Tuesday, June 23, 2009

All Choked Up

Saturday Sue and I started a two week stint of managing the Lakeview Cottages. We take turns managing the place with the other co-owners. Saturdays are our change-over days because most of our guests check in on Saturday afternoon and check out the following Saturday morning.

On a usual Saturday there is a lot to do, and it’s not a one-person job. This particular Saturday had the extra bonus and extra work of a wedding taking place at Camp Keola at 11 a.m. Chris Janzen and Robin Linscheid, the groom and bride, are two young people we watched grow up and who both have strong ties with Keola. Some of the wedding guests were staying at the Cottages, and wouldn’t you know it, the sewer system on the wedding guests’ cabins was not working. And Sue, my main co-worker was totally zonked from two weeks of whamo therapy (my term for chemo therapy). She wasn’t working either this particular day.

Thank goodness for good friends. We had the help of three couples, Mark and Cindy, Phil and Debbie, and Loren and Margie, but for which we would have been in trouble. I got a little choked up after they all left, thinking of all the things they did to bail us out.

Mark and Phil and I did a fair amount of digging and roto-rooting to get the sewer pipe unclogged. While the system was draining, it appeared to be not quite right. We couldn’t get the roto-rooter past a certain part of the pipe. I did a little more digging on Monday and got to the root of the problem. The roots of a tree had literally choked the four inch pipe down to a one inch pipe. Sort of like a tree root anaconda.

Sue wanted to go up to Keola for the wedding ceremony. It was about all she had energy for on this particular day, but this was important. It was about being the church and being community and being supportive, things that had meant a particular lot to her lately, since our church community has been so supportive of her and us. Mark and I were trying to clear a choked up sewer line, and that was important too. Sue and Cindy walked off with a stern warning -- a sort of look you get to recognize after 28 years of marriage -- to Mark and I that we’d better show up for the wedding ceremony. We could come back to our sewer problem later. Classic dilemma: either way we were in it deep. We decided to throw down our shovels for a half hour and save our marriages.

The wedding was a nice affair, held on the deck of the newest building at Camp Keola. You could see right through the two glass walls of the chapel to the trees on the other side. Sue and I had met at Keola, raised our kids there, had a hand in building this building, and, in our own small takes-a-village way, had a hand in raising the bride and groom. Keola had been important in our faith development, and a lifelong mission for us. For a lot of reasons we got all choked up during the ceremony.

All these emotions are draining. Backed up, choked up, roto-rootered, dirty water flowing draining.


  1. "Either way we were in it deep" Funny.

  2. Cameron (Elder) RoofApril 15, 2010 at 8:15 AM

    You both had a hand in raising so many of us, through Keola. We would not be who we are, without what God has done through you in our lives!