It's always a gamble, you know, when we hire day work to come out and help us, especially when it's people we've never met before.
What do you think they think?
It's not a burly mountain man who greets them at the door, it's a girl with a coffee cup who invites them in to meet another woman, another girl and a 12-year-old boy. And (P.S.) you're not just meeting them, you're working with them. And perhaps even worse, they're giving the orders.
Yesterday was a day of catastrophe here on the ranch. It's been freezing cold here and as a result our water lines have frozen and refrozen many times over and yesterday it all climaxed when we tried to pump water from the well to the house tank and water bubbled and gurgled from beneath the ground.
Broken lines. And a very important one. Without that, we have no water at the house or barn and to make things better, the house tank was empty. We made this grim discovery at 1 yesterday afternoon.
We were able to call Chris, a day-work regular here who we all really like and work well with. He lives an hour and a half away so by the time I met him in the driveway and picked him up (he was driving his car), it was 4:30 by the time we got back to the house and nearly 5 by the time we started working on the lines.
It took us about 3 hours. By us, I mean Chris, Micah and I and later just Chris and I as the ten-dgree cold drove Micah to the house about 7.
When dark fell, we hauled the generator and construction lights out there where we finished digging to the pipe with the backhoe, fixing it and covering the hole. Sounds so easy. But it's so not.
We finished about 8:30 and it was 4 degrees. We had that leak fixed but were still unable to pump water to the house due to frozen (exposed) lines.
Micah and I drove Chris to his car about 10:30 and when we were on our way back, I heard a clunk on my side and looked out the window to see our left rear tire flying by us and landing about 25 feet in front of us. Thankfully, we were within walking distance of the house.
Today, we expected Brian, day-help we hired to help us continue fixing the water pipes to the house and to drinkers at the barn. We had never met him before.
But I'm amazed at how people, (namely, men) respond when they're working with us. It becomes a team effort.
"I think we've got the line fixed," he said, on our third trip back from the pump, after we'd melted the ice in the exposed lines and watched water run freely through it.
"Yep, we've got water," he continued, when we listened at the house tank to see if water was flowing in.
The verdict on the truck was less promising. The lugnuts (all of them) had been stripped and cut off meaning the only way to get them out is to remove the differential plate, the axle and the spindle that holds it all together.
We're having it towed Monday and taken to the tire place who replaced that tire earlier this week.
Basically, we're praising God that the tire didn't spin off on the highway or further down the driveway, given Micah and I a much longer walk last night.
Brian will be back tomorrow to finish some of the other lines. And I'm not worried. We worked together just fine.