Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, August 17, 2015


More boxes of books.  I've fniished culling my books and those that are going to Florida with us are safely packed in the POD.  I'm slowly distributing the remaining boxes to local  libraries and charities.  Once I have exhausted those, my plan is to break into darkened houses at night, leave a box of books (or maybe two) in the living room (or perhaps on the kitchen table), and vanish into the night, chortling wildly.

Walt and Christina were due to have their first POD dropped off this past Friday.  Since they live on a hill (that's Southern Maryland talk for a cliff), the driver was not able to drive up it.  (Their driveway is long and steep and people have been known to demand a defib once they have walked up it.)  Their homeowner's association will not allow the POD to be placed by the street, so it was decided to place their POD over at our place next to our POD.  Now our driveway is not steep but there is a gentle incline at the start of the driveway and...You guessed it.  The truck could not back into our driveway without tearing up the asphalt.  This particular truck had a very low clearance in the rear.  It won't be until tomorrow (Tuesday) at the earliest that the POD company can send out a truck with the proper clearance.  Which means that Walt and Christina have lost three days in their planned move.  Oh.  And their date for passing papers on the Florida house has been moved up to this coming Thursday.

As for us, the house inspection went fairly well.  There were a few minor issues, mostly things that were here when we bought the house over nine years ago.  (Strangely, none of the things they found were mentioned when we paid for a home inspection five months ago.)  Among the things they noted were erosion in a spot near the house foundation (this was actually a small area that our dog Declan had dug -- there is no way water could erode this spot without eroding a much larger area) and a slightly bent spot on our rear roof gutter where "a tree had fallen on it" (despite the fact that no tree or branch had fallen at any time against the house in the thirty-plus years since it was built and that the gutter works perfectly and that we clean the gutter twice a year.)  Oh well.

And then there was a scheduled septic inspection.  The house has its own septic system because public sewers just don't exist in our area,  The septic inspection was on Friday.  And it failed.

Understand that we have never had a problem in all the time we've been here and the septic inspector told us we could go on for years without a problem.  We still failed.  Evidently when he filled the septic tank with water it did not drain as fast as it should have, indicating there may be a blockage somewhere in the pipe leading from the tank to the drainage field, or (perhaps) a tree root dislodged something.  He took a few pokes at the drainage field and the problem doesn't seem to come from there.  But the septic system failed the test.  And he wrote "failed" on his report.  And that's a big problem.

You see, once the word "failed" is on the report, no one can legally fix the problem without a permit from the County Health Department, which has the final say on what is required to fix the problem.  Our septic system, as I said, is well over thirty years old.  We have a small 750 gallon tank and a fifty-foot drainage field.  All this is about half the size of what the current code calls for.  Although our system is more than adequate for the property and the fact that our system may be grandfathered in, the County can insist we bring the entire system up to the current code if they feel like it.  Or, if the problem is minor, they may be satisfied with just repairing the blockage.  It's all up to them.  It may cost us a couple of hundred bucks or it may cost us eight thousand dollars or more -- we just don't know.  And we won't know for two weeks, which appears to be the earliest time our septic contractor and the Health Inspector will be able to look at the system.

This should not effect the sale of the house (I hope) and we've amended the sale contract to take the septic repairs into account, but it will effect our scheduled move day and our pocketbooks.  **sigh**

And how was your week?


  1. Don't forget to send a few of the cool old paperbacks you think I'd like this way, Jerry!

  2. That septic thing is a mess. Too bloody much red tape and such. The inspector obviously didn't listen to you explaining about the dog digging, no trees on the gutter, etc. But do they ever?