I struggle with Holy Week and Easter because as a clergy family, this particular part of the church calendar turns our family life into a train wreck. With his usual office hours, visiting people at home and in the hospital, meetings and parish emergencies, Thomas is away day and night (and very late night), I’m without a car in our tiny town for the week and by the time Thomas has a little time at home, all useful anemities are closed. Thomas doesn’t get much sleep, we miss him and everyone is talking about their grand plans for “the long weekend”. I’d like to be more comtemplative but I feel so overwhelmed and at times, helpless, that I count the days until Tuesday.
While Thomas spent his Maundy Thursday washing feet and blessing oils, I spent the morning discovering and shuddering over said discovery of a something ALIVE in the plumbing stack that runs through our bathrooms, scuttling and scratching. My dad happened to be here working on our kitchen and he pointed out that it would probably get out or “go down”. Now our ancient plumbing that leads from the house to the magical and mysterious place that waste goes is dodgy at best. Our first Labour Day in this house, the plumber came at midnight to clear roots from the main line and showed us where the clay pipe had collapsed eons ago under our driveway. The…ahem, every day sort of thing is a challenge for that plumbing, never mind some poor creature.
So no great surprised, as Thomas sat the Gethsemane Vigil, I was plunging the toilet in hope that it was a run-of-the-mill clog that kept the toilet draining for two hours. (I have many fond memories of toilet plunging, including the time I was 10 days post-partum, plunged for eight hours to avoid calling the plumber and realizing that delivering a baby had not been that exhausting.) I had to leave a cheery note for Thomas last night, asking him not to flush the toilet because there was a dead animal in the main line. Christ has died for you! Dead animals in our toilet! Welcome home!
So Good Friday began with a call to our plumber (“How did you hear about us?” the dispatcher asked. Seriously? We literally spend long weekends with the man), a call for pizza delivery at lunch (seafood may be traditional but after 48 hours of a migraine, choosing pepperoni and mushrooms was my Herculean holiday effort) and making peanut butter cookies with Adam because I want sugar and, can you believe it, there’s NO CHOCOLATE in the house.