Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tough break

Well it's been an interesting couple of days!

Saturday Geoff's brother Trevor got home from college so we were planning to go visit with him and his parents on Sunday. Snow was predicted for the weekend, but Saturday was beautiful and so was Sunday morning when we woke up. It started snowing about 9ish? at which point we turned on the news and heard the standard Portland once-a-year snowfall story about people are cold, stay off the roads, etc. We did look online and saw that the 6 PM church service (that we were planning on going to) had been cancelled - so had the 11 AM by that point. We then dragged ourselves out of bed and went to the gym. We ran 7 miles as we watched the snow pick up a little and by the time we'd finished up, showered, and headed to Geoff's parents it was definitely coming down. We spent the afternoon chatting and about 4:30 I commented to Geoff that we should head out before it got dark - but for whatever reason, we decided not to. About 5:30 we all decided to go to a movie. So we got in our car (we had the Tahoe) and Geoff's parents got in their car and we headed out. Just a block or two from the theatre, Geoff braked before a stoplight and just didn't stop. We slid quite a distance... right into a Toyota Tercel. No one was injured and the Tahoe actually came out without a scratch. The Tercel didn't fare as well, but I think it was mostly just bumper damage that looked bad. The driver was very kind, we exchanged information and headed on our way. We skipped the movie and instead headed carefully home. It obviously could have been a lot worse, but it was still an unfortunate situation.

Monday we decided not to go into work (the snow all turned to ice by Sunday night and the roads were all literally just ice rinks... they don't believe in snow plows or salt here like normal people... hurts the salmon). My whole group was out except for one guy. He decided to come in, and told me today that he was one of very few people in the building - the cafeteria was a ghost town even at noon he said! He went home around noon. I just stayed online and worked from home, plus got tons done around the house. I made two meals (used up several things from the freezer which was great) and did 4 loads of laundry, plus cleaned out a closet and packed up a bunch of stuff from Goodwill. That is one thing I love about working from home - I tend to get so much more done, work-wise and home-wise (I know it sounds like all I was doing was stuff around the house, but I was doing work too, plus worked way longer than my normal work hours. It just feels easier because you can keep switching off).

Today we got up and made the slow trek into work. Actually, Monday afternoon was quite sunny which helped some of the ice go away! So this morning wasn't too bad and we got caught up at work. Geoff and I had lunch in the cafe and when I got back to my desk I had a voicemail. I checked it right away (shockingly, I never do that) and it was our realtor. He said - there's a problem... call me back ASAP, I'm going to call your cell phone and Geoff's cell phone too. So as I was reaching to call him, Geoff IMed me and said "got a call from the realtor, need to leave now, I arranged for job coverage for this afternoon, a pipe burst and I need to go home to fix it". He asked me to go with him, so I cleared my afternoon schedule and got ready to go. Our neighbor actually saw the problem and called our realtor to get in touch with us quickly. We had to drive home painfully slowly - it's still icy out and we didn't need another accident! When we got home our neighbors were standing in the driveway - we thanked them PROFUSELY. The neighbor across the street (who we know, but not very well) heard water and walked around looking for it. She saw water coming out of our garage so she asked our next door neighbor if she had our number. She just got a new phone so she didn't, but thought to call our realtor! GREAT NEIGHBORS. She also called the water district who had already been out to shut off our water line (which is way out of the way - on the other side of a fence... hard to explain with the way our house is set up, but it's really annoying). So thankful. So we opened up the garage... not nearly as bad as either of us were expecting. About 1/4 of our garage was WET... every single one of the tools in our tool chest was soaked, Geoff's golf clubs, etc... but nothing horrible. We had the extra seats from the Tahoe in there, extra paper towels / laundry detergent / etc. - several things like that, and it was all dry dry dry! Geoff went upstairs - nothing was wet there! The pipe that burst was the one that went out to the hose in the front yard, so our neighbor showed us how to shut it off. I remember the previous owner showing me where to shut that off and telling me he did it every winter, but I haven't done it ever and this is my 4th winter in this house - stupid, stupid me. There is also one to the backyard hose that I've never shut off - I showed Geoff where that was and we shut that one off too. Turns out three of our other neighbors have had this exact same pipe burst in the past couple of years, including the neighbor who originally found ours. The other three neighbors have one story houses though and the water guy says he very rarely sees it on the two story houses (ours is 2). Anyway! So we got that shut off, and Geoff called the water guy to come back and turn on the water (you need a special tool to do it). Then he started hacking at drywall. :) Cut a chunk out and found the hole immediately - it was quite large!! At this point we called his stepdad, who is good at these sorts of things. He said he'd come over to help but that it was going to be a bit because he was finishing up something. So we started working on drying - we dried out all of the tools (put them on towels in the family room), wet vacced the floors and walls, got things outside to dry, I ran to the camper to get a couple of space heaters we had in there, etc. Gary got here about 3ish and had brought Trevor and his girlfriend Kristy. He gave his professional assessment and then we all headed off to Home Depot for copper pipe, drywall, etc. They make these super cool things now that allow you to connect two pieces of copper pipe without having to solder! Exciting since we were up near wood, insulation, etc - all sorts of fun flammable things. Not to mention the whole part it about it being WAY EASIER. So we got back and Geoff cut out the bad piece of pipe - and the connector thingy wasn't big enough. UGH. Another trip to Home Depot! HD seems to almost always come in two's - the first time to get what you think you need, then another time to get what you ACTUALLY need after you realize the first stuff just isn't quite right or you need more or whatever. I always anticipate this and try to really think through all of what we might need, but it just never works. So anyway, since we were going back, Gary mentioned the drywall, and that there were some more pieces we might want to replace since they could get moldy. Geoff cut a hole out of one - and it just crumbled into grossness. So we tore down several sheets and then headed back to HD. Gary had his big work truck which was awesome because it fit the drywall easily! So we got back and plugged in the second connector we bought (the idea was to cut another piece of pipe out and connect that to the main pipe with a connector on either side) and it STILL wasn't big enough!!! Well we occasionally borrow things from our next door neighbor and this had come up in conversation earlier, so Gary suggested going over there to see if they happened to have some copper pipe. Geoff did that, and they didn't have any but the other neighbor (the one who originally discovered our problem and who had the same problem) DID! Our neighbor has yet to fail us on needing any tool type thing that we need, and even in this case he could recommend someone who had some. So we fixed that and tested it out and were good to go. We got everything all back in the garage, re-aimed all of the fans and heaters, and left it to dry until the weekend, when we will drywall it. We through a load of laundry in and then went to Kmart (since they have Craftsman stuff now) to buy new liners for the tool chest (ours were all wet and gross so we threw them away). I relined the tool chest and put away all of the tools (I will NEVER complain about organizing) while Geoff did some things inside. I also really wanted to put Jake in the garage, so I very carefully managed to get everything back in it's original position against the wall. :-) It worked fine, and I still even have the heaters and fans set up! Plus it's cleaner that way, and I sleep better when things are clean. I'm a freak, I know. So we're all set for now - and again, it could have been way, way, way worse. Minimal impact and all contained in the garage, plus it was a nice sunny day!

Things I am thankful for:
- fantastic neighbors (next door Christie and Gary, across the street Brett and Joy)
- Gary, Trevor, and Kristy
- towels. yes this is odd, but when I moved to Oregon I had 4 bath towels, 4 hand towels, and 2 washcloths. They were two sets, one I think was from high school that was still at my parent's house and I grabbed before I moved, and one was from college. I still have them all. I bought a set of blue and a set of yellow for the guest bathroom in my apartment - it had a yellow and blue theme. I still have those, and they are the SMALLEST bath towels ever. I do use them at the gym though, they're small and compact. Then a couple of years ago, a friend was having a garage sale and had all of these towels she wanted to get rid of, so she gave me some. I remember being SO excited because I seemed to always need "dirty towels" (this was right after I moved into my house and I never had enough). Then I married Geoff - this was a double towel bonus, because he came with towels PLUS we received towels as a wedding gift. Then we purchased the camper, and Momlie provided us with some towels to put in the camper. Many of those live in the camper, but at any given time a lot of them are at our house because they've been brought home to be laundered and then they live in the "take to the camper" bag until we actually go to the camper. So I was SO excited to have an occasion to use all of my towels acquried from many fabulous different sources... all of whom hold special places in my heart. Yes, I'm a freak. This we know.

I miss the rain.

1 comment:

marisa said...

i am SO impressed by you guys. we just had a minor pipe burst freakout (with the condo where scott's sister is now - not our house) - the mechanical company for the building called her saying her condo was flooding from a burst pipe and asking permission to break down the door to fix it. (since she's out of town for the month. oh college student life.) i work less than 10 minutes away, so i was able to go over there ... turns out another apt in the building had a burst pipe and was flooding, they were just concerned that there was no heat in her place which could cause her pipes to burst. bah! anyway, i was thinking of your story on my way down there so impressed with you guys - if we had a burst pipe, we'd be frantically on the phone with our plumber and contractor to fix it for us, and paying mightily for it. you got a handy hubby!

also, i understand about the towels - we got great towels for our wedding, but my mom brought us some of their old "dog" towels (that they used to wash the dogs when we had them) when she came out to visit, and i was super excited to have random junk towels and not have to use my nice plushies all the time.

sorry i wrote a novel!