Saturday, January 21, 2012

Could Be Worse

I am not normally inclined to sleep in on a Saturday, but this morning’s steady, soaking rain, added to the January chill in the air made for a perfect match between me and the warm confines of the bed. Problem was, we needed to go find a new washing machine.

Our washer gets enough use that it’s probably 110, in dog years. Five adults in a household make for lots of clothes washing, and that’s where we’re at these days, with a son taking local college courses and two teenage daughters. A few months back we knew the washer was on its last legs. Sometimes my wife had to run the clothes through the spin cycle four or five times, and a couple of weeks back we were given a used but working washing machine. It worked well for two weeks before the shock of being run around the clock accelerated its degeneration to the point it died a quick and painless death. No struggling to spin clothes out, it just said no more, I quit.

So, we got to go out and look for a new washer on a rainy Saturday morning with a tornado watch and flash flood watch in effect. We managed to find a good deal, and the clothes washing will be up and running again in three days.

I’m actually thankful that we’re in a position to buy one, lots of people aren’t these days.

While we were in the appliance store my cell phone rang, and my son spoke. He informed me that his basement room was flooded. All sorts of thoughts ran through my head, and I began asking questions. I found the adjacent rooms were fine, but the water had managed to reach his bed, and the rugs were saturated. I found out later how saturated they were, I think one must have been holding fifty pounds of water.

Nothing like an unusual rain to bring out the worst in something, whether it’s a house’s roof or basement, or a convertible top on a car. I have experienced problems with all three at one time or another.

What we discovered after pulling saturated rugs outside, moving furniture to higher ground, and mopping the room was that water was still coming in through the walls that separated his room from a long, narrow closet. Beyond the closet is a dirt crawlspace that has a section dug out the depth of the bedroom. We found later it had nine inches of water standing, and as we mopped water up it kept seeping in through the walls. I climbed over the wall and down into the crawlspace and began filling a five gallon trash can, and handing it to my son to go empty outside. In all, we emptied about 30 gallons from his room, and around 100 from the crawlspace.
Quite a tiring three hours.

I’m thankful this did not happen right after we left to go out of town a month ago.

So now I have one other challenge that I may tackle tomorrow, I’m not sure. Something recently built a nest in our fireplace, right above the chute, and from the smell that hits you on entering the room it must have died. I’ll put a box or some type of papers down and open the chute, then react to whatever drops out. My fertile imagination has it all figured out. I’ll see a big half eaten rat drop out, covered by a cloud of debris as the contents of the chimney hit the gas logs, then the ravenous rodents that were enjoying the meal will all hit the ground and scatter throughout the house. Then we’ll hear clicking in all the shadowy places, especially at night when we’re trying to not think about things running across the bed.

I know this won’t really happen, and that’s why I need to go ahead and clean out the chute. And do something about the fireplace cap that must be awry. Things rarely end as badly as I imagine them, and that’s a good thing. I would never want to be a character in my mind; I have to get past the first layer of imagination before I expect things to happen for the good. Human nature at work? Or is it just me?


  1. Human nature at work. I tend to think the worse in the beginning, then mellow out. Once in a while it truely is bad, but usually I'm over reacting. Some times during the winter, I will hear scratching little claw feet noises across the top of the metal box that surrounds the open fire area of our fire place. Sounds that come from the open vent areas at the top front of the open fire pit. I'll join the cats, tilting my head along with them to see if I can find the source of the noise with my flashlight shining through the slots, but no luck. One winter the scratching was also in the wall by the computer for a few days. Another winter it was in the ceiling above my bed. It entertains the cats and lets my imagination go wild :) I call it the hauntings of my home, but in reality I suppose it is just a mouse or two, although sometimes starling or squirrel pops into my head. I've had all three under my home at one time or another. I always like commenting after reading your lovely posts, but am having a horrible time lately opening up posts (especially older ones) or the comment sections. Something to do with me and blogger, I guess. You may not see a comment from me, but I always read your posts after a battle with finally getting them opened.

  2. I left a comment on your last post, and I see it's not there. Strange. I'll revisit it