Skip to main content

Rain Forest Living Room


Have you ever seen water dripping from your ceiling? I have. Twice. Let me start by recommending that you try to never experience this occasion first hand. It’s not one of those times in life where you stand around saying, “Oh look hon, how interesting. Who knew there was a way for the water to get into the light fixture?” Upon seeing that, my reaction is probably best described as full blown panic. Outside of athletics, it’s the fastest I’ve ever moved. Which is funny when you think about it. It’s not like I’m going to out run the water.

 The first time we enjoyed this sensation was when our large bathtub overflowed. A bath had been started, and then everyone promptly forgot a bath had been started. I remember hearing a strange sound while I was in our office, but didn’t think anything about it. After a while, I went to find the source of the sound. You’d think I would know the sound of water trickling through the ceiling and walls. But, it’s kind of like the smell of marijuana smoke (no, I’ve never smoked it; have you never been to a concert before?), you can’t really know it until it happens to you. Seeing the small lake in our bathroom was shocking enough. Seeing water coming from the ceiling downstairs is worse. And knowing the water made it’s way down to the finished basement made my toes go numb. Fortunately that time turned out pretty harmless. My wife and I poked some holes in the ceiling to let the water out and no real damage done. We even fixed the damage ourselves.


 The second time wasn’t such a cake walk. The funny thing (and by funny I mean really, incredibly frustrating) was I heard the same trickling sound again. And ignored it, again. This time a toilet had overflowed for twenty minutes. Once again: bathroom, small lake, shock. Adding to the fun, the lake had begun to form a river and snake its way into the hall and our daughter’s room. Thankfully, my wife did not panic. I cannot say the same for me. Once I had the toilet stopped and started throwing towels down (that’s like trying to stop a tidal wave by putting up a couple of traffic cones), she realized we need to yank up the carpet. I have never become so adept at something so quickly. Pulling up carpet is such a liberating feeling, until you remember there is nothing actually under the carpet. I made short work of it, however. Now that we had dealt with the upstairs, we had another problem arising, the ceiling below.


 Because water and gravity have a good working relationship, they decided we needed a rain forest in our living room. Let me set the stage for you. Our living room has a box beam ceiling. The beams are actually hollow inside. What a perfect place for the water to flow. And the beams have plenty of small cracks for the water to continue its work with gravity. So, we soon had a dozen different spots dripping. The kids brilliantly found pans to be receptacles. My ingenious idea was to Shop Vac the water out. So I stood there, pointing a vacuum at the drips, thinking I was actually making progress. The water thought otherwise:

Me: It’s seems to be working, hon. 
Water: Does he really think this is working? 
Me: It seems to be dripping less over here. 
Water: I’ll drip more on the other side and see what he does. 
Me: I’m going to move the vacuum to another spot. This one seems to be nearly done. 
Water: Wait for it...now I’ll drip more back over here. 
Me: Son of a... 
Water: I love my life.
 After vacuuming our ceiling for more than 30 minutes (OK, that just sounds dumb, doesn’t it), I relented and called the experts. Needless to say, they did not vacuum the ceiling. It took them less than an hour to figure out the places the water had touched. They brought in a dozen industrial fans, three industrial dehumidifiers and some machine that sounded like it was going to take flight at any moment. Nothing says welcome home like the constant hum of industrial machinery. Which we heard for the next two days. All the time. As a bonus, we were able to turn the heat off because the equipment generated enough to make the house feel like Hawaii.

Next will come the process of remodeling. I’m sure that will generate plenty of writing material...I mean interesting stories. Although, I prefer the bare plywood floor look. For some reason, the rest of the family wants to put down new carpet. I really can’t understand why. The plywood goes with everything. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Don't worry. I'm taking care of it for you.

I am a worrier. If there is something nearby that can be worried about, I will find it and worry all over it. Often, the worry relates to money in some fashion. Have you ever noticed that we never worry about having too much money? I’ve never heard anyone say, “I was thinking about my paycheck and I’m concerned there are too many large numbers on it.” That is a worry I wouldn’t mind having. Can someone mention that to my boss?

Really, though, I can worry about money with the best of them. I am always looking for new and innovative ways. For instance, when selling a house, did you know you can worry about how much a potential offer will be reduced after an inspection finds a few things wrong? Did you know you can worry about it before you’ve even had an offer on the house? Or when your house isn’t even on the market yet? Yes, it’s true. This is the kind of leading-edge worry research that I have done for you, my reader.

The biggest benefactor of this worry research has been my wife. She …

An open apology to my blog

Dear blog,

 Where do I start? I am sorry for neglecting you for the past seven months. I know it has been lonely. I am glad to see your friends in Israel and Russia have been keeping you company in the meantime. I could make excuses about why I haven’t been around. Work got in the way. The kids had practice or Cub Scouts or help with homework. The dogs’ teeth needed brushing. My socks and tie didn’t match. You can see how any of these things could distract me from coming by and writing to you. I won’t use those reasons as excuses. Well, maybe a couple. But not brushing the dogs’ teeth. We both know that didn’t get done. Especially when they try to lick your face.

 But that’s beside the point. I have left you alone for far too long. And it’s not like I haven’t had ideas to write down. I mean, I’ve turned 40. My son and I went camping this summer for three days. My daughter turned thirteen and got a cell phone. That alone could have spawned dozens of entries. And how many stupid things …

I Run, But I Never Get There

Over the last few years I have become a runner. Not like a Nike commercial runner. I don’t run everyday for miles and miles. And I am not in Adonis-like shape. In fact, this winter I did not run at all (apparently my exercise style is similar to a bear, hibernating in winter). But, as I near the end of my fourth decade, my main form of exercise has become a good run. 

In my younger days, I hated running. If we had to go for a run at practice, I got that heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I didn’t want to go for a long distance run. I didn’t want to do sprints. The only reason I liked to run is when it was attached to doing something fun, like playing ball or catching the ice cream truck. I definitely did not understand people who would voluntarily go out and run for no reason at all. Like they had somewhere they needed to get quickly. They never seem to get there, though. They just end up coming back to the same place they started. Of course I realize now that at that age, I had…