After Labor Day the Islands back to Abnormal.

A backhoe has dug two ditches across properties North of me, deep and wide they both uncovered sewer lines. Of course it had to be investigated and a determination made as to just exactly what they were up to. The first one I rode up to was empty, no one was around so I rode further to the other one. Two men were bent over with shovels clearing dirt from the bottom. Both were wearing broad-brimmed straw hats, a smart move in this sun. Still, no clues were exposed, stopping them from their hard labor to ask a stupid question was not in my interest so I continued along.

Upon passing the house nearest to mine a big vacuum truck was in the yard, a large diameter rubber hose led into the hole. It was connected to the sewer line (pipe) to extract whatever was blocking the flow. It was clogged solid with ash from when the house burned to the ground about 6 years ago.

Joe told me our local sewage treatment department performed an inspection then notifying those with a clogged line, it had to be cleared. It sounds like a reasonable practice but I wonder what difference it could possibly make. It might be venting, if there is no free passage of air the stuff won’t move through the pipes as well. In the process, a well established Apple tree was pulled from the ground, I will miss it as it’s one of those I steal apples from; at least they saved the Peach Tree.

This County doesn’t make sense some times, neither do the people that live here may I add. My neighbor Mitz is planning on building a 100% solar home. He has the right idea not to connect to the utility at all, but he has to install electrical service on a 14-foot high platform with stairs up to it. (4.26 meters). It’s for the construction crew’s need for electrical power to build the house. It’s going to be a pre-fabbed house, set on pylons 20 feet (6 meters) high. My question is why can’t the contractors use generators and cordless tools? Porta-Potties don’t have to be plumbed into the sewer while under construction it seems to me to be about the same thing. The final blow is the Power Tower must be taken down upon completion of the project the electrical service must then be connected to the house. That exercise will cost him in the neighborhood of $15,000.00, including permits to erect it and take it down.

The farm across the road has been red-tagged, it’s hard telling what he did, sometimes it looks a bit shady over there. He rented out space to people for raising animals. I thought hogs, steers, and sheep, but way on the far side of his property arose a small town made of plywood and tin siding. The majority of them were raising chickens from the sound of it, some nights it was loud. I imagined due to it being dusk that a Fox, or perhaps Coyotes were over there raising the amplitude. He was red-tagged; all of the structures had to be taken down then hauled off the site, he complied. Two weeks later he rebuilt the same type of animal rearing sheds, this time the county red-tagged him and shut him down. This was the fourth time, the first two had something to do with illegal structures set up to live in. I don’t know what is going on there, I normally give it my reality check by asking myself two questions; How is what he is doing affecting me? Secondly, are the animals OK.

Most of the time the answer to the first is that I am unaffected, he’s not hurting a thing it just happens to be cross-wise with the county so it’s a legal issue between them, and the last I was aware of is I’m not a policeman or a lawyer, so that’s that..

If the animals are being abused that’s an entirely different matter, they aren’t, in fact, he treats his animals with concern and caring, so there’s no problem with that.

I’m not completely clean either, I ran over the main water pipe on my scooter causing a 10-foot high geyser. The instruction manual says not to drive through puddles or in the rain, I was drenched along with everything in a 20-foot diameter of the pipe. The main valve had to be shut off, but not just anyone is qualified to perform that task, I had to call Joe, our water guy. I left a message, he has a day job and is not always available, I texted him as well. Then I called the manager of the water company, we have a small number of members so it’s not like a huge political scandal or anything. Dean asked me if I called Joe, then told me he was at work also and just let the water run, that’s all you can do he said.

The concern is the electric bill for all of our wells, it was during the electrical peak hours. Joe arrived after the swamp had formed, the valve is underground. He lowered himself down onto his knees under the arc of water now cascading down on him. Reaching down to where the valve is he was now up to his shoulder in mucky water. He had to secure the valves at the wellhead, the conditions he faced were too daunting. “Wait here,” he ordered me “I’ll be right back.” He returned about an hour later, he asked me how I was going to fix it, our youngest son is a plumber I told him and he will make the repair later that night, then I’ll call you to turn it back on.

“This is gonna cost you $15.00 for sure,” he told me as water dripped off of his nose and chin, he looked like he was in a wet Tee shirt contest. Grabbing a pipe cap, glue, and a shovel he made the repair.

“How do I get the 15 bucks to you?” I asked him through his open truck window.

“I’ll send you a bill if Dean tells me to.” He said unconvincingly.

The bill will never arrive, he knows I would have paid him then, I tried to give him a $25 piece of tempered glass but he wouldn’t bite, so it was Adios until next time. No one wants that piece of glass, I hate to take it to the much anticipated “Free Dump Day.”

There’s gotta be some good stuff in there.
Photo by Emmet on

It’s a big week on the Island, free dump day is Saturday, September 14 by appointment only and bring along a current garbage bill with a drivers license. One trip per household, no electronics, tires, or toxic materials. It’s like old home day, I will see people I haven’t seen since the last free garbage day, now that’s one thing the County does OK.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance.

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