That evening I forgot to text her a picture of the dresser. I figured I would simply snap a picture, send it to her, and she can let me know if she really was interested. Keep in mind this was the evening of day 2 of Steve's 4-day trip. I consider it, now, a blessing that I forgot about texting her that picture. That evening was actually really super. The kids were awesome, the weather was awesome...the night was just great. After the kids went down I settled in and watched trash tv. It was one of those nights as a pilots wife that you say "hey, I have this thing down pretty good!"
The next morning it dawned on me that I never sent the picture. So, I set up a reminder for 5:30pm to "send picture to Betty." That way I wouldn't forget!
5:30p that evening: I was battling with a screaming CC. It was potty time and she was resisting. She hit me and scratched me. I controlled myself as best as I could, but it really did take all my strength not to hit my child. She finally finished her business, and I sent her up to her room until she calmed down.
After I put CC into her room I found my phone, turned off my picture reminder and I headed downstairs to the basement. Down the steps I went, and onto the rug I stepped.
Oh...shit. Is that water? I looked down.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Motherfucker. Water in the basement?! Steve, where are you?! Actually, I knew exactly where he was. He was in LA, comfortable at his hotel since his flight got in earlier that day. We were in touch a decent amount that day, so I actually knew what he was up to.
Where is this water coming from? I wondered. Let the investigation begin. I looked at the wells to the sump pumps - dry. Ok.
I checked the perimeter of the basement - all dry. Mmmmmm.
I looked at the drain to the toilet - dry. Mmmmm.
I attempted to call Steve. No answer. Since all the normal culprit places were dry, I needed assistance in finding the leak. Plus, I knew Steve wasn't engaged in anything too important, so I figured he would have been responsive.
I continued my investigation. Since all the ground area was dry, well aside from the water puddle, I figured it must be coming from above.
I attempted to call Steve. No answer.
I continued on with my investigation. Well, Steve just replaced that valve down here, but that area is dry. Mmmmm
I attempted to call Steve. No answer. Motherfucker...where is he?!
I attempted to call Steve again, right away, and he finally picked up.
"Hello?" he answered.
"What up? Where are you?" I asked...annoyed.
"Talking to Bob. What's up?" he said. Thankfully he got the point that I needed to talk to him after 4 calls.
"There is water in the basement," I said.
"Ok, let me call you back" he said, and then he hung up with me so he could wrap things up with Bob.
A couple minutes later he called back, and by that point I had discovered wet.
The ceiling beam was wet from that white piping. This line is what provides our freezer ice maker with water. I relayed all this to Steve over the phone. The next logical step was to go upstairs and investigate the refrigerator. I pulled it out from the wall, and discovered this:
The wood flooring was wet. The floor boards were all warped. Awesome. Fucking awesome.
Steve guided me downstairs to the shut off valve for the line. I shut the line off. Let the clean up begin.
Now that the culprit was discovered and eliminated, it was time to start surveying the damage. I think this thing was leaking for at least a month. It was a small leak so it took a long time to get this way. First it had to accumulate in all the boxes, and then it flowed out onto the floor. Holy water and mold everywhere, Batman.
Once I figured out where I needed to start, I got down to business. Up to this point, I was actually rather level-headed...and then I saw this:
I call this a gallon size margarita glass. What the fuck is it still doing in our home? I have no clue. I am sure that Steve got it at some boobie bungalow during spring break...um, 15 years ago! Why the hell he still has it? I have no clue. Hell, he probably doesn't even know we still have it either...it was just easier to transfer it from one box to the next, rather then throwing it out or giving it away.
The best part of the cleanup was discovering this:
And then I got to this box:
And who in the hell makes this kind of box anyway?! Beach fruit?! As if grapefruit is beach fruit. I have never eaten grapefruit on a beach...because that may be the absolute worst place ever to eat a grapefruit! Does eating a grapefruit make one feel as if they are at a beach? I get that grapefruits are grown in Florida, and there are a lot of beaches in Florida...but the fruit isn't grown on the beach, they are grown in groves. How about 'sunshine fruit'? Florida is the sunshine state, and grapefruits are round and yellow like the sun. That is far better! But, I digress...
Inside the lovely beach fruit box was this wonder:
18 plates filled with that lovely brown-ass water. Awesome. This just keeps getting better. I had to drain off all 18 plates, and then haul all these items upstairs to the dishwasher.
All the while the kids were just great. The basement isn't finished and there are a lot of excess toys down there, so it was like Christmas morning all over again. I gave them some tortilla chips to keep their bellies from screaming too loudly, since dinner was not happening at this point in the game.
After the last of the puddle was sucked up, and the dehumidifier was started up in full force, it was time to head upstairs.
I prepared a quick dinner for the kids, and they dined picnic style while being entertained by Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I just had no energy for anything more.
Me? I dined on potatoes and oranges. It was just what the doctor ordered.
"Sorry you had to deal with this" Steve said to me as we were winding down our conversation.
"That is okay. Shit happens" I responded.
And that is the truth. Shit happens. Often times, you think that shit only happens when your pilot husband is on the road. That isn't always the truth, it is just that any shit happenings are just magnified when you are solo. With each home disaster that happens when you are alone, you learn. You learn more about your home, and you learn more about how to be a self-sufficient woman and mother. And Steve learns that I know the difference between pliers and a wrench. Don't insult me.
I am sure the first time I had to deal with a home disaster, I was probably not cool under pressure. I probably called Steve crying. Now? I deal. Does it suck to have to clean mold and mildew and water from box...after box...after box? Hell yeah. But, I had to do what I had to do. No sense in bitching or whining or crying or complaining. Get to work, get the job done...and drink up when all is said and done.