Then around midnight there was a knock on my farmhouse door. The septic alarm was sounding and it is very loud. The gentleman offered to turn it off to save me the trouble of going out in the minus forty night. I accepted, but donned my insulated coveralls just the same, to disconnect the pump at the switch and the float, and to plug in the ceramic heater in the tank below. Since the new pump was replaced a month ago, the septic system has frozen three times. The other two incidents responded to the heater and in the morning everything was working as normal. When the temperature drops to minus 20 or lower, I have been running the washer through one cycle in the house to keep the temperature of the tank up, but it obviously is not doing the trick. And, of course, it is New Year's Day and there is no plumber to be found.
I had previously been instructed to see if the spout where the effluent pumps out is open. In this case, it was not. It was frozen solid. So, as instructed by the plumber who attended on another incident, I climbed a ten foot ladder with a kettle of boiling water and poured it down a tube into the pipe. This thawed two feet, but at ground level nothing was moving. After four kettles of boiling water, I gave up and went to do the chores. It was already two pm and chores take a minimum of three hours with no extra duties, so I had to hurry or finish in the dark. There was two inches of new snow, and with the mental defeat, my feet were dragging as though the boots were filled with lead.
Finally the chores were done and the wood brought in for a nice fire, but my body felt as though it had been through a war. I went back to the bed and breakfast house to retrieve some supper left over from the night before and ate it in front of the computer. I spent some time researching yoga for seniors and plan to do something to ease this old body's aches.
Still, I am grateful for the bounty I have been blessed with. I know the septic can be fixed. I know the problem will be rectified. The last time it was 600 dollars and the time before, 1000. Things can be fixed if you have enough money. I must try to dwell on all good things and feel happy that the farm is as prosperous as it is and that the bed and breakfast is so well received and enjoyed. For those, I am truly thankful. And so to bed, this first day of 2014, with a heavy heart and the weight of the choices I have made on my shoulders. This is one time, I wish I had a partner. But, I do not. The strength must come from within and it will. It always has. Good night the first day of the year. Good night.