Thursday, June 9, 2011

2009- Wading Through More Changes

Sometimes things happen when you least expect them. Such was the case in August of 2009.  We'd had our northern grandchildren with us for about six weeks, and they were, sadly, leaving that day. We left home at noon to take them to the airport, and after several delays, we finally saw the plane lift off.  We headed toward home, tired and hungry.

We arrived at 10:30 pm, without any dinner, and I felt a warm, squishy carpet under my feet when I stepped through the front door.  I flipped on the light switch and realized that there were inches of water underfoot.  I heard water pouring from somewhere, and waded through the living room to the kitchen, finding water flowing from under the cabinet door beneath the sink.  I saw that the warm water was coming from a tube...the water supply to the dishwasher. I quickly turned the valve, turning off the flow. Then I went to the front door to let my husband know of our crisis. "We have a flood", I told him.  Boy...did we ever!

Upon further investigation, we discovered that the entire first floor of the house was saturated with water. The wall to wall carpet in the living room, hall and bedroom were soaked. The vinyl floors of the laundry room, kitchen and guest bath had about 2 inches of water in each.   We set about mopping up the puddles, quitting to go to bed at close to 2 am....and still without dinner.

The next few weeks were spent dealing with the All State Insurance Company, which was wonderful! We got the clean up folks from ServPro in to do the job of clearing out the carpets, vinyl, wet insulation under the house. The house was sprayed throughout the crawl space and on the interior to prevent any molds from growing. The insurance company took care of everything, bringing in the proper  subcontractors at the right times, so that we would be inconvenienced as little as possible. Since it was faulty work by the builder that caused our problem, the insurance company sought him out for repayment of expenses.
We were told that we could stay in a motel, paid for by insurance, and we had offers to stay with friends, my Mom, or actually move into a friend's vacant, fully furnished mobile home. However, we chose to live with the mess and the  huge, noisy, green fans they brought in to dry the floors and the underside of the lower cabinets. All of the rooms downstairs had a steady drone of two or three hot fans in each area, but they did the job well. 

We slept upstairs, ate out a lot and just made the best of things. We survived the procedure until it was finished just before Thanksgiving. Sometimes you just have to 'tread water', you know? I think it's ironic that we live in real drought conditions every summer, and that year we had a problem with a tiny, nut and tube disconnection that caused a very costly flood!

Along the way, we had decisions to make.  The new vinyl floors needed to be chosen. We had allowances from the insurance company toward replacement of flooring. Did we want to pay out of pocket above the allowance and put in wood floors instead of wall to wall carpet? We chose to do that for the living room, and upgraded the bedroom carpet. Looking back now, I wish we'd put wood down instead, in our room, but for some reason, we didn't.  (It's something we want to do one day, so I'm not sure why we didn't do it when we had the house torn apart then! DUH!) 

It seemed a good idea to paint, as long as everything was dismantled downstairs. The insurance company paid to have our kitchen painted, since some of the walls were damaged by water. My husband painted our room and the living room was done too.  It felt 'new' downstairs.  And it was wonderful living with wood floors in the front room, instead of that wall to wall carpet, which I've never been a fan of.

Lots of projects have been done, but we still have some to do. (Isn't that always true for a home owner?)  The upstairs hasn't been 'decorated' in the true sense of the word, though it's  comfortably furnished to accommodate our visitors. My craft room is in serious need of a firm touch of my hand! (Can you say, "Clutter" ?)  

   Outside, this area patiently awaits the building of a brick patio, and  decent grass surrounding it. My dream is to put our antique iron fence c.1886 along the right side, with a garden along the outside of the fence, running along the back of the sunroom beyond. Somewhere near the patio, I hope the small pond/fountain can be placed, so that we can hear it. The fragrant Mock Orange will be planted near the sitting area, too, so we can enjoy it in the Spring.

This may take some time to be accomplished, but I have every hope. Stay tuned....and someday you may actually see the finished product!