Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
From The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
It started small. You know, walking around in socks, kind of realizing your foot is damp, and then getting sidetracked with whatever. The next day upon realizing there is a leak around the back of the powder room commode, Hubby checked and attempted a fix. Didn’t work. I attempted a fix. Instantly, in my hand I had the connector hose and IN MY FACE, Old Faithful in my bathroom!!! Not just in my face, all over me, the ceiling, the walls, in the sink, in the waste basket, down the heat vent. I’m screaming and dripping. Hubby tries to shut valve. Again, didn’t work. We ran downstairs to shut off main house valve. Didn’t work. It was like slow motion yet I haven’t moved that fast in years. Back upstairs, Old Faithful was still erupting. I called my neighbor. He immediately came over (bless him). No doubt the panic in my voice was obvious. At the same time a friend from church “coincidentally” showed up for a meeting. Between the two of them, the water was shut off. We probably had 10-15 minutes of geysering. Hubby called another friend who fixed the toilet and we set to mopping up. No serious damage, thankfully. Just water, water everywhere. We cleaned up as best we could before dinner. A couple of hours went by before we realized apparently all the water that had seeped through the floor and the vents into the basement had shorted out the furnace. After a bit of helpful dialog with a friend in the business, we opted to wait until morning for help. Fortunately, the furnace dried out and it came on around 4am. That was yesterday. I’m still washing, drying and folding towels!
Last May, I was staying with my four young grandkids as their parents were in Paris. (Sigh) Anyway, one night, in the midst of a terrible thunder storm, the tornado sirens were going off; the TV Weather Guys going on, and we gathered in the lower level along with sleeping bags, pillows and the dog. I went to check their “mud” room to find water coming under the back door. It was just about to reach the carpet and had seeped under the wall into the laundry room. I had to call for reinforcements, the father-in-law, to come unblock the outside drain, all the while smiling and trying to make the grandkids believe we were having “an adventure!” All towels were washed, dried and accounted for by the time the big kids came home.
I am reminded of September 2008. Hubby and I had driven north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado to a friend’s chalet for a much-needed R & R. The first morning there, I awoke to sunshine, clear blue skies and the sound of a river. Problem? We were nowhere near a river. It was in the basement! I went down the steps to see water flowing by! Literally FLOWING BY! Running upstairs, I yelled for Hubby to wake up, get up and help. We turned off the hot water heater immediately (the source of the river) and set to mopping up. We realized that although the drain was about 2 feet from the water heater, it was uphill and the water was flowing out in the opposite direction, into the bathroom, the garage, and down the hall directly to the front bedroom. Hubby and I worked with mop and snow shovel in tandem to get the water back up to the drain, which apparently was clogged so water was going down very slowly. We must have been a sight: me with pajamas tucked into my socks (I had put shoes on.) and Hubby in bare feet with his pajamas rolled up above his knees. He said later that he was thankful the water was warm! We had to go upstairs to the main floor frequently to take breaks because the altitude caused our breathing to be difficult. Just going up and down the stairs took its toll! It took the next three days, lots of hired help and every towel in the place to clean it up. It was a fully furnished lower level.
Back in the late 60’s, I was home alone as my folks were traveling. I was heading out to work, going through the laundry room to the garage. Whoops! There it was, water, a lake all over the floor coming through the rafters. I ran upstairs to find the cause. My parents’ bathroom! The commode was leaking. Water was all over the bathroom and flowing not only through the floor but into their bedroom. I ran next door to Mrs. Cullen. As a mother of twelve, she was pretty knowledgeable on most anything. She said that, knowing my dad, he would have made sure there was a shut-off valve under the toilet. She was right and it worked. Then I set to cleaning up. Again with the towels.
I’m trying to think this through, this pattern. Is it normal to have so many indoor” flood” stories? Should I finally see about those swimming lessons? Maybe I should take some courses in plumbing? Oh wait, I know! I’m going to buy stock in towels!