And when I got down there--and this is the important part, so pay attention--when I got down there, I noticed that part of the dirt floor in the crawlspace part was darker, as if it was wet. With all the rain we've been having, a leaky cellar is a real possibility. So I walked over there, crouched down, and put my hand in the dirt. Dry. Bone dry. Which is a good thing. Remember this part, okay, because it becomes important later.....
So I shut the breaker off for the porch and went outside to take down the ugly 1970s porch light. Uh-oh. There's only a black wire poking out of the wall...and a big piece of Romex coming down the outside of the wall. So I called Mystery Man for some advice. (Mystery Man being the guy my sister double-dog-dared me to ask out.) "Where's the Romex go?" he asked. "Ummmm," I said, "Up?" He sighed. "Trace it back and find out where it goes." So I did, and it's a dead-end. Pokes out of the front wall of the house and pokes back behind the old light fixture. "Disregard that," he said. (I love it when he talks like a firefighter.) Between his careful explanation, and a couple of photos of the situation sent to him via cellphone, we got the new light installed.
So back down to the cellar I went, still chatting with him on the phone, to turn the breaker back on and see if the porch light comes on. (He told me that with only a black wire, we had a 50/50 chance of wiring it correctly.) I explained all about the scary cellar to him and we laughed about it. I said that if he hears the sound of a door slamming shut, he should call Lexington Fire to come get me out of the cellar. There's no way I can lift that door from underneath. I thanked him again for helping me, and he said not to thank him until we're sure it works. I hopped down the uneven wooden steps, yammering on about something like I always do, because I do talk like I write, only worse. And then I stopped talking. I think I stopped breathing. And then I said, "Holy sh*t..." in a voice full of fear and wonder. Because there before me, in the crawlspace, were the cinder blocks you see in the photo. Cinder blocks that...were...not...there...before. Nope. Most definitely not there before. Because that's where I was crouching. That's where I put my hand. Most definitely not there before. I had a few seconds of Rainman-like mumbling while Mystery Man kept saying, "What?! Are you okay?!" When I finally recovered the power of speech and explained it all to him, he said he was covered in goosebumps. He is covered in goosebumps?! Think how I felt! But wait...there's more! I could hear Baby Cat meowing over and over from far away, so I ran back upstairs to get him out of the bathroom where I'd shut him up. (The other two cats were outside in the screened porch.) But the bathroom door was open. And Baby Cat was gone. So I ran back down to the cellar and called him. (He thinks he is a dog and will come to me when I call him.) The pitiful meowing continued. I kept calling him. Then I saw two little eyes way back in the dirt tunnel that passes for the worst part of the crawlspace. "Please, God," I said, "let that be little Louie and not some demon or something." It was little Louie. He got to the edge of the tunnel and leaped toward me, eyes wide. I caught him and hugged him up. Now how in the world did the little cat get down there? And, worse than that, how in the world did those cinder blocks get there?? I carried him back upstairs, slammed the cellar door shut, and vowed not to go down there for a very long while.
And oh yeah, the porch light works.