On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

aerobic septic systemWe were late to home group Bible study Friday night. David had to take a last minute shower because he had been playing in the septic tank. That’s something I never said when I lived in the city.

The truth is, until we moved to Emory, I knew very little about septic tanks. I knew they were a few steps above an outhouse on the sewage evolutionary scale, but that’s about it. In Florida, you could tell if a house had a septic tank because it was under a large mound of earth that must have been a real challenge to mow. That’s probably because it was only half buried in order to remain above the water table, but that’s just an uneducated guess. Septic tanks are also the basis for some interesting stories.

My aunt has been a widow for over a decade and lives alone on a farm west of Sulphur Springs. Although she is very independent, some of her neighbors think she sometimes needs to be protected. One night during a terrible storm, one such neighbor drove into her yard and made a mad dash through her back door.

“Ms. Fay, come on over to our house and stay in our safe room with us!” she shouted above the driving rain and wind.

“No, thank you! I’m fine right here,” replied Aunt Fay. “You need to get home and be with your husband, and you need to get your car off the top of my septic tank!”

Our pastor also has a septic tank story. He was once doing a series on church elders – on their biblical precedence, their qualifications, and their duties. He said that elders would be called on to perform many of the same duties as a pastor, and he gave some illustrations from his own ministry experience. One example involved dipping out a septic tank with a coffee can. I didn’t feel like it was a particularly motivational story.

I guess David felt differently, though. Friday afternoon, I looked out the window and saw him using a bucket to bail water out of our tank. I guess I should say “tanks,” since we have an aerobic system that includes three of them. Our system is in the lowest spot in our yard, and with all the runoff from the recent precipitation, frozen and otherwise, all three tanks were full. It was a circular kind of problem. The tanks were full because the sprinkler pump wasn’t working properly, and the pump wasn’t working properly because it was under water – because the tanks were full.

So, that’s why David was playing in the septic tank, why he had to take a last minute shower, and why we were late to Bible study. It’s not an excuse we’ve had to offer before, and we hope not to have to offer it again. At any rate, the other members of the group were grateful we were late.



winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available in paperback .

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Available in ebook.

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