Kitchen surprise

Susan Manzke

A friend was upset when a mouse found its way into the basement of his house. He borrowed an infrared thermometer to detect possible holes where a mouse could sneak in. I told him to get a cat—that was a joke because I knew he wouldn’t ever consider getting a mouser.

In the past, we’ve had mice show up in our house, too, but not since our infestation of cats. Barn cats take care of rodents around the farm. Inside cats keep an eye out for any that might get past the barn cats. No mice here—knock on wood.

Cruella, one of our inside mousers.

So why did I jump when I heard an odd sound in the cupboard under the sink? What could be in there?

I had just finished washing up lunch dishes when the odd sound came to my attention. I looked down at my feet and immediately realized I didn’t have a mouse problem. I popped open the door and saw the trouble. We had a plumbing leak!

Dish water wasn’t going down the drain. It was going into the cabinet, streaming out onto the floor, and puddling in the kitchen!

Yikes! I fiddled with the drain plug, trying to get it back in place, stopping the flow of water. Of course, it didn’t go in as fast as I wanted. The pool was growing as I struggled. I finally did get it in, but not until a good portion of liquid surrounded my feet.

I needed to sop up the water fast. Towels were employed.

As the water was absorbed, I started removing everything from under the sink—more stuff than I expected: cleaning supplies, large flour tins, and containers and vases, some of which were now filled with dirty dish water. Ugh.

Bob hadn’t heard my heated call. He was busy elsewhere. I had everything mopped up by the time I got his attention.

It was now his job to reattach the drain. Thank goodness it wasn’t broken. It just needed to be reattached and new duct tape added to reinforce the connection.

Bob hates working under the sink. First, he has to get down on the floor. Second, he has to work in a smallish space, but at least he wasn’t swimming in dishwater.

Only one wrench was needed to fix the drain problem—we’ve been through this before. It wasn’t a complete surprise.

Bob under the sink, fixing drain.

My husband gazed in at the problem and groaned—he groans a lot. Sometimes it’s a groan at a problem, or a joint pain. Sometimes it’s a statement about his feelings for the day. This time it included all three.

My grumpy man found one of his rolls of duct tape and wrench before ever getting down on the floor. That way he only had to get up and down one time.

With his hands over his head, Bob turned the drain pipe connection back in place. The strain of working in this position wasn’t pleasant, but at least fixing didn’t take long—we were both grateful for this.

The stuff from under the sink wasn’t returned immediately. I wanted to check that another flood wouldn’t take place. The vases went into a box. Relocation may mean they will be included in a summer rummage sale.

Little by little I have replaced stuff back under the sink. It looks like the area will remain dry. I guess I can return my big tin of flour now.

This surprise broke up a boring winter day here. I thanked Bob for his help. In a way I was also thankful for the problem. Even though I was grumpy having to mop up, when all was done, I ended up with something I needed, that being a column subject. I just hope no marauding mice give me another column idea. I wouldn’t mind passing on that.

Susan and Bob Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165,