Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dear ShopVac

My Dear Shopvac,

I just wanted to write you a letter of appreciation for all of your hard work. I know that I haven't always given you proper appreciation. I know I wasn't happy with you when we discovered that it was you who helped my toddler hide my keys. Having that open hole was just too much temptation for a 2 year old, and she crammed the car keys in there, and you remained silent on the issue.

However, you really, really helped me out on Friday.  Friday morning, I jumped in the shower first thing in the morning, and noticed that we ran out of hot water much sooner than I would have expected. I wondered if the kids had messed with the temperature dial (this happens at least once a month), and made a mental note to go check on it. Unfortunately, the morning was crazy, as we had an extra kid in the house, and I had a 8:45 meeting to get to after I got S dropped off at school.

I went to my meeting, got Z dropped off at Grandma's, and went to a Realtor Christmas lunch. There, I won a month of MLS dues paid for. Yay! I got the kids picked up from school, and got home around 2, about 7 hours after I'd left for the morning.

M goes downstairs because he's starting to go through video game withdrawals, and hollers up that there's water downstairs.


I get down there, and sure enough, there's an inch or so of water pooled by the basement steps. It's only gotten about a foot of the way into K's room. I open the door to the utility storage room. I discover that the pressure relief valve/pipe is POURING water. Fast.

Crap crap crap.

I hurry and turn off water to the house to end it quickly. I call J, upset. Unfortunately, he's now in a carpool at work, so he can't just take off and leave work early anymore.

I grabbed you, dear shopvac, out of the shed. Empty all the crud out into the garbage can, and then haul you downstairs and get to work.

I had to empty you of water at least 10 times. I lost count after that. I was feeling lucky that it seemed that only the utility room seemed to be flooded, except that tiny part at the bottom of the stairs. I'm also feeling lucky that J and I had mostly gotten that room cleaned out around Thanksgiving, so there wasn't much on the floor. I begin to realize that water keeps coming out from under the wall that separates the utility room from the freezer storage room.

Uh oh.

That storage room has NOT been sorted through in a while, and things were getting very bad and out of control there. There was tons and tons of stuff on the floor. I was afraid to go in there, but I eventually got up the courage.

Hooboy. This is where most of the water went. About 3/4 of the room has water on the floor. Luckily the area around the freezer was totally dry.  I got the kids to help me take all of the cardboard boxes out, and I continued to suck up water.

By the time J got home from work, the floors were mainly dry, and I was trying to empty out the cardboard boxes. He looked at the water heater, and declared it to be an easy fix. He ran to the hardware store, and had the water heater fixed within 10 minutes.

We'll lose a lot of books and some papers.  There's also some lost photos, but nothing too valuable or important. A lot of our outgrown kids clothes got slightly damp, but I've sent them through the wash.

Yesterday, J built me a new set of shelves to go in the freezer storage room. I plan to sort through everything and throw away and/or donate a lot of stuff. Anything that will be on the floor will be in a rubbermaid tote so that it'll be safe it we ever have another water incident.

I feel very lucky because we didn't lose anything important or valuable. Plus, we've been married 16.5 years, and this is the first time we've ever had any kind of water/fire/sewer/wind disaster.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Ugh, Wendy I am so sorry. I love that you always seem to be able to keep your head when it comes to these things. You are so good when it comes to that.