Friday night was a long-anticipated date night with my husband.
I can’t remember the last time we went out – just the two of us. Really can’t. The thing is, our kids are pretty well-behaved in restaurants, so it’s not like we want to get away from them or anything.
I guess over the years we’ve just gotten used to bringing them along. And like, I suspect, many parents out there, we let the smaller “us” – the couple part of this family – fall by the wayside to an extent.
So Friday was the first step back to couple-hood.
Dinner and a movie.
Like people do.
Friday was the hottest, humidest (I’m claiming that as a word) day of summer (so far), and I’m not sure which we were looking forward to more – a night out, or a night out IN AIR CONDITIONED BUILDINGS! We have AC in our basement and on the second floor (one big window AC unit takes care, pretty much, of the whole floor). Nothing on the main floor. If we shut all the doors and windows and let the air conditioners run, eventually they meet in the middle somewhere and the entire house is bearable.
That is, it’s bearable provided certain additional conditions are met.
PEOPLE – and by PEOPLE I mean everyone who isn’t ME – remember to SHUT THE DOOR upon entering and/or exiting the house. The cool wisps of air conditioner air are no match for the burly humid hot air that rolls right in EVERY TIME that back door is left WIDE open.
That NO ONE – and by NO ONE I mean ME – cooks or bakes or boils or reheats or warms ANYTHING in the kitchen.
You can imagine how frequently these conditions are met.
So our house on Friday wasn’t a whole lot cooler than the great outdoors.
Anyway, when our friend, John, arrived at the agreed-upon time, we quickly ran down the list of Stuff Our Kids Are Allowed To Do, thanked him profusely, and fled.
We ate. We watched the final Harry Potter movie in 3D, and we went home. (We’d been thinking of going out again AFTER the movie, but the 3D glasses gave us matching eye strain headaches, so we went home instead.)
Apart from the little annoying headaches above both our left eyes (aren’t we the cute couple that does EVERYTHING together?), the night was fun and relaxing and long overdue.
And then the next morning when I came downstairs somewhere around 6:00, our kitchen floor was almost entirely covered in water.
Well, that would explain why the cats were being particularly annoying just moments ago. Their food dish was a small island in the middle of the submerged tile. Next time I’ll pay more attention to their annoyingness.
Anyway, the flood. I could also hear water gushing from somewhere, so I sloshed through the lake and shut off the water under the sink. The gushing stopped. Yay.
Now, I have to interrupt here (because I don’t know where else to interrupt in this saga) to mention that years ago – almost exactly 8 years ago, in August 2003, we had a flood in our house as well. And I just went looking through my archives because I couldn’t remember what year it had happened – had Julia been born yet? – and I couldn’t find it in these archives, so I figured it must have happened PB (Pre Blog). I started typing that and then WAIT! – I remembered that oh, yeah, I actually started blogging on Blogspot (which is now Blogger) and so I checked THOSE archives and lo and behold, there’s the post (or series of posts) about THAT exciting flood adventure. I also discovered that my post titles lack originality. In re-reading that post and the one about a week later, I regret to say I didn’t write a whole lot more about that whole endless story, but Alex was a baby and I was probably too tired to bother.
Okay, commercial’s over. Back to the show…
Then I sloshed back through the kitchen and into the nearby bathroom, grabbed all the towels, and scattered them over as much of the kitchen floor as I could.
Next I went downstairs to get more towels from the laundry area, and hey! Look! A waterfall! Spilling from the light fixture!
I stuck a big garbage can under that, grabbed more towels and a blanket, and continued blotting up the spillage.
Amazingly the water in the kitchen STAYED in the kitchen. That is, it stayed ON THE TILE and didn’t spill over into the (hardwood floors of the) dining room or hallway. Thank goodness.
During all this, a part of me wanted to burst into helpless tears, but there was enough water spilled already, so I closed those valves as well and did practical stuff instead.
I cleared the garbage can, stray shoes, backpacks, and assorted STUFF THAT PEOPLE DON’T PUT AWAY from the kitchen so it could dry and so I could put down more towels.
I didn’t want to set this wet stuff in another room, so I opened the back door and put things on the back steps and in the driveway.
Speaking of the driveway, HEY! LOOK! A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT!
Yep, the only thing that saved our hardwoods was the leaking to our basement AND the leaking out the back of the house and onto the driveway.
I stood out there, perfectly still, and listened.
Listened for the sound of running water from anywhere else. For a very brief portion of a moment, I thought “Maybe the water out here didn’t really come from inside the house! Maybe the outdoor faucet (which our garden hose, on a timer, is attached to) (I know – totally awkward sentence. But that is how my brain was working during all this and I want you to feel like you’re RIGHT THERE WITH ME.) has sprung a leak and this water that’s OUTSIDE actually came from an outside source.
The dripping water falling from beneath the shingles behind the part of the kitchen where our refrigerator is told a different story.
Anyway, after I’d done flooded kitchen triage, I figured I might as well let Bill in on the fun. So I squished my way across the towel-strewn kitchen and trudged upstairs, tiptoed into our bedroom and softly said to my husband, my previous night’s date,
“Honey? I think maybe you should get up soon.”
He blinked and looked around. “What time is it?”
“It’s around six, but that’s not why. We’ve got sort of a flood in the kitchen. No need to leap out of bed - I shut off the water and put towels down, but I just thought you should know.”
He kind of stared at me.
I went back downstairs, and he came down soon after.
We discovered that the shop vac really didn’t do much in the way of sucking up water that the towels hadn’t already soaked up, so we stuck that in another room and I wrung out dripping towels in the sink and slapped them back down where we still had puddles.
I’m still amazed the water stayed on the tiles.
Reminds me a tiny bit of my niece when she was a baby. We all went to the beach one time, and she WOULD NOT leave the blanket. Any time her little hand touched sand, she backed away. Kind of like an electric fence for dogs, only friendlier. We just left her there for hours while we all frolicked and played in the surf. I’m kidding. And she’s grown out of that, too, by the way.
But I digress.
Once all the towels were off the floor, I brought the oscillating fan down from our bedroom (isn’t “oscillating” a fun word?) and used that to help dry up the last of the water.
We also discovered – praise the Lord and pass the peaches – that we didn’t even need to call a plumber (translate – our children WOULD be fed and clothed for the rest of the year) to fix things! Yay! Once we’d pulled the fridge out of its little corner of the kitchen, and after we’d gasped in horror at the yuckiness behind it, and pretended to be SO SURPRISED that it hadn’t been cleaned since the Sears Delivery Guys slid it into place shortly before we moved in, Bill did a little investigating and discovered that the little plastic tube that connects with the copper tubing that brings water to the icemaker had popped out of its fitting.
He fixed that, and added caulk or something around it for good measure, and I turned the water back on and – NO MORE FLOOD!
And we proceeded with our day, as originally scheduled.
Julia picked some wax beans, the kids played in the pool, I took cheese out of brine and started the aging process, Bill did some more work on our neighbor’s house (long story), and so on.
Anticlimactic is sometimes a really nice thing.
Oh – this was funny. At some point after all the morning’s drama, I went up to the second floor and into the bathroom up there. And I discovered – to my horror, as you may imagine – a PUDDLE underneath the package of toilet paper I’d left on the floor (because why can’t someone else put it away in the closet besides me?).
A little part of my brain sort of short-circuited and started really thinking that SOMEHOW the little fitting on the back of the fridge had popped off again and SOMEHOW the water had magically spilled UPSTAIRS ON THE BATHROOM FLOOR UNDER THE BIG PACKAGE OF TOILET PAPER.
This is your brain. This is your brain on floods.
Then I realized, with relief, that it must have been one of the kids walking around in there after his or her (probably her) shower and not bothering to dry off or anything because, you know, who cares about a little water on the floor?
I just threw the last of our towels down on the puddle, put the (dry, fortunately) rolls of toilet paper in the closet, and went back downstairs.
Because, you know, who cares about a little water on the floor?