The painting above is of me searching for an honest workman.
The well company I hired to fix our well problem has given me changing stories about costs, rattling my confidence, and has not yet returned to do the work, currently priced at $1500 (from $800) and originally scheduled for last Monday, then Tuesday, then Friday. “Probably next Monday or Tuesday,” the man now writes. It is due to be 15°F tonight and tomorrow night, so undoubtedly the faulty pump switch (replaced this summer) will freeze again. I’m going into town today to buy a heat tape to wrap around the well casing. I hate to spend $35 but on the other hand I would happily pay $35 not to be without water for three days.
There is an outdoor outlet not far from the well, into which I could plug a line to the heat tape, but there is no power to that outlet. Of course not! The electrician said he would come back to do it in September. I will run multiple cords to the front of the garage.
Meanwhile, in the fall of 2017 I had hired an excavation contractor to do the grading around the house (something actually in my builder’s contract, but as we were already incurring fines from the bank for delaying the mortgage inspection, and as I was reshaping the front lawn, I covered the entire cost without comment). Before the excavation contractor left, he promised to return with a load of stone. You guessed it: he never returned. This fall I emailed his wife to ask if I could get that stone. She wrote that it would be delivered ten days ago, on Thursday or Friday. On both days I waited, fruitlessly.
When DH and I reached our hotel this Wednesday, I found two emails from the contractor’s wife. The first said that she was sorry for the delay, but it would be delivered this Thursday or Friday. Half an hour later, the second email said, actually, it would be delivered at 3 o’clock that day. That is, it had been delivered while I was away. I was beside myself, but with iron self-control I wrote to her politely, expressing my concern. She was airy in her response. She was sure it was fine.
I was equally sure it was not. I did not sleep that night, worrying.
Sure enough, the driver had driven the 20-ton load across our leach field. Thankfully, only 1/4 of the field. Still, the ruts are significant. (My gloves are there for scale.) Allen always told me never to allow anyone to drive on this section of lawn and I have been vigilant for ten years. It never occurred to me that anyone might come while I was not at home.
Then the driver dropped the heavy load directly on top of our septic tank.
This stone delivery is a huge new problem that I need to solve immediately. It is blowing snow and we are due to have winds of 50 mph this afternoon. My tractor is dead and Damon doesn’t feel well. I have shoveled at least 60 tons of gravel in my day, but I was younger then — and so was my bad elbow.
I am trying to stay calm, and think.