It’s called “Man Land” for a reason. This place of mystery and mayhem is populated by the male of the species and is surrounded by an aura that seems to exude testosterone. A locale best left to the ones who can navigate its depths without a compass or sextant. The few females who venture into it are forever changed, as yours truly can testify.

“Man Land” is a place where screwdrivers have names and where a tool belt is anything but a fashion statement. I once learned about a 16 oz, leather-grip, curved-claw, Eastwing. My husband wanted one. He told both our sons, “I want a 16 oz, leather-grip, curved-claw Eastwing.” I wasn’t sure what all that meant but you can be sure when he opened his gift, this lady wasn’t expecting…a HAMMER! Yes. A hammer.

This place should have signs posted around the perimeter, “Estrogen sensors in use 24/7“. Many times I’ve stated that the estrogen sensor is a device reserved for certain items; like lap tops, lawn mowers and especially the automobile. How many times has my computer done something funky and frustrating only to revert to normal the second Mr. Kennett sits down in front of it? The car can knock, ping and whistle Dixie, but the minute he gets behind the wheel, it purrs like a kitten. How else does any device know when a woman is present unless it has an estrogen sensor? (This is yet another piece of ‘technology’ that’s probably made in China.)

My husband since 1979 stepped in a hole in the yard and hurt his ankle. It required surgery to repair, and of course, it was just this time so many things decided to go awry.

We live in the country. It’s very rural and usually, very quiet. We do not have curb service because there are no curbs. No street lights. No sidewalks. No city utilities. This means we have a well and a septic tank.

As soon as Mr. Kennett fell, things here went crazy. It would seem that Murphy’s Law has not been repealed. Our septic tank clogged up, but after observing my husband on previous occasions, I knew just what to do, and how to fix the problem. One broom handle and one determined woman and one clog eliminated. Or so I thought. That night, when the tub wouldn’t drain, I made another visit to the concrete box underground. Now, it’s dark out here at night, but with a flashlight and broom-handle-turned-tool, I was not to be deterred. The concrete lid on the above-ground collar seemed to gain ten pounds every time I lifted it. Holding my spotlight in one hand, I whacked the clog with the broom handle. Until that moment, I hadn’t known that PVC pipe could give birth. Something that looked like a section of pipe was sliding out. I broke off a hunk, and more slid forward. It was white, speckled and hard. I continued to break off pieces and it just kept sliding out. There must have been twelve inches of crud. Just as the last of the clog came free, my flashlight went dead. Now, as I said, it’s dark out here in the country. I’m not afraid of the dark, but truly, you haven’t lived until you’ve stood in the dark, admiring the stars and listening to your septic tank gurgle. (sigh) There are things in “Man Land” I’m better off not knowing about. I did manage to walk back to the house without stepping in a fire ant mound.

The same weekend when Mr. Kennett got hurt, and the septic tank backed up; the well pump also quit pumping which meant no water. The contacts on the pressure switch needed filing. Something I’d seen my husband do many times, usually because fire ants had gotten more than they bargained for and “fried” in the contacts. I go into “Man Land” and do what’s necessary and voila!, we have water, for a few hours. One of our adult sons came over and filed the contacts the next time and we decide the contacts are just filed beyond recognition. My brother, Michael, comes over, he files, water comes back but only for a few hours. (This is getting old.) We install a new pressure switch and we have water; until the breaker keeps tripping.

Two weeks into the water/no water journey and we diagnose the problem: new well pump must be purchased and installed. Our well is a three-hundred feet punched work of ingenuity and I’ve been very thankful for the quality of this water.

New pump goes in, as does some very fine debris. (dirt, dead leaves, etc.) Running water in the kitchen to flush the line didn’t completely eliminate the fine particles of debris. But, washing clothes with particulates in the water means a clogged filter behind the washing machine and said device refuses to fill up. The decision was made, by me, to drag the garden hose INSIDE the laundry room to fill up the machine; once to wash and again to rinse. Geez, my ability to improvise has been sorely tested.

Remind me to tell you about the bug that went up my pants leg during this adventure and how I got some medical personnel motivated to take care of my husband’s ankle.

At this point, it’d be safe to say, I needed a vacation from “Man Land”. I continue to seek a place where the sign reads, “Estrogen spoken here!”

Until next time, I’ll be Rambling On.

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