Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Pam Burke 

Sometimes change stinks


April 11, 2014

It’s not that I’m afraid of change or that I hate change. I’m just highly suspicious of change, and when I say highly I mean it in a big way that’s in all capital letters — and italics — like HIGHLY suspicious.

Change operates under its own motives. Change is amoral. We know these things instinctually. We have the saying: Change for the sake of change is … bad, stupid, pointless, wasteful, insert your negative word of choice here.

I know, I know, people also say change is inevitable. Change invigorates your mind. “Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” said Mahatma Gandhi. Thanks, Em Gee, but I don’t know what that means in the context of that six-week period from the end of February through March this year while my sewer line was frozen. Solid.

But it wasn’t just the line, it was the septic tank having a catastrophic structural failure.

Imagine, if you will, sealing your toilet within the impenetrable grip of two dozen rolls of duct tape — for a six weeks. Good luck with that life.

Yeah, that didn't change my opinion about change.

I so loved the fact that I had to quicky-remodel the bathroom facilities by renting an outhouse for a month-plus. And though I was eternally thankful for the heated-above-freezing shop to put it in, there was the little matter of trekking the 120 yards through winter conditions from the house to the shop to use the new turquoise facility. That's what caused the most dismay.

It’s a difficult change to pre-plan for things we normally do without much of a break in thought. It’s a bit like potty training a puppy.

You have to think, “Well, puppy is sleeping now, but here shortly he’s going to wake up, eat, play and then want to go potty, so I have to get him outside somewhere around the tail end of play time.” Then puppy wakes up with his own agenda and you’re like, “No, no, no, puppy, puppy, not on the floor —” and you’re jumping into whatever footwear slips on the fastest and grabbing a coat while running out the door.

But you’re not a puppy who can potty next to the front door step, you have to traverse whatever winter elements Mother Nature throws at you for 120 yards just to use facilities that don’t flush.

Embrace that change. I dare you.

Eventually the weather warmed up enough the new, nonflushing, bathroom had to be moved outside. Eventually, and thankfully, it warmed up enough the new bathroom got sent packing. Eventually, and sooner rather than later, we will be getting a brand new, state-of-the-art septic system — as soon as I can collect enough change in a jar to pay for it.

(The day we moved the outhouse in, my husband and I stood in front of it, staring with looks of wonder reserved solely for those moments when you desperately question what your life has come to.

He said to me: "You're going to write about this aren't you."


"OK. Just wait until this thing is gone."

"I hear ya, man."

That's how we roll at pam@viewfromthenorth40.com.)


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