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Hill Country Living

I’ve barely been in Water Valley this month, or even Mississippi for that matter, so I’m not sure if I’m qualified to write the September editions of Hill Country Living. I should have passed this month’s columns off to someone more qualified like, say, my cat Janet who was here the whole time and never left. She probably suffered some form of solitary confinement related mental illness from being alone so long.
 

But I wouldn’t be able to tell anyway because she kind of suffers just a regular ol’ normal mental illness, whether I’m here or not. Nothing against Janet or mental illness, but one is just not normal when one starts her life born in a dumpster behind the Piggly Wiggly. But one is definitely qualified to write Hill Country Living.
 

Anyway, the point is, due to various work trips I have spent a total of six days in Water Valley. But that was long enough for everything to thoroughly go to pot. And I mean that literally.
 

Between trips I was home for, give-or-take, a 24-hour period. In that time I needed to pack myself for my next trip as well as my kids for their five-day stay with their grandparents. This was a packing job that, between the three of us, required dress clothes, “city shoes,” two different sports uniforms and related equipment (for two different kids,) school backpacks and lunch boxes, red shirts for the Ole Miss game (which I promptly forgot,) and Lord only knows what else.
 

And the packing job had to be good because they were going to their grandmother’s and I didn’t want to look like a slacker mom by packing four pairs of clean socks instead of five. Y’all moms know what I’m talking about… 

At some point in preparation, while washing all these clothes and getting this mother-of-all packing jobs together, I took a momentary break to look in the bathroom mirror at my haggard, exhausted self and pondered for a second what I’ve done with my life. You know, as one occasionally does. That’s when it happened.
 

I heard a bizarre gurgling sound behind me, like maybe that of Godzilla rising up from a mud pit. I heard the washing machine with the Ole Miss shirts and the uniforms dutifully draining for the spin cycle in the next room. I knew what was about to go down. I continued to stare into my own eyes in the mirror for a second, the final moment of peace before the gallons of raw sewage from my now-discovered clogged mainline flooded my bathroom.
 

It was a sight to behold. “Water,” for lack of a better word, poured out of my commode like Niagara Falls and spewed forth from my bathtub drain like Old Faithful. Except brown-ish. My bathroom was like a filthy, uninhabitable swamp marsh in an apocalyptic dystopia and could have easily been a decent location for an episode of “Naked and Afraid.” I was happy to have been clothed at the time of the incident. I was definitely still afraid, though.

All this to say, within minutes I had at least seven or eight friends offer the use of their washing machines, clothes dryers, showers and liquor stashes. I even had a friend offer to help clean by suggesting she Baptize my arm, which had gotten soiled in the incident, with some of her tequila (Hi, Monica!) And within minutes the world’s best plumber and all around good-at-everything man had messaged me back to arrange a time to fix the issue.
 

There was an immense amount of help immediately made available to me and I credit small town life and nice people for that. I’m not sure how much that can or does happen in a place where you need city shoes. Glad to be back!

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