Oh. What. A. Mess! Water every where, soupy mud everywhere. Big. Mess. Well, we got to work. Josh started working on a little channel to drain most of the water off, while I built up a berm to keep the water from going back to the place we needed to dig. We got pretty muddy, but not too badly.
Once that job was done, we headed back home so we could do school and whatever other tasks awaited our expertise. ;-) On part of the road, we still had some snow. At this point, it's all dry and crusted over, so I figured I could go through it with 4-wheel drive. Besides, if Josh and I were able to walk on top of it without sinking in, surely the truck could, too!
Forgot that the truck weighs 2 tons heavier than either of us! Sure enough, it sunk in and got high centered. So, no luck getting out, at all, whatsoever.
Thankfully, I had the cellphone with me (most of the time, I forget to grab it and end up having to walk home if I ever get into a situation like this). I called mom and asked her to come get us in the excursion (the only other vehicle with 4 wheel drive that can make it down the muddy roads!)
In the meantime, Josh and I decided to go ahead and start walking. That way mom didn't have to come as far. So, we began walking.... and walking... and walking... and for a change of pace, we walked some more.
I believe we walked close to 2 miles before mom picked us up. Not that big of a deal. We got our exercise for the day! :-)
The next morning, we got up early again, though not AS early as the day before. I had to drive Dad down to the end of the road so he could get to work (remember, we've had to leave the smaller cars at the top of our road due to the very muddy mess it's in now). In the early morning, the ground is frozen, so it's easy to get up and down the road.
After I got back, Josh, Becca, and I loaded up in the excursion and headed back. We figured we could pull the truck out with the excursion, then Becs could take it home, and Josh and I could take the truck and finish working on the pipeline.
We got to the truck and started pulling it, but to no avail. We broke the tow rope (don't worry, it wasn't that expensive and wasn't very good, either), and then found out that it was high centered (the previous day I just thought it got stuck because it couldn't get any traction and the wheels were spinning.) We only had a certain amount of time to work on the pipes, as we had auditions for drama that afternoon. We had to leave early, since Mom is the director and all, so we could get setup, etc. That meant Josh and I only had a few hours to get this done. And that shouldn't have been a problem.....
Becca went ahead and dropped us off at the tank, then headed back home in the excursion so she could help mom get things done at the house.
Josh and I turned to see.... that all our drain work the previous day had been for not. The pipe had flooded even more and we were standing in water once again.
"Well, I guess we better get back to work," Joshua cheerfully commented. He's a chum. :-) So, we got back to our positions. Josh making a channel to drain the water, and me starting to dig (my berm had held up, but water had seeped inside).
I started digging. Oh boy. That was like trying to dig a hole in a pot of spaghetti sauce. It was awful. However, I eventually got down to the pipe. So, I pulled out the vertical PVC pipe that marks the spot. Whoops. I hadn't dug deep enough. All the mud caved in to the hole left by the pipe when I pulled out. So, I started digging again. Note, I am on my knees digging. That is not fun. It uses muscle you never knew you had! ;-)
When I was digging standing up, I was ever so slowly sinking further and further into the mud. Until my wonderful knight, Joshua, saved me. He gave me a piece of wood to stand on. Whew. I really didn't want to know what it was like to be waist deep in mud.
I finally reached the pipe and finished scooping the mud out by hand. By the way, just because mud isn't frozen early in the morning, doesn't mean that it isn't cold. It was like digging through ice! Eeps.
I got to the handle and froze, my eyes glued to it. "Um, Josh? Can you come here a minute?"
Josh scrambled over and looked down the hole. "Josh, there's no handle. What do I do?"
We looked at it for a while, not really sure how we could fix this. All I could think about was poor dad! Yet another thing to put on his fast growing list. I called him up, left a message on his cell, asking him to call us back ASAP. He called us back and I told him the situation. He told us to try pliers to try to turn the bolt that the handle should have been under. I told him we had tried it, but we'd try it some more.
I got back into the mud and gave the pliers another whirl. At this point, I'm having to lie on my stomach and reach down into the hole. Finally! The bolt budged! So, we kept turning... and turning.. nothing happened!
"Josh! It's not working!" Finally, after screwing a minute more, the bolt just came off in my hand. Oh great.
Josh came over and looked down into the hole for a minute. "Oh wait.... that's not the water pipe. That's an air valve." You can believe the look I gave him. *wink*! You mean to tell me I've been digging this thing for half an hour, freezing my hands off, all for something we didn't need?!?! Naturally I kept these thoughts to myself. Ok, ok. I admit that I did tease him about it, but I wasn't that mad. In fact, I was more relieved than anything!
So, we looked over at the other two PVC pipes sticking up in the air. "So, which one is it, then?" I asked, wondering if we'd need to dig up every single one.
At this point, I called home to let them know the situation and to tell them that they had better head on to drama if need be. Josh and I would have to skip it this week. Becca let me know that I still had plenty of time to get home and that they wouldn't leave without us.
Josh had picked a different pipe by this point and had begun digging. After he dug for a while, I took over and gave him a break. I got the pipe, pulled the vertical PVC out, and there it was! Oh, nothing was so beautiful! Ok, I'm exaggerating.
I got down again and began turning the handle... and turning it. Oh dear. "Josh! Am I turning it the right way?"
"Lefty loosey, righty tighty." He replied. Sure enough, I was turning it the right way, but it wasn't turning off! So, I tried it the other way, but no luck.
I tried the first way again and Josh and I both started praying. Lord please just let it turn off! We prayed as I kept turning... and then! Beautiful sound of silence! No water gushing every where! I wish I could have gotten a video of Joshua's victory dance he did! ;-) I did a little dilly while down in the mud..
Our ride home was very interesting. Dad had just given the inside of the car a shampoo for mom as a surprise. So, there was absolutely NO WAY that we were getting in the car as muddy as we were. So, we stood on the runner boards and leaning the window to grab onto the handle on the inside. It sounds dangerous, but it wasn't too bad, really. Becca went at a slow pace. We check the tanks to make sure that they were filling up. Eureka! Everything was good. Praise the Lord!
Josh and I decided, after I accidentally started rolling the window up on myself, that we could probably sit in the very back, since our backsides weren't muddy. So, we opened up the back (we have the kind where the top part opens upward, and then the two smaller doors swing out to the sides) We got settled and then shut the top door so we didn't fall out. The ride was very comfortable and Josh and I had a great time visiting with each other. :-)
Unfortunately, we had no camera during this whole event, so I can't show you pictures of our beautiful work. However, we when got home, my dear sister took a picture of my outfit.
(These coveralls were WAY too big on me! But, I just grabbed 'em up thinking they'd at least keep the worst off of my clothes.. and they did!)
Hope you enjoyed a little story about a typical day on the ranch! ;-)
In Christ's Service,