526Older houses, like older people, develop drips, which sometimes become leaks, and if unattended, sometimes become floods. We have recently had the first one, which then became the second one.

We have many skylights, which have always performed their duties beautifully, allowing the California sunshine to illuminate rooms shaded by large trees, which by the way, shed their leaves in the winter months, and that’s another story.

First it was just a spot or two, which might have been deposited by a busy puppy, if the puppy weren’t six years old. I mopped it, only to see another puddle in an hour or so. This continued under two of the skylights, occasioning the careful positioning of a number of bowls and a bucket or two beneath them. As the rain continued to fall, the sound of the dripping water into eight metal bowls became a bit much for Dr. Advice, so I lined the bowls with paper towels and toweling, which worked pretty well except for the nighttime sound of a thirsty dog helping himself to a midnight beverage.

It did provide a navigational hazard however in the middle of the floor, as we were about to have our annual Christmas party in mere days. A hostessing dilemma of great import along with parking places for cars and umbrellas.

The proper adjustment of bowls is crucial, and it is not easy to trace a drip midair. Dr. Advice, being a good engineer, advised putting chaulk marks on the tile floor, and it worked fine. I need to trust his superior judgement because he once advised Boeing Aircraft to put an “UP” sign on the side of their containers after someone laid an airplane engine on its side. Elementary, Dr. Watson. I wonder if they have cartons which come with that sign on now. With the mentality of some people these days, it might behoove them to do that.

The leaks have finally been patched, but not after the visits of two roofers who would each like to put on a whole new roof, and neither would be available immediately. While thinking that possibility over, a friend recommended a very nice young man who climbed up after the rain stopped, and working tirelessly even when it was getting dark, patched both skylights expertly.

Charlie misses the convenience of drive-by refreshment, but that’s a dog’s life for you.