Many of you heard about my weekend escapades with a burst pipe. On Friday I went with my friend Dolly to the American Craft Council Show at the convention center in Baltimore. We took the light rail into the city to avoid traffic, driving and parking costs. The light rail was delightful! The price for me was $3.30 round trip (Dolly got the awesome senior discount and only paid $1.10), so affordable and easy. Now I have to admit, there were some, um, well, kinda weird people on the train but you get that with just about every kind of public transportation, I think. Anyway, easy-peasy...we hopped the train and made it to the convention center. The weather by the way was extremely windy and very cold...we're talking negative numbers in wind chill. Lucky for us we weren't in it very long. At the convention center I saw something else I'd never seen at an event like this...in winter...a coat check! For $3 they held out coat so you didn't have to lug it around. Brilliant! Now onto the show. It was really amazing. There was everything...ceramics, furniture, mixed media, jewelry, clothing, accessories, hats, etc. We saw a lot of felted things...and cut up (recycled) cashmere sweaters made into mitts, sweaters, etc. The jewelry was most impressive...every kind you can imagine. We couldn't see it all, it was so huge. We had a great time. A very fun day. I was inspired to start creating...something!! So the train ride back, ride home and arrival home was all uneventful. Until after about 15 minutes in the door and I hear Justine call from downstairs, "Um, Mom, you better come look at this."
The entire entry, hallway, and utility room was flooded. Water soaking in to the carpet in the bedroom...water dripping from the recessed lighting in the entry ceiling, water stained and soaking into the ceiling and wall...and we discovered later, water leaking into the garage, too. Luckily Mike was just two minutes from the house and quickly came home to shut the water off. Of course I didn't even know where the shutoff valve was...I do now.
We soaked up the water with towels...dried them in the dryer...soaked up again, then dryer, repeat again and again. Ok, so now we're waiting for the property management to get back to us. Waiting...and waiting. Finally, he calls. The short story is a plumber finally came to fix our problem at 3pm on SUNDAY. Many factors on the length of time it too for him to get here. Part of the problem was (you're not gonna believe this), he showed up on Saturday morning and no one answered the door. I was gone (knitting), Mike was at the grocery store (getting water) and Joey was asleep. Too bad Gracie couldn't open the door and let him in! We didn't know he was even coming, of course, or Mike wouldn't have left. Anyway, the weather was bad too. Saturday we got another 5 inches or so of snow so travel was tough, then early Sunday morning was rain, so, ice. Anyway, all fixed now as far as the pipe goes. Someone is coming out today to see the rest of the damage to the walls, garage, etc. I'm catching up on all water related activities...laundry, dishes, cleaning, and blocking (you know there had to be a water related knit activity, right?). I got a shower about 1.2 seconds after the water was turned on. I offered the first shower to Mike, after all, he was the one pouring water from a bucket in the toilets to "flush" them...but he said I could go first. He's so nice to me.
Here are a few observations I've made on life with running water...
A shower is very important for morale. I showered on Thursday then didn't shower till Sunday. I was feeling very depressed. There's something about a shower that means your life is in order, you're ready for the day and you're, well, clean. I was extremely grateful this didn't happen in the Summer. Of course, pipes generally don't break in the summer.
I was feeling kind of freaked out about not being able to wash my hands. It felt weird. I didn't want any of us to get sick, you know. No running water and sickness...that would really, really be depressing. I didn't want to cook...that meant dirty dishes...MORE dirty dishes.
Mike said, "Just pretend you're camping." No. Camping had running water. It may have been freezing cold and a 20 foot walk from your camper, but it was running water.
Anyway, I have a renewed gratefulness for running water, a hot shower, clean dishes and simply turning on the tap for a drink.