People fall back on a couple of tried and true sayings when things go awry.

One of the truisms is almost too cute. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Making lemonade is all well and good, but in some situations, you might be drowning in the sweet and tart libation.

Let’s say the first pile of lemons resembles Mount Wycheproof in Australia, which is the shortest mountain in the world — 486 feet above sea level, but only 141 feet above its surroundings. At 2122+ feet, the second lemon pile would be the Sutter Buttes in Yuba City, California. The third pile is Mount Everest in the Himalayas towering 29035 feet above sea level. No matter how you look at the piles, that is a lot of lemonade, don’t you think?

The other often repeated axiom pops up when several things go wrong in close succession is “Bad luck comes in threes.” That bit of semi-wisdom is neither encouraging nor consoling when life piles it on.

Our first pile was probably our Mount Everest. Sticking doors and long wide cracks in the walls and on the ceiling was the foundation’s version of shouting for help. Assistance came in three stages.

The first was the backbreaking digging of holes around and under the house in unseasonably warm temperatures. Stage two was the installation of deep medieval-appearing towers next to and under the house. It took two truckloads of cement to fill all the towers.

But before stage three could happen, the Mount Wycheproof size lemon pile made its splashing presence known. Three separate leaks lurked under the house in the outflow plumbing. The cherry on top of the Mud Cake surprise, two of the leaks called for a form of demolition derby inside the house. To repair the leaks, the plumber drilled holes in the bathroom and laundry room floor tiles.

The slight silver lining in our wall-cloud of plumbing pain, the third leak required outside repairs. Whoopee and all that rot!

Return with us now to the third stage of the foundation repair, known as mud-jacking. Guess what? Unsightly holes were drilled under carpeting, wooden floors, and bathroom floor tiles other than the plumbing mess. The monster truckload of mud-squirting step to fill the gap under the house caused by the raised foundation prevented bigger problems and damage in the future.

Then the third pile of lemons appeared. This one was about the size of Sutter Buttes. The forty- year-old air conditioner decided now was the perfect time to kick the coils or croak. The decision to replace the system was a no brainer due to irreparable leaks in the interior unit and bullet holes in the compressor outside. Living in the country sometimes includes dealing with rifle-toting neighbors and their stray bullets.

Do you suppose such rowdy neighbors represent a twisted version of the Texas Drive Friendly campaign? Perhaps they are part of some dedicated group known as the Neighborly Shooters.

As you may have guessed, it was impossible to count the cost of all the lemonade on our combined fingers and toes. It was time to ask questions and get creative with the payment process. Both the foundation repair company and the plumbing company allowed us to charge their services rather than write checks. The results were a major uptick in our credit card reward points. A small compensation but better than another poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

You may recall the insatiable curiosity of your youth. Well, Hubby still has a massive dose of that youthful curiosity coursing through his veins. Consequently, the upside of all the work done at our house turned out to be his not-so-free entertainment. With all the lemon piles popping up, he kept busy watching the workers and asking lots of questions.

Events like these can bring us to our knees or make us laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Besides, Hubby had fun watching the guys dig instead of doing the digging himself.