Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Under The Tuscan Sun"...With 'Possum...

Operating an historic Inn with more than her fair share of patina requires a real sense of adventure and a very healthy sense of humor. I love the charm and beauty of the old building but, much like me, she requires a whole bunch of upkeep as the years go by. There are wonderful craftsmen and repair services available on the island but things always seem to happen at night or on weekends. Help is available if you really need them but, come on, I know how to use power tools and a drain snake.

To start off my week, I stopped up a drain in the kitchen peeling peaches for home made ice cream. The clog simply would not budge even after Old Man Taylor threw some testosterone and few expletives at the problem. The next morning our plumber removed 6 – count ‘em – 6 ancient cocktail forks from the sink trap. How does one get 6 cocktail forks down the drain and how many years ago did that happen? Well, it boggles the mind. No wonder I couldn’t shake that clog. The plumber just kept laughing and pulling out forks.

Next a thunderstorm knocked out the air conditioning in the staff wing of the building. After my knowledge of HVAC was exhausted, Jeremy, our commercial appliance repair hero, came out on a blistering Friday afternoon to replace a part. Everything seemed to be back to normal on Saturday when one of our friends called me in to look at something down the floor vent in the office. The “something” was looking back. It was the sweetest little baby ‘possum but unfortunately, he was inside the duct. Super- just super. Old Man Taylor was gone and it looked like I was in for a ‘possum rodeo and duct repair. When we were reasonably certain that the little fellow had gone on his way, my sister-in-law and I patched the broken ducts. She was most helpful in holding both the flashlight and my margarita and cheering me on in the basement gloom. I really needed a pal and bartender at that moment and she kept a look out for mama ‘possum . We agreed that it was probably the first time in our lives that we had ever used duct tape on an actual duct.

Somehow all this seemed more romantic when Diane Lane did it.