The cliché “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is something I used to groan when I heard. If you have rotten, sour lemons in your life, are you really going to be thinking of making lemonade with them? Personally I used to just throw them out. However, at the start of this year I got an opportunity (not that I was asking for it) to test this expression out.
Only eight days into the New Year, I woke up to what sounded like water running in the house. Hmm, we have hot water baseboard heat so it was a possibility. However with the weather that we had recently in the Mid Atlantic we had “ an issue” with the water line to the bathroom appearing to not be working. Ok, yes I am realizing that I’m beginning to sound like a clueless female at this point. Ugh. However, in my defense, let me state that we had just moved to this house and area a couple months prior so that my son could attend a certain school. So we were still figuring out and learning about the house. As any of you know, each house has its own quirks and you just have to learn about them over time. Well, my time to learn was up.
How About Some Background Please! First, the house does not have a basement. It’s on a slab because this particular area has a lot of granite below the surface. Trying to add a basement would have been a Herculean effort. Secondly, the house has a rather open floor plan which is great when living in it, but makes hanging pictures or setting large pieces difficult. It also means that pipes, wires and assorted other mechanical “things” end up going through the ceiling or attic. Can you get where I’m going with this?
Back to the story – So I wake up to what could have been simply hot water radiators doing their thing or something else. I got the “something else”. As I wander the house tracking like Sherlock Holmes in pursuit of the killer, I follow the sound. It’s literally raining in my living room. No, not a light summer shower but a spring rain storm is occurring all over the living room. Buckets of rain are coming in.
I wish I could say that I promptly started to solve the problem or immediately made calls to get assistance, but I didn’t. I sat down where I was and cried for a minute. Yes, only a minute. My main thought at that very moment in time was “Not On My Birthday!”.
Yes, it was my birthday. The one day of the year that I escape from everything and have a day all about ME! Seriously, even though we’re adults, parents, Moms or Dads and a million other things, don’t we deserve at least one day where WE are IT? But that’s another story for another time.
After I shed my tears, and yes, it did make me feel a wee bit better, I got moving. In between emptying giant mixing bowls 24 times, 3 kitchen trash cans 4 times each, using every sheet and towel I could find to stop the water from moving into the two rooms that weren’t yet impacted by flowing streams of water I called the fire department, called the handyman (every woman needs one), and my parents (what were they going to do 424 miles away?). The fire department got the water turned off. And yes, if something like this happens to you they can and will assist so don’t be afraid to call them! The handyman arrived an hour later and helped me find the water main and identified some breaks in the pipes that were running in the attic. Conversations with these guys lead me to call an emergency plumber to get in there and identify what and where the issues were coming from and what we needed to do. The end result of all of this was a total of 15 pipes burst over a period of four days. While the weather was cold and everything frozen, no problem. As soon as the temperatures increased beyond freezing, the water started pouring.
So back to turning lemons into lemonade! You did wonder when I was going to get back to that didn’t you? The house is dated. It’s a 1950’s style home that had the same owner for almost it’s entire existence. To top that off he was an amateur “DIYer” (do it yourselfer). So there were modifications, additions and a host of things that needed to be brought into this century. So, we’re going to do those changes and fix the damage at the same time. And you get to come along for the adventure. If you’ve ever wanted to renovate a house, thought of updating or improving some part of your own palace, now is the time to get some real life experience and tips.
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