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Moving Day: When 140% Humidity Was the Least of My Problems...
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 7:15am
Renae Brabham - Piddlin’ in Plough Mud
Renae Brabham is a local flavor and humor columnist at Moultrie News online. "I am thoroughly enjoying the liberties associated with becoming a middle-aged woman. Did I just say that? There's an honesty, a transparency that comes with not having the money for a facelift and tummy tuck.
There are always issues with moving aren't there? I filled myself with coffee, encouragement, and positive attitudes in the mornings, but between the torrential rain pours and 40-minute calls to service technicians to cut this on or this off, all my goodness and mercy usually oozed out by lunchtime.
It wasn't enough that I was leaving notes everywhere and still managed to miss two friends' birthdays. Or that the data usage on our phones was almost over limit, so Don and I were conversing like speed talkers. We had no Internet and limited phone service (the earliest install date for Internet was 12 days out).
But in the midst of all this, the car decided to die. Let me back up: There's a point in a cars' life when I feel they are not worthy of further servicing. Mine reached that a year ago. It was truly a fairweather car, moody as all get-out. The wiper motor on the passenger side quit working months ago. It failed slowy, causing the timing of the sweep to be off, which resulted in the blades literally fighting in mid air during a torrential rain while I was crossing the Daniel Island bridge. Wiper motors: $200.00.
So, I quit driving in the rain.
Shortly afterwards, it would only change gear speeds on cool days. This was car menopause.
Finally at any given moment... it would max out in first gear at a top speed of 20 mph.
At this point, let's just say that I didn't affectionately call her the "old girl" anymore. As if she/it sensed it, she gave up the ghost on the hottest day of the year, when humidity levels were at 140 percent. I had a carload of things to take to new place in the move. It was the beginning of evening traffic on 17 North. She/it hiccupped... (this was her way of saying she wasn't going to drive). I pulled into the Laser Car Wash and let it cool off. I decided to use the oval car wash drive as a speed test before pulling out. Like a seasoned short tract driver I punched it and took a few left turns. fter a few laps, it caught second gear and I pulled out onto the highway and then, with a slew of traffic behind me and in the middle lane of Hwy 17... nothing.
She/it and I limped into a retail parking lot. I waited for a tow truck with my leg stuck out the door, fanning myself with an unopened bill.
Through this, I kept feeling like I forgot to do something else. I pondered my various list while I pulled the under wire out of my bra that has decided to poke through at this inopportune moment as well.
Don picked me up before the tow truck came. I was just about ripe by this time... hotter than Hannah, if you will. I could hardly wait for a shower. When we walked in, Don cut on the faucet to rinse out something. I heard the spit of air... and I remembered what I hadn't done! Transfer the water to our name when we moved. I made a few desperate calls at 5 P.M. to see what I could do... Nothing. "Wait until tomorrow." Unless we have a plumbers' tool. Hell, we didn't know what that was , but we were outside on the ground removing a man hole cover to see if we had anything to resemble it. Nope.
Resolve settled in. I had two back tanks of clean toilet water that I could boil for a bird bath, and ice cubes for tomorrow morning's coffee. I was feeling a little cocky about my survival skills and learned a fast lesson on what not to do when your water is cut off.... Don't eat a soft ripened SC peach. Another bird bath.
Up at the crack of dawn, I melted the ice cubes for coffee and watched the clock tick until the water utility office opened. I got Eric on the line, same guy from last night. What are the odds? "Eric, what's the ETA on the field worker this morning?" Eric told me that it could be anytime between 8 and 5 today. I called back at lunch and got Eric again. Really?????
“Mrs. Brabham, we will have someone there as soon as they are in the area," he said kindly. "Thanks Eric," I replied sheepishly.
2 o'clock I called back. Yes..that's right. Eric again. I tried to disguise my voice, obviously a fail because Eric says "Hello Mrs. Brabham" while laughing.
"Eric, all of my ice has melted. I know..I know...but, I'm just saying.....don't you have a CB radio.. (Lord help me, "CB radio?" I can't take it back now) so you could call him?" I pleaded.
He laughed again. "It won't be long now. Hold on," he said. One hour later, all the faucets spit and hissed and I began counting the minutes to a shower and when it would be time to cook.
Later, with a clean kitchen, shower, and full stomach I pulled the cork from a bottle of wine.
There are days when I allow the wine to breathe, and there are days that I consider the pop of the cork breath enough.
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