Monday, January 17, 2011

Lest I Become Complacent

God Forbid I relax or anything! 
After a few weeks of relative peace, beginning to enjoy city life and new "friends," I was woken up at 5:00 Sunday morning by the boiler's constant noise.  It was not going off.  After a little investigation, I found out that it was not going off because a pipe had burst in the back bedroom, and the entire back of the house was flooded with warm water, spraying from the baseboard and pouring down into the basement.

I called my new "friend" who was like all sane people at 5am Sunday, sleeping, and didn't hear the phone.  Then I called the gas company and 3 hours later the emergency was over, but several pipes in the basement had been cut to empty water and isolate the back of the house from the rest of the house.  Small sigh of relief, but emergency over meant that the cleanup could begin, starting with an early morning trip to Walmart to buy a wet/dry vacuum, disposal of the soaking carpet and cleaning up of water.  The gas company had to come back in the afternoon when one of the cut and capped joints started leaking, but I think it's all OK now ... more or less.

Here's the culprit break in the pipe that caused the ruckus. The blue-striped wood at the front of the picture used to hold down a carpet.

I didn't sleep well last night.  The heating system sounds different now, that it's been emptied, filled and purged a few times.  I'm different, too.  I've lost some trust in this house and I start at every strange noise,  meaning I woke up about a thousand times last night listening for rain in the basement.  I got up a few times and walked the house, making sure that the water noise in the pipes was safely confined to the pipes where it belongs.

Another thing is different now.  After almost 12 years of having only myself to rely on, another person asked me to let him help.  I've been through so many emergencies like this alone, that I'd forgotten how nice it is to share my nerves, "should I worry about the washing machine pipes freezing, or the floor freezing because it's not totally dry all the way through,"  "what do you think if I put a heater here ... and here," etc, etc.  It's all stuff I would have struggled with alone, and turned over and over in my head until I had it figured out.  With this other person around, I can bounce it off, answer it, do something, and move on. That's nice.


  1. Having a sounding board sounds like such a welcome change. I can't believe he didn't have his ringer on so he could take your call at 5 am. ;-)

    Damn these old houses, but it can happen at any house. I try to prepare the best I can and stuff's just going to happen.

  2. Some days when I'm bouncing pros and cons off the hubby, he takes it as me wanting to argue, but mostly he's pretty good about helping me sort things out. He's more of a decision maker and I am a weigh-all-the-options person...

  3. It's good to have someone you can rely on for help. I wouldn't know what to do with a house if I was alone. I'd probably have to move to an apartment with a maintenance staff.