Yeah, so it’s safe to say this was a pretty eventful weekend.
Saturday was the last day of Inlaw Invasion 2010. My husband’s parents live in Tucson, Arizona. Every year, they come out and stay anywhere from a few weeks to a few months with us. I love my husband’s folks, but after the 3 month invasion a couple years ago, it took me a solid week to get my eye to stop twitching.
I’m an INFP. Note the “I” there, which stands for “Introvert.” Also, I’m an HSP (you don’t even want to know how high I scored on that self-test), so too much stimulus frays my nerves pretty quickly. So having houseguests, even excellent houseguests you love, for almost a month is pretty much going to leave me a frazzled, twitchy mess by about the end of week 2.
At any rate, their last day with us was Saturday, and they had planned to take us to see Robert Shaw, who is apparently a kickass Elvis impersonator who performs in Brown County, Indiana during the warmer months and Tucson during the cooler months . [Aside: How do I get a job where I migrate with the seasons? Because if I could have southern Indiana’s spring, summer and fall combined with Arizona’s winter, that would be pretty flippin’ sweet.]
But first, we had to go to Maddie’s football game at 10AM and watch her cheer. No problem. Cheerleading, lunch, a trip to Brown County, hanging around the shops in Little Nashville, fake Elvis, and then back home. No worries.
Except Friday, we noticed the water in the laundry closet. At first, we thought it was coming from the washer. Then it became increasingly clear that the rusty old hot water heater was probably the culprit.
Okay. We can still do this. Maddie’s game at 10, Home Depot for a new water heater at 11, lunch, then proceed as planned, fixing the hot water heater on Sunday. No problem.
The game went as planned. Maddie cheered. Her team won. It was awesomesauce. And then Chris crawled under the house.
There was a brief, scary moment when he was convinced the water leak was in the wall, meaning we’d need to call a plumber and tear out said wall. Then we realized that the toilet was not sealing right, and running all the time. Which probably explains our ridiculous water bills for the last few months.
Grampa French stayed with the kiddos while Grandma French, Chris and I went to Home Depot to pick up the hot water heater and a toilet repair kit. Chris’ mom graciously offered to front us the money for the hot water heater, since we were smack in the middle of our pay period. Also, I had the opportunity to share with them on the way out my scintillating story about writing a radio commercial for a toilet repair kit when I worked in radio at age 18.
So we get back home, and Chris is like “I can totally fix the toilet before we have to leave for Brown County.”
OK. No problem. We won’t have time to browse around Nashville, but we didn’t have any money to do more than window shop anyway, so we’re golden, right?
And we would have been, too. If the toilet tank hadn’t cracked and broken into four pieces when Chris went to reattach it to the seat after putting the new guts into it.
Our oldest is a teenager. We’re good with him watching the younger niblet for the evening. But asking him to do so with no functioning potty in the house seemed a little mean, even for us.
So we started scrambling around, calling everyone we knew to see if they could have the kids over. Because by God, we weren’t missing the Elvis impersonator on Chris’ parents’ last day here. Broken potties and leaking hot water heaters be damned.
Apparently, it was a busy weekend for lots of people. We finally managed to get my brother-in-law, who was free to have the kids over (my sister having taken their kids to Holiday World.) I shuttled the kids to BILs, explaining the whole situation.
Well, in the words of Inigo Montoya, I sum up. No time for a full explanation. But even so, he mentioned I should call my dad, because he happened to have a spare, nearly brand new hot water heater he had no use for. (Score! No need to go into inlaw indebtedness!)
So I called Dad while texting Google to see how long it’s supposed to take to get to Nashville from Palmyra. 1 HR 36 minutes. I love you, Google SMS.
It was 3:35 PM. Elvis went on at 5:00. Damn you, Google SMS.
Dad called me back and said I could definitely have the hot water heater. I pulled into my driveway to discover Chris and his parents already locking up the house. We shifted seats like a Chinese fire drill, and left Pal at 3:40 PM.
We pulled into the Red Barn at 5:11, having driven up 135 the entire way to 46. If you’re not from here, you should know that 135 between Salem and Nashville has roughly the same curvature as The Tail of the Dragon.
But we did get to see Elvis. And he and the Lonely Street Band really were very good. Chris’ parents seemed to really enjoy it, and I enjoyed watching them, although I think Mom French was a little disappointed that she didn’t get one of his silk scarves. She mentioned later that she’d already gotten lei’d at the luau they’d attended in Tucson.
Show of hands for who thinks I managed to not break into giggles at my MIL’s announcement that she got lei’d by Elvis? Um, nope. I don’t think I could have resisted even if I hadn’t been a jittery mass of raw nerves.
So we had a nice steak dinner at Holy Cow in Nashville with Chris, his parents, and his cousin and her boyfriend (who had been waiting for us at the Red Barn). We drove out to pick up the kids, and Maddie wanted to spend the night with her cousins. So all the parents were down with that. She said her goodbyes to the grandparents, since they were leaving early Sunday morning, and we all crashed into our beds. That was Saturday.
I woke up at 9AM Sunday, and Chris’ folks had already left for Arizona. That’s when Chris reminded me that my nephew’s birthday party was at noon, and we still had a broken potty and hot water heater to deal with.
I was very much in favor of starting off the week with indoor plumbing. So I agreed to pick up Maddie from Sister #2’s house, and pick up a gift for Sister #1’s son’s birthday.
I was hoping I could manage that in time for all of us to arrive in one car at Sister #1’s house. Probably because I was delirious from exhaustion. I picked up Maddie, as well as a hot tip for a good birthday present (two words: Paper Jamz) from Sister #2, and headed off to Wal-Mart. After picking up the present, it was immediately clear that the men and women of the French family were going to have to arrive by separate conveyance, or else late. We opted for separate conveyance.
The birthday party was great. The weather was chilly, so when the sisters and I went out to the patio to eat, we pretty much had two whole minutes of uninterrupted peace and quiet.
But alas, too soon it was time to face the indoor plumbing issue. Dad volunteered to help out, which relieved Chris a great deal, since he and copper pipe are not exactly best buds. We (and by “we,” I mean mostly Dad and Chris, while I watched) replaced the hot water heater, returned the new one to Home Depot, picked up a new potty, and the guys got it installed.
Somewhere in there, Maddie had a meltdown over her inability to master a double crochet, and Josh shared with me the beginnings of the chorus of a song he’s writing.
But in the end, we started the week with functional indoor plumbing, and nobody attempted to strangle anybody else in the house (although we did need to let Maddie use the throw pillows as a punching bag at one point on Sunday).
Welcome to Monday. Population: 1 grateful me.