The Union Recorder

Columns

March 22, 2014

ROWLAND: When it rains, it pours ... well, sort of

MILLEDGEVILLE — You may remember that about four months ago, Mama and I became grandparents.  I won’t make you relive the entire becoming grandparents experience, but suffice it to say we are living every stereotype you can imagine.

We are obnoxiously in love!

The major obstacle to our perfect grandparent experience is that our absolutely perfect grandson lives more than 500 miles away.  Depresses me just thinking about it, but I try to remember that I really brought this onto myself.

I tried to teach my sons to chase their dreams, think about life in ways that I felt too constrained to experience.  They learned their lessons well.  One is in Florida and the other is in Virginia.  We stay in touch through text messages, cellphones and video chat.  Technology is cool, but it just doesn’t replace the smell of Baby Magic!

So, Grandma left her 30-year career job a couple of years back for the life of retirement.  Of course, she will argue that she is busier now than when she worked full time, and given the fact that I am high maintenance, I won’t argue.  

What retirement has done is make her available for grandson trips to Virginia anytime she wants to go.  Trust me.  She has been burning up the highways.  Of course, the good news for me is that she sends daily pictures and arranges for a video chat several times during the week.

Not perfect, but better than it could be.

About a week ago, Mama was driving home from a week in Virginia, I was driving in from a week of work, and we had agreed to meet at the local watering hole to unwind before heading for the house.  We had a lot of fun, but we were both ready for a good night’s sleep in our regular bed.

Ahhh … head hit the pillow, and out I went.  Hold onto that thought.  I’ll come back to it.

Some people have trouble sleeping at night.  Generally speaking, I do not.  Most nights my head hits the pillow and seven hours later I awake ready for a new day.  This particular night in question was no different - except that about midnight I awoke to Trudy calling my name from someplace in the house … or was I dreaming … remember, I sleep like a brick … you know that kind of sleep that when you are awakened you really don’t even know where you are? Yep, that kind of sleep…

When I finally gather my wits about me, I realize that my wife is calling from the upstairs bathroom where the toilet has sprung a leak.  By the time she gets the water cut off, I’m guessing about 10 gallons of water has spilled onto the bathroom floor, under the wall out into the loft, down through the floor joist to the ceiling below, and is steadily streaming through an interior wall and exiting through the bottom floor by way of the crawl space.

For as easily as I went to sleep that night, Trudy couldn’t.  Fortunately, she heard what she, accurately it turns out, believed to be water running.  It’s a good thing she did.  Left up to me, I would have slept all night and awakened to the indoor version of “when it rains, it pours.”

Turns out the flush valve on a 14-year-old toilet just gave out.  For a brief second I could identify. And for all of my sleep habits, this was one night I was glad one of us is a light sleeper.

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