Some years we’re lacking for rain around here, but this year ain’t one of them. I’m accustomed to seeing wetness everywhere, so when I spied a substantial puddle at the foot of our back porch steps, it didn’t seem that out of place, except that the area is covered by a shed roof, and rain has never ever encroached upon it, and even if a blob of water did get blown in there, it wouldn’t have hopped over a dry spot. It takes me a little while to make sense of things like this because I put a lot of effort into pretending that whatever it is, it’s not a problem. There’s nothing wrong with my imagination, and I imagine that everything is just fine.

I’m that little fishy swimming happily along the ocean bottom and wondering why the patch of pebbly sand below me has eyes and teeth, just before my last thought (“Uh-oh”).

In this case, however, I stayed with the conundrum long enough to intuit that the water was coming from underneath the house, an area not historically known to contain a seep, or a spring, or a fountainhead of any kind, and was in fact the only reliably FUCKING dry spot in the adjacent outdoors, and I came to the correct conclusion: “This looks expensive.”

And I further surmised that there might be a connection between the stray mystery puddle and the fact that our kitchen sink quit draining a week ago. Altogether. It just shut the hell down. I’ve bombed it with baking soda and vinegar and boiling water and a plunger and poison and powdered dragon’s teeth and although an inch of water in the sink will drain, it will take all night to do it.

There are two problems with our house and they both involve water. The old parts of the house have old pipes with dreams of disintegration. But the lumber is old-growth and nearly impervious to rot. The new parts have spanky new plumbing, but the windowsills are spongy. You’ve got to keep an eye on this place all the time. Squirrels, roof rats and water all want to take it down. But you won’t get me to pine for a dryer climate. That bitch is coming soon enough. I’ll take the rain.

Maybe we can drown a rat with it.

The other conclusion I came to that turned out to be correct is that this sink problem was way past a youtube solution. Our kitchen drain is all busted up. So it makes sense to me that it has been spewing water in the crawl space and saturating our foundation timbers, and it goes a long way toward explaining all the minnows. The part I don’t quite get is why the sink was also stopped up. It involved a vent not venting. But evidently the sucker was plugged all the way back to the street, or possibly the city sewage treatment plant, or maybe the bowels of Venus, and chunky green material eagerly jumped out of the pipe with an eau d’abattoir and notes of bay-bottom.

We’ve got a great plumber. He’s cheerful and efficient and knows exactly what his effort is worth in desperate times (plenty). So far he’s gone through a half dozen hazmat suits because apparently after one use, they haz had it. Anyway it’s all running great again. The plumber isn’t having his mail forwarded here anymore and I imagine at some point he’ll come back for his bathrobe and slippers.

I just ran the dishwasher and there’s no puddle at the bottom of the stairs. It’s raining like hell but that and the dishwasher are drowning out the sound of fungi rumbling in my windowsills. It’s a glorious day.