Silenced alarms, a first ride and hugs make me smile

Susan Manzke
Susan tossing out dishwater.

One gloomy day, I felt a little punk. Laundry waited for me so instead of putting it off, I pressed the ON button on my new washing machine and set it swishing. As the water was going down the drain for the last spin cycle the septic alarm sounded in the basement.

Oh no! That meant the septic tank was getting full. I hurried to check on the switches. As the high pitch sounded, I went to the electric box. It was time to test my system. If I switched on the electricity to the septic pump and the alarm continued to buzz, it meant either the ground was still frozen, or the pump was broken. Either one meant money going out for a solution.

I said a little prayer as I flipped the electric switch. Almost immediately the alarm became silent. Everything was working again. (I did a little happy dance.)

In mid-February, when Wisconsin was in the deep freeze, my septic system froze. I had the tank pumped, but it wasn’t life as usual. I really watched the amount of water that went down the drain. Instead of filling the sink to wash dishes, I got out two dishpans, one for washing, one for rinsing. Afterward, I put the water in a bucket and tossed it in the yard. Maybe I only saved two gallons from the septic tank, but at least that helped some. Now I can wash dishes and pull the plug without worry.

This past weekend, I wanted to see if the cart would start. It was suggested by a couple of family members that before I even turn the key that I hook up the battery charger.

A quick charge of the battery and soon Susan and Sunny were on their way.

I hesitated. Oh, I’ve used a battery charger before, but it has been a while.

The charger and extension cord were close at hand. All I had to do was swing the heavy cart seat up and attach the clamps to the correct terminals.

Even with the lights on, the area around the battery was dark. I would need a flashlight, but then I remembered I had one in my pocket.

I lit my cell phone, found the positive terminal. It was easy after that. All I needed to do was wait for it to charge.

Daughter Rebecca called to see if I had gotten the cart going. I hadn’t.

Back to the shed. The battery was charged. After disconnecting everything, it was time to give it a try.

At first, the cart whined. Then I remembered to pull out the choke. The cart chugged and hesitated. Finally, after much grumbling both by me and the cart, it came to life. A big smile crossed my face as I drove it around the yard.

Susan takes a selfie with Sunny as they take the cart out for a first ride of 2021.

As I was about to make my second lap, I remembered my dog. Sunny was used to riding between me and Bob during our wildlife rides. This day, I saw Sunny watching me out the porch window.

It only took a minute to attach his leash and have him join me for a few laps around the farmyard. I believe we were both wearing smiles.

More smiles came my way after receiving my last COVID vaccination. I was happy to get the shot, but what truly touched me came later, when I got my first physical hug.

Rebecca, who was also up on all her vaccinations came for a visit, a real one, not a virtual one. The first thing she did was hug me. I smiled, but I also cried. Not long after that, Russell visited and I got another hug. It’s amazing how good these hugs felt.

More hugs are on the way as others receive their vaccinations and I can’t wait.

Never pass up a hug or take them for granted. Take it from me. The benefits of having family members wrap their arms around you are innumerable.

These are just a few things that made me smile recently. I expect I’ll have more. It’s best to be positive about finding things that make me smile.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;