And then the waters came…

by Doc Coleman on January 16, 2014 · 2 comments

in Asides

It has been a while since my last post. To say the least, the days have been packed. In some ways, I wished they could have been unpacked a little.

I won’t go into everything… but let me tell you about last week.

On Monday, I went back to work and had to slog through some of the email backlog that had built up over the holidays… and deal with all the new stuff that came flying because everyone else was back to work. I made special arrangements to stay late to cover a meeting… and they canceled it ten minutes before it was supposed to start. Pretty typical day at work, actually. Monday night it was burning up in the house and I tossed and turned all night. I couldn’t sleep, so I called in on Tuesday.

Tuesday, it got cold in the house during the day… and that was when we discovered that the furnace had blown a fuse. This led to a trip out to Home Depot to get a replacement. With the furnace in operation again, we went to bed and I had another sleepless night, just tossing and turning. So I called in sick on Wednesday.

And then the waters came…

Kee had a dentist appointment in the early afternoon, and I finally woke up when she was getting ready for it. It was after noon, so I dragged myself out of bed and headed downstairs a little while after she had left for her appointment intent on getting some food. As I came downstairs, I could hear a dog in the unit next to us barking its head off, almost in a panic. I hadn’t remembered hearing a dog from that condo before. When I went into the kitchen, I noticed that the throw rug on the floor had a big wet spot on it. I texted Kee to ask if she had spilled something on it, and grabbed a bagel.

Kee answered back a few minutes later that she had not spilled anything. She suggested it might be cat pee, but it didn’t have the right smell for that. Besides, none of our cats have ever gone outside their litter boxes before. I went back into the kitchen and noticed that the wetness on the rug had spread.I lifted up the edge and saw water pooling underneath. Great. I checked our sink, but the inside of the cabinets were all dry. The water was coming out at the floor level. It wasn’t running down from above. I checked the under-stair storage space. It seemed dry. At the very least our pipes weren’t leaking. That meant the water had to be coming from next door. Suddenly I knew why the dog had been barking.

Kee called the site office to let them know that we had water coming into our unit from the unit next door, and they called the resident at work. I rolled up the wet carpet and took it outside. At this point we both started sopping up the water with mops and paper towels. About fifteen to twenty minutes later the neighbor had come home and we discovered the problem: the water main had frozen in his front wall and ruptured the pipe before the shut-off for the house. When things warmed up during the day, the ice melted enough to start spraying into their utility closet and their entire first floor was flooded. And seeping into our house, and the unit on the other side. The joys of townhouse condos, eh?

There was nothing to do at this point but to wait for a water control crew to arrive and shut off the water. Well, that’s not quite true. We had found a wet spot on our living room carpet. That meant the water was coming through there, too. We started clearing away everything that was on that wall. Moving furniture, disassembling the TV set up, unplugging lamps. First priority was to move it away from the wet, second was to move what we could upstairs so that it would be out of the way of the workmen.

We had cleared a lot out by the time the workmen showed up at our house. They started next door. First shutting off the water, then identifying how badly flooded things had become. When they came to our house, they confirmed that the water had come in under our cabinets, but they also discovered that it had come in under the wall in our Harry Potter room: the under stairs storage space. The water there had also been at least partly absorbed into the wall board, and they ended up cutting a foot tall chunk off the bottom of the wall. They cut up a four by eight foot chunk of carpet in the living room.

The carpet... er, lack of carpet.Yup. No carpet here...

In the kitchen, they drilled holes in the baseboards and brought in a blower that looked it had been cross-bred with a squid. They tucked the tubes through the holes and turned it on. Said we needed to leave it on for the next three days to dry out the wall behind the cabinets enough to prevent mold from taking root. They also dropped a dehumidifier on the slab in the living room and said we had to run that for three days, too.

We shall call him squiddy.

In many ways, that was the easy part.

You see, our living room and dining room are all one big piece of carpet, and thirty year old carpet at that. They were not going to be able to just match the carpet and patch the place that had been cut out. At some point we’re going to need all new carpet on the first floor.

And that living room/dining room combo? Yeah, it is full of stuff.

Lots of stuff.

Ok, we’ve had a bad habit in years past of bringing things in and just dumping them in the living room because we were too exhausted to put them away… and never quite putting them away again. Not quite hoarder level, but a lot of stuff.

And now it all has to be moved.

So, we got started on it. I took Thursday and Friday off of work, and for those two days, plus Saturday and Sunday, we packed, picked up, threw away, reorganized, sorted, and recycled. We packed up our guest bed on the second floor, disassembled it and stood it against the wall so we would have more space to stack stuff displaced from the first floor.

Monday, I went back to work… and then came home and kept on sorting, trashing, and recycling.

This Tuesday I came home from work and went to sleep. A body can only take that pace so long. Wednesday I caught up with some chores.

Today, It is back to cleaning up. Our goal is to shift some more furniture up to the second floor this weekend. Plus, we have a 40 inch Harrisville 8 harness, ten treadle loom that Kee no longer uses that we would like to sell. That needs to come downstairs so that when we get a buyer it can go out the door quickly. We’ve asked some of our friends if they might be able to come over sometime during the long weekend to help move furniture, but takers have been few.

So that is the tale of the waters so far. Other stuff has been going on, too, but I’ll save that for another post.


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