We have really been enjoying staying at my sister’s cabin near the Great Lakes. It’s beautiful. It’s peaceful. It’s just lovely.
Or…was lovely…until the plumbing broke.
But, I guess if plumbing is going to break unexpectedly, a good time for it to happen is when a plumber is present. My husband was able to fix the immediate problem but as is common with old vacation cabins in the country, the plumbing problem started a chain reaction of other problems. The flooring needed to be replaced, the cabinets needed to be removed and replaced, the toilet had to be repaired. If you’ve ever lived on spring/well water, you know there is also a complicated system of pumps and water tanks. All of those needed repair. When the dust settled, my husband ended up working 10-hour days for a week and a half. The material costs were $1,200 but if my sister had to hire someone to do the actual repair, it would have easily surpassed $10,000.
She felt terrible of course. We had come to enjoy the lake and he spent most of the time fixing her house, even replacing some broken light fixtures and fixing her mower. She was on the phone talking to her friend, who also has a cabin in the country, explaining what happened and her friend said, ‘Are they headed to Minnesota? I’ve got some things that need fixing badly! Please tell me they are headed north!’ Then, when my husband and sister were at the hardware store, they were approached by a fellow customer and she asked if my husband was a contractor (he wears his construction t-shirts everywhere) and if he could do some repairs at her place. A few days later, a neighbor stopped by saying he had seen my husband carting in lumber and piping and wanted to know if my husband was available to do some work for him.
We debated if he should work the rest of our stay here. There was clearly a need and we could make some decent money but with only a week and a half left at the cabin (and the fact we drove halfway across the country to spend quality time with our kids and my sister) he declined all the requests. It’s always hard for me not to want to find ways to earn extra money but I need to be cognizant that we need to rest sometimes too.
BUT, we decided to consider a trip out next summer just to pick up some extra work and be able to visit my sister.