So I have to start with a brief apology to everyone who had gotten in the habit of checking in here on a daily basis. Sorry all things have been a bit busy this last week and a half, but are starting to calm down now.
Now, you are probably wondering what’s up with the title? What could you possibly have to do with those two men? Oh, I will tell you a tale, my friends, a tale of family, animals (well, one animal) and a great flood…
Monday started off with us checking out of the hotel, gassing up and hitting the road towards home. Two hours later we start talking about how tired we all are, how much fun we had, and how much each of us just wanted to vegg in his or her own way once we got home. I remind everyone as we pulled up to the house to grab things from the car as they get out so that we will have fewer trips (you know the whole let’s get it done, guys so we can all relax mom speech). We come to the back door and I unlock it and step inside. It is hot! I remember thinking, wow It’s so much cooler outside than in here, that’s weird, as I walked towards the stairs to up stairs to unload things.
I have to take a brief pause here to describe the layout of our house (it’ll be important soon I promise). Our house is one of those 2 story deals built into the side of a rolling hill. If you come in the front door you come in what appears to be the first floor of a ranch house, you are actually entering the second floor. From the back door you enter the first floor of the house which is half buried into a hill. Needless to say this downstairs is very well insulated. So upstairs in our multifamily home is the kitchen, a living room, a hall, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Downstairs is a large family/game room, an office, bathroom, laundry room and another bedroom. Got it? Now back to the noticeably hotter than outside downstairs…
I get to the door to the stairs and see white mist-like substance coming from under the door. I turn and yell, “Get out! I think there’s a fire! Go straight back to the car! I am going to see if I can get Charlie out.” You remember Charlie, right? He was my nemesis in Caring for the Elderly… Dogs That is. Well if everyone is out-of-town he gets shut in the kitchen (to reduce the mess) before anyone gets all fired up, we all left at staggered times and he was alone for about 24 hours with plenty of both water (spoiler alert-lol) and food. So I touch the door with the back of my hand (I totally remember Stop Drop and Roll week in Kindergarten) and it’s not really warmer than the air in the den so I open the door and look up the stairs.
Water is streaming over the rail at the floor to the kitchen, down the wall, onto the stairs! I look to the top of the stairs and realize I can’t see the wall at the top of the stairs because of the steam! I look lower to the floor at the top of the stairs, and there he is the infamous Charlie, laying in about 2 inch deep water, his pitiful head against the wall propped out of the water. (I tell you I have never felt sorrier for any animal in my entire life than I did for Charlie, who I have never felt the slightest bit of sorry for until that afternoon) I run up the stairs and grab him, lift and run him downstairs where he can get out the still open back door. I run back upstairs and through the very foggy kitchen. I realize about halfway across the kitchen that this ankle-deep water is hot (I had a blister or two that I noticed later) and go to the sink and shut off the hot water valve on the pipe under the sink. I slosh to the windows and start opening all the windows on my way to the front door which I also leave open on my way to tell the kids it’s not a fire, it’s a flood.
The steam upstairs was so thick I couldn’t see across the kitchen, so we all sat outside and waited a minute. I made calls to let people know what I found (I left messages as no one was answering) and then go back in the house to asses the damages. The steam had cleared a little so I (mostly out of morbid curiosity ) checked the thermostat, 92 degrees inside by the way. I continue to open other windows in rooms as I walk around. I go back through the kitchen and down the stairs, mentally making a list as I go. Things like, squish, carpet wet, that door is swollen shut, hm, that one is swollen open, squish, wow this water is hot, the ceiling is dripping from every where, the smoke detector is black, probably blown a fuse, better not turn on any lights, it’s raining in this room too, and so on, throughout the house.
I went back outside and around the house to answer the phone and give descriptions to people who were then on their way home. I sit in the driveway with the kids for a minute waiting for more steam to escape before I hop up and say, “Right, so we should start cleaning up” I cannot even describe to you the faces I got when I said that in my perky I want you to think I want to do this horrible thing so that you will want to do it as well voice. (It just occurred to me- I should rename that voice my Tom Sawyer voice, hmm note to self) So in my Tom Sawyer voice I led the troops back in through the front door to start gathering all the beach towels in the house & bring them to the kitchen with the little we are a family and families pull in together and help out however they can whenever they can speech I usually give to the chores dissenters when they voice their displeasure with dishes and toilet cleaning.
We got the towels assembled and set up our own little assembly line. I and GirlChild mopped up water with towels, BoyChild II gathered full of water towels and brought them to BoyChild I who rang them out in the kitchen sink and then passed them back to his brother who brought them to whichever of us in the floor had a full towel to take back to the sink. We worked like that steady for about an hour and do you know, not only was the kitchen floor dry, but other than the initial protests there were no other complaints?! (a very proud moment for me of my kids) We all clean ourselves up and find dry spots to crash while we wait for the others (who can call the insurance company) to get home.
I spent the next several days working my fanny off (as did those kids-sniff-what troopers) cleaning, moving, and attempting to salvage the contents of our house. So no, I wasn’t blogging (or even going to my day job for 3 days) but we all worked hard fighting a flood, banding together as a family, and rescuing an animal along the way. Yup that’s my flood story. Oh, and the kid’s Spring Break. How did you spend your Spring Break?
I have been asked to add a status of house clarification, so people don’t worry. There are at this moment no stairs or floors, few walls and no downstairs ceiling. All of these things had to be gutted. The insurance company has been very helpful and the deconstruction crew has been awesome as well (if all ends well I will post company contact info in the comments here for anyone who wants to know). We are all in 2 adjacent hotel suites, so not homeless. There are dehumidifiers in our house still so reconstruction is nowhere near about to start. Charlie is fine BTW- that old dude is gonna outlast all of us I think. I think that about covers it for now, I will do better at keeping everyone updated with the situation as it progresses.