It's not everyday that a three-year-old boy gets a backhoe in his front yard. And that's a good thing. But for us, this backhoe was the silver lining.
The sliver lining to this. Shortly after moving in, we discovered that our sewer wasn't draining properly, which meant that water was backing up in our house. Thankfully, it was only water from the dishwasher and the shower that backed up into the house, not actual sewer water.
Rotor Rooter was here the next morning and quickly found a crack in our sewer pipe that was exposed above the ground (the crack was where the white and black pipe were fitted together). Once we saw the crack, we could see where some sewage was leaking out and flowing down into our neighbor's yard. Hello neighbor! We're the Diamonds!
Upon further investigation, they found that our sewer had an improper pitch as it went up a small hill to connect to the city sewer line. Apparently, the sewer was pitched wrong when this house was built in 1979. The Rotor Rooter guy said that we could choose to live with it, as people have been doing for 32 years in this house, but we should expect and be ready for the occasional back-up of gray and/or sewer water.
It wasn't too hard of a decision for us to make. We have enough to think about without having to think through the water usage in our house at any given time and trying to calculate if our sewer can handle it. The decision to have it fixed was easy, but it was the straw that broke the proverbial camels' back.
We had just had the roof redone, the siding had been torn off and new siding was going on just as the sewer problem happened. The new siding needs to be painted, which means paying for another crew. Those were the costs we knew about and planned for. We then had the "fun money" part of our budget that includes new bathroom vanities, new kitchen cabinets, new lights in various areas, etc. We didn't have a sewer budget (who does?), so the money for the new sewer came from the "fun money." In combination with just having moved and getting little sleep for a few nights while the boys adjusted to their new house, it was just too much.
This was the view of our house from the street - we were the house you drive by and think, "Wow, I'm glad that's not my house!" when you see the siding crew in the background and the backhoe and exposed sewer pipe in the foreground.
But, then there was the silver lining. Noah had his own backhoe for a few days. What boy gets that? He went to school and dug in the sand looking for pretend sewer pipes and washed the baby dolls in "potty water" because we had talked a lot about not flushing the potty during the time they were working on the sewer. Noah has a thorough understanding of plumbing and sewers now. We were walking past another house and he yelled, "Hey! There's their sewer clean out!" What three-year-old can identify sewer clean outs? Silver lining.
Then there was the best silver lining. When the Rotor Rooter guy was here and telling me about the problems with our system, I called Matt at work and simply said, "Please come home now!" (Although I probably didn't say please) and he was home in four minutes. Four minutes. That's the real silver lining. We moved to centralize our family life and this was the first time it really payed off.
We just didn't know our sewer was going to make us realize now nice it is to be centralized.