I dial my husband at work, did I mention that he is going through some intense quarter end stuff and is already stressed to the brim after putting in 12+hour days? Anyways I start to yell to him that the tap is spewing water outside and WHERE  is the shut off valve in the house?  For he looks after this stuff not I.

Of course he is confused and doesn’t answer with what I am looking for and instead wants more details. I yell “JUST TELL ME WHERE THE SHUT OFF VALVE IS”! I may have thrown in the f-bomb, probably, very likely.  Of course he says something stupid in my opinion implying that I am the one that needs to calm down. Maybe so but there is a friggin’ lake in the backyard, it is Winter, who knows what internal damage might have been created by this BECAUSE he didn’t do his job and shut it off before the winter season and he wants to understand the entire situation first.

After a few tense words he provided sufficient direction as to what ceiling tile to uncover in the basement laundry room. Twist, twist, twist and slowly the loud noise of destruction was losing its steam until you heard complete silence.  Pause.

Up the stairs I go to assess our lake and much to my relief I can’t see any damage at all, except for a high water bill coming in one months time.  I am not sure if that would have been the case if it wasn’t my day to come home early and we had a mild day of 3 degrees celsius. Today it is -6 degrees celsius, so who knows what would have happened.  It appears though that the water tap pipe expanded and blew off one end of a cap. Not sure why it didn’t happen earlier in the season given that we have just gone through a mild patch of weather.  As a result of this mild streak by the time my husband got home the lake was no longer there and all the water drained into the ground below. I wish I could have taken a picture but our camera battery just ‘died’ yesterday and I didn’t have time to recharge it.

Here is to a quieter day.


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