Saturday morning we woke up with no running water: the pipes had frozen. This happens maybe two or three times a year and normally it’s no big deal. That morning it was inconvenient because we had places to go and things to do and everyone was supposed to be taking showers and getting dressed. Instead we wandered around forlornly until the water came back a little after nine. The water pressure was still pretty low, but I figured there was an ice-jam somewhere between the pump and the house slowing things up. I was in too much of a hurry to give it much thought.
We had a couple of errands to run, and then we headed to the Temecula Community Theater to see the Nutcracker Ballet.
I used to love all things theater when I was younger. My brother and I used to dress up and put on little productions for our own amusement when we were kids, and I took theater classes every semester all through middle school and high school. I’ve always really enjoyed storytelling in the live stage format. If I’d married a different sort of man my kids would have had some of that in their lives too, but as it was I was so busy just trying to give them a safe, healthy home and struggling to survive my marriage that I gradually forgot all about those old “normal life” pleasures.
It all came back to me last August. We were at California Adventure and I realized that I really wanted to check out the musical Aladdin production they put on in the Hollywood section. Luke and Elizabeth grumbled, but I played my Mom Card and off we went. And both the kids LOVED it, and I remembered that I like that sort of thing really quite a lot.
So on Saturday we went to see the Nutcracker, which I hadn’t seen since…I want to say grade school, but I don’t remember how old I was. It was my kids’ first experience with ballet, so I was prepared to shell out for the pricey orchestra seats to give them the full experience, but they both wanted to sit in the balcony. I think that’s a kid thing. Kids like to look down at stuff instead of up for a change. Anyway, it was a good choice, because the theater is so small that the balcony seats are just the right distance from the stage.
I like what they do with special effects these days. The Temec playhouse’s effects were much simpler than Disney’s high-tech stage tricks, but still fun and clever. My favorite was a line of house-fronts printed onto a big mesh screen, placed across the front half of the stage. Depending on which side was lit and which side was dark, the screen appeared either solid and opaque (to focus on action in front of the houses) or nearly transparent (to show the Christmas party going on inside, or to show Herr Drosselmeyer in his workshop).
We enjoyed the show a lot, although I wish the music had been live rather than prerecorded. The sound quality seemed just a bit muddy. That’s a very minor complaint though; in general I love that the Temecula Community Theater exists at all, and that it’s less than an hour from my house, and that they put on all sorts of productions throughout the year. I’m hoping to make room in our budget to start seeing more stuff there.
After the Nutcracker we did some shopping and admired all the pretty lights, and it was dark by the time we got home. And the water pressure was still way too low. Which meant one of two things: a broken pipe somewhere, or a failing pump. I grabbed a flashlight and went out to have a look, and if you own your own well then you know how badly I was hoping to find a big puddle and a busted section of pvc in some easily-accessible spot.
I got half-lucky. It was a broken pipe, not a bad pump. Whew. Unfortunately it was a section of steel pipe, not pvc, and it was right up near the pump, between a pressure gauge and an electrical thingy that I do not know the technical word for. In other words, I had no freaking idea how I was going to fix it. So I shut down the pump and decided to deal with it in the morning.
It looked just as baffling the next day. I came up with this idea and that idea, and nothing seemed workable, and then suddenly I realized, with a burst of relief, that there was just no way I could fix this myself. I did not posses the strength, the tools or the know-how for this particular job. I would have to call a nice professional and he would handle it for me. So I called a plumber and described the problem and he recommended that I call a well guy. Then I called a well guy and he came out and magically made my water work again in about 20 minutes flat. Yay for professionals!
The timing of all of this was sightly disorienting. Slogging around in the dark in a big muddy lake that my pump and a busted pipe helpfully made for me while I was out enjoying a lovely, sparkly ballet. What a strange sort of life. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little homestead, even with all its random complications. I’m just gradually remembering that that’s not all I love. There are experiences out there to be had that have nothing to do with growing my own food and such. Well…technically, the more efficiently I run my homestead the more of those other experiences I can afford to indulge in. So there’s that.
In other news, I can’t believe how close we are to Christmas already. Time has been very whooshy for me this year. Is it really time to mail out Christmas cards already? When did that happen?
Must go work on Christmas presents….