Today A. and I celebrated our eleventh anniversary. And how did we celebrate, you ask? Why, in spectacular Blackrock fashion, of course.
The celebration began at 4:47 a.m., which is when Charlie woke up. Sickened at the idea of actually getting up at that time, I cravenly allowed him to get into our bed for half an hour more of fitful sleep before finally getting up and starting the day.
Two hours later, I was making breakfast in the kitchen when the MiL went out to feed the dogs. She returned a minute later with a bowl containing dog food and some sort of insect larvae. Appetizing.
She and A. engaged in a no-doubt very educational discussion about how they weren't really maggots because they were too small and look! They have legs. And Cubby was clamoring to save the maggots for fishing (all he heard was the maggots part) and Charlie was grabbing at the bowl too and all of this was happening two feet from where I was making breakfast. I had visions of vermin-infested kibble flying all over the kitchen as a result of the children's struggle for control of the precious substance, so I told A. to take it outside.
Not only did he take it outside, he found a different bowl for Charlie and divided the disgusting dog food so each child had his very own. How sweet. Of course, the dogs managed to eat both bowls of larval dog food within minutes, but by then the children had lost interest.
After that excitement, I gathered the trash and recyclables and we took a family trip to the dump. Because we believe in togetherness.
Upon returning from the dump, A. donned his fishing waders and prepared for battle. With the cisterns.
We've noticed a very unwholesome smell to our water lately, and A. knew he needed to go down into the underground cisterns and see what was causing it. He also knew he wasn't going to like what he found. But since he also didn't like his drinking water reeking of death, on went the waders and into the cistern he went.
There are actually two connected cisterns side by side. In the north cistern, A. found four . . . rodents. He couldn't tell if they were chipmunks or small rats, due to their advanced decomposition, but they were without doubt not something you ever want to see in your water supply. He used a shovel to scoop them into a bucket, handed the bucket up to me, hauled himself out, and dropped down into the south cistern. Where he found eight more decaying rodents.
Dear God in heaven, I have never been more revolted. And that's saying something.
In all the years we've been here, we've only occasionally found a chipmunk or whatever that had fallen into the cisterns despite the covers. Never, ever multiples. I couldn't imagine what would have caused that many rats to get into the cistern, until the MiL told me that one effect of rat poison is a maddening thirst. So I suppose one of our neighbors must have put out the poison and the poisoned rats and chipmunks ended up in our cistern in their desperate search for water.
The only thing worse than a dead rat in the water supply is multiple poisoned dead rats in the water supply. On the bright side, at least we know our UV filter works, because none of us ever got sick from the water.
Anyway. Enough about that. A. shocked the little remaining water with bleach and then started the lake pump to refill the cisterns with untainted water.
After that, we left the children swimming with their grandmother on the beach and bolted from our admittedly sometimes disgusting life for the sterile city. Specifically, we went library browsing, Indian food sampling, and ice cream eating for four glorious hours sans children. A much better way to celebrate than our previous activities, I would say.
Then again, maggots and rodents suit us better than moonlight or roses anyway. For better or worse.