Monday, January 21, 2008

7 1/2 bathrooms and not a working toilet in any of them

The past 48 hours have been so insane that it was almost difficult to pick a title for this entry. There were just too many to choose from. Today was the official starting date of the house remodelling project we are embarking on, but it was the days leading up to it that were the most eventful. First, we just have a lot of stuff, I'm forever giving things away, but I'm sure it all multiplies by itself in the back of dark and dusty closets. It's the only possible reason I can come up with to account for the mountain of stuff that had to be removed. So, this project of cleaning out nearly half our house was daunting, but the weather did it's best to make it more difficult. For the past weekend, the weather in our part of the midwest has been a bit chilly. The daytime high hovered around 8 degrees. The problem is when it is that cold outside, it is correspondingly cold inside. Sunday morning, the bedroom thermometer was showing a brisk 57 degrees...and it's one of the warmer rooms. Very little could have induced me to climb out of bed except perhaps D running into give me the news that Daddy needed old towels because there was a lot of water in the basement. It was the prod I needed. The towels were needed because a frozen pipe had burst. Luckily J was on the scene and was able to turn off the water. But the only way to turn off the water to that particular point was to stop the cold water from entering the hot water heater. So, not only do we not have water to the two bathrooms those pipes served, but we have no hot water anywhere else. At this point we still had one working bathroom. But what of the others? Well, two were out because of the broken pipe, the third turned out to have frozen pipes as well, the fourth and fifth had been disconnected because of frozen pipes last winter...and really when you have so many what's the rush?...the sixth is in the basement and I suppose it could work, but is so foul that someone would have to be mighty desparate, and the seventh was also victim to the weather with not only frozen pipes but the water in the bowl was frozen, too. (Can you see why we are so excited to do some remodelling?) Well, at this point we do what we always do when faced with house-related calamaties, we called our good friend P. That afternoon, P arrived with several of his children (P, P, P, and's easier just to call them the P Family, which is what they call themselves) in tow, to help amuse the masses, and embarked on a 8 hour plumbing project. At dinner time, when we had no water anywhere due to installing new pipes, I did what any sane person would do, I invited P's family over for dinner. Because who doesn't want to come to dinner in a house with no water or working toilets, where it's hovering around 60 degrees, and where you have to sit on the floor because every surface is covered with stuff that needs a new home? Well, being a good and intrepid friend...or maybe just really hungry...P, the wife accepted and brought the other two P children along. We had a lovely dinner of take-out Italian and it was good to have company to stop me from dwelling on the potential misery. I'm happy to report that at midnight, not only did we have working toilets, but we had hot water in the showers as well. Just the boost J and I needed to finish with the clearing out which was finally done at 1:30 am.

The night was too short when at 7:30 this morning the house was swarming with the demolition crew. The back half is sealed-off, I have a kitchen in the basement, and much of the area to be redone is already down to the lathe, and our backyard is charmingly decorated with not one, but two enourmous dumpsters and a port-a-potty (which we could have used yesterday). I'm thinking that a three week trip to Vietnam sometime in the next few months sounds wonderful for any number of reasons.


ppod1 said...

You made it all sound so fun and adventurous!! I guess I made the right choice to bring the kids home when I did. Although I did suffer a little bit of guilt over not having helped you more than I did. Company is good, but two working hands is probably better, huh?


LawMommy said...

Just reading your description of this has sent me into a near-panic-attack. Good grief, E! How are you keeping it together?? (I grew up in a big old rambling Victorian house, to which my step-father and mom were constantly making remodeling and repairs which took months or years to finish. Home remodeling makes me very very very tense.)

Anyway, I hope this goes well (and QUICKLY) for you and is all finished SOON.


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