09 December 2009

Other Days

Some days are perfect in quiet joy.

Other days, yesterday, are innocuous in their start, unremarkable in their unfolding, their errands, their meetings. On these other days, it's easier to get annoyed by the spilled smoothie, harder to get excited about the preschool potluck, even though you know it will be fun when you get there.

On this particular other day, when you open the door at home in the evening, in your mad dash to grab your potluck dish and get back to school in time for the meal, something smells funny when you get inside the mudroom, musty and damp and a little chemical. It's when you open the door between the mudroom and the kitchen that you hear water: dripping, running, pouring, gushing water, and you tell the kids to stay right where they are and you turn on lights and find that the water is flowing through the ceiling in your bedroom and down through the air return into your heating vents and into the basement and right over the furnace. And by the looks of things, this has been going on for a long time, hours, probably all day.

So you call your landlord, feeling grateful that you rent. And you discern that the living room is dry, and you get the kids set up with some puzzles, and you figure out that the water is coming from a burst pipe in the attic bathroom, because of course this is one of the coldest days that Oregon has seen in years. And you mop up water, and you try to laugh about the fact that you now have a waterbed and you take pictures for the insurance and you feel grateful that you have insurance. And you pack up bags and go to your parents' house and get the kids in bed and drink two big glasses of wine and fall into bed yourself and sleep fitfully, dreaming of insurance adjusters and wondering what the damage will look like in the morning.

When morning comes, you get up early and get the kids ready and take them to school, and you think about going by the house but you can't bear it, and you just go to work where you wait for your landlord or the insurance or someone to call with news. And you wait. And you wait. And you think about how this is life, this bad stuff, too, and that it could be worse, but it could be better, and that on balance, even dealing with this, things are better than they have been, better than they could be. And you feel grateful that life has taught you how to handle big crises and grateful that Maddie and Riley saw the whole thing as an adventure.

And then you feel exhausted by what lies ahead.

16 comments:

Jen said...

ok.. not funny... BUT MY GAWD! Hopefully the damage will be minimal and easily fixed with no losses and great insurance coverage!

In other news.. they still sell waterbeds? Shiela and i were just talking about this the other day.. we thought that they didn't exist anymore.. :)

Goddess in Progress said...

Oh, UGH! What a huge pain in the ass. I'm exhausted on your behalf just thinking about it. I hope the insurance people do right by you and get things cleaned up fast.

Kate said...

That sounds like a total pain in the ass but it's so wonderful that you're a renter and that you could go stay with your mom so easily. I've got my fingers crossed that it works out without too much hassle.

Crash Course Widow said...

Yup. All of that. ;o) It's a weird juxtaposition: a feeling of "oh well, it could be worse" (because we KNOW full well as widows precisely what"the WORST possible" is like, inside and out), relief that this is just a "minor" thing, but the weariness of having to deal with another thing that would be a huge nuisance for so-called "normal," nonwidowed people. Yup. Just like you said. I'm tired just thinking about what you have in front of you.

Here's to hoping that the insurance company and your landlord are swift, thorough, and wonderful. (And it must be a bad karma week for plumbing issues, even without the Arctic temps; Charley's sister and her husband had a similar washing machine emergency, from their attic bathroom/laundry room drain hose coming loose last Thursday night. So horrid and aggravating for all of you!)

Amber said...

Yikes. Based on your oh-so-calm email, I was thinking maybe a pipe in the basement or something but this... this is much more dramatic than that! While I imagine I would be *FREAKING*OUT* at this point, you raise some good, rational, positive points. You rent. You have insurance. You have awesome parents nearby to stay with. Hope everything goes (relatively) smoothly from here on out!!

Natika said...

It was down to 11 degree's at my house last night and I just kept praying....So far so good. About 6yrs ago we lived in Mountain Park and had that happen. What a mess!
Good Luck...Be thankful you are renting and you bought insurance!

Jen said...

Hoy boy -- a total pain is right. I hope the insurance and repairs go quickly and smoothly.

Anonymous said...

Oh, good luck to you. I'm so glad you have your parents to lean on! My basement flooded with a burst pipe back in January. What a mess! Our insurance paid for a flood cleanup company to come and clean up all of the water. Maybe yours will too?

Tammy

fairlysar said...

Oh my god. Sometimes the most agonizing part of stuff like that is that you just don't want to freaking deal with it. Like, really? Now?

Good luck, and be tough!

Anonymous said...

At our house this fall, we got to establish a new tradition: if the fire truck has to come, you get ice cream afterward. Then we had to use that tradition twice. (once at home for a minor kitchen fire, once at church for a minor electrical fire). Hope the insurance comes through for you, and that you and the kids are home soon. -Reebee G. from Boston.

MFA Mama said...

Oy. I was just talking about this with a friend; when you rent you're grateful that it's not YOUR (roof, septic tank, dishwasher, pick one) but the aftermath? All you. Sigh.

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

What a hassle but it will be a funny story one day when you can remind M&R about the time the house got flooded.

Sandi said...

As my mother has always said, these thing only happen to the living.

I woke up this morning with no heat. I'm on automatic oil delivery and the oil company screwed up.

In the big picture, not such a big deal.

Susan said...

I'm with Goddess in Progress....I'm exhuasted just reading the post :( Ugh. I certainly hope you get fast results. Amazing how much damage water can do....

Sandy said...

Snick, you are such a good writer. I felt like I was right there with you, and my own house was being drenched. My own plans for the night/week/month squashed. So sorry this happened in one of the busiest times of the year, and right before your house sells. You are a strong woman, and I'm proud of all that you handle.

cheryl said...

i had a flood at my apartment last year while i was overseas. It was raw sewage from the upstairs apartment, and was leaking for a few weeks. It was all covered by insurance, but the displacement, the project managing of contractors, having to buy things when i really liked what i'd already had... it was exhausting and unrelenting.

The restorer sent out by my insurance contractor arrived on that first terrible day [i'd been in transit, and hadn't slept, for 30 hours before arriving home to discover the flood]. He looked around my apartment, then looked at me and said 'It's bad. I've seen worse. You're going to survive'. It became my mantra. And i did survive.

You'll survive. But it really, really sucks.