Thursday, January 18, 2007

"The cats are fine, but..."

Not really the way you want a conversation to start. But that's what I was told when I called home from the road, after a text message was sent reading, "call before you get here."

Uh-oh.

"The cats are fine, but there was a little incident."

Incident?

Here's the innocent beginning: Apparently P went to turn on the hot water this morning and, when nothing came out, she turned it off. Turning the spout to no avail happens sometimes in our old house. For some reason the pipe leading up to the upstairs bathroom will freeze up in the chill of winter. I don't think it happens anywhere else in the house.

Also necessary to know for this story is that we have two bathrooms and while the sinks look identical, the handles for the hot water actually turn in an opposite direction from each other when turning on/off. In other words, one of them needs to be turned clockwise to stop running, while the other one needs to be turned counterclockwise to achieve the same result. It's one of those little quirks that we know about, we've laughed about, but haven't done anything about because it doesn't impact anything on a larger scale.

Or so we thought.

Back to the story at hand: P turned the hot water knob completely in one direction, and as nothing came out she went to turn it off. She couldn't remember the direction that turned the water off (it sounds silly, but would you if you didn't see the physical evidence of water stopping?) so turned it in the direction she thought was correct and assumed that all was back to normal. She left for work, thinking nothing of it. What she didn't realize was that she had actually turned the hot water knob to full blast, and while it didn't work initially, the water did start flowing as the day went on and the pipes warmed slightly.

You can see where this is going.

By the time she came home from a hard day at the hospital, the upstairs bathroom was flooding and water had seeped through the floor, into the kitchen directly below it. A decent chunk of the ceiling gave its life. The water continued to drip from the kitchen ceiling, through cracks in the kitchen floor, and into the basement.

Like I said, old house. It's one big domino effect.

Poor P felt terrible, and did a major cleanup effort prior to my arriving home. I didn't see any of the puddles - only the small amounts of detritus that continue to leak from the ceiling. And the grody yellow drips that fall every few minutes.

Luckily, the musical episode of Scrubs was on tonight, and that was a great pick me up. That, a little vanilla tea, and two cats to pat.

Oh, well. What can you do? Here's hoping our home insurance covers it!

1 comment:

hlh said...

just checking in... hope your the convo w/ the insurance people went well. fingers still crossed.