You might have noticed that posting has been light of late (mostly here but also at MM.com in the past couple of days). My father passed away late Saturday night/early Sunday morning after a long decline from Alzheimer’s and related problems.
He was a proud Air Force veteran and successful business executive who loved his family, country and the outdoors.
Quick background on this “signs” story: When I was growing up, our house (which my mother still lives in) had a sump pump, like many do. It’s an area where the ground can get very damp and if a sump pump isn’t maintained, there will be problems.
I remember one time, probably back in the late 1970’s or so, coming home from vacation to find the basement to be knee-deep with water. I used to like to watch my dad fiddle with the sump pump, replace it when necessary, and check to make sure it was working properly on a daily basis. In other words, if story of the area of my dad’s life that concerns household machinery had been written by Herman Melville, my father would have been Captain Ahab and the sump pump would have been his “white whale.” I learned all of my sump pump tech skills from him.
On the other hand, the house I’ve now lived in with my family for about 15 years has a fairly dry basement, but we do have a sump pump. As a matter of fact, I replaced it last year and alerted Mystery Science Theater 3000 alum Mike Nelson that the old sump pump looked familiar:
I’m guessing that also closely resembles what Hillary’s email server looks like.
I hadn’t had much trouble with the new sump pump that I replaced that with, other than some tweaking here and there.
Okay, here’s the “signs” part: My dad passed away very early Sunday morning. Later in the morning, knowing my sister was coming over with other company (where we would talk about dad while watching Michigan State clinch a Final Four appearance — WOOT!), my wife suggested we serve a ham we had in the basement freezer. When I went downstairs to get it, I heard a loud buzzing sound and traced it to the laundry room. Looking at the corner of the room, the sump hole was full of water and the pump wasn’t working. I unplugged the pump, pulled it from the hole, drained it, let it cool down and then tried it again — and it worked.
A “sign” from my dad, or just a happy coincidence? In either case, it brought back great memories when they were needed most.
I’ll be back to as close to full speed as possible before too long (“full speed” for me defined as about 70 percent — I’m a big believer in not burning your reserves).
This spring, the weather watches and warnings we get on occasion might provide an opportunity for further tribute to my dad: I’ll pour a gin & tonic over the rocks and go stand in the driveway looking for tornadoes after ordering the rest of the family into the basement for safety… and to make sure the sump pump is working.
Update: In hindsight maybe I should have mentioned the sump pump in dad’s obituary, but it’s still not bad.