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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Carpet Crusade: The Search for the Holy Valve December 14, 2013

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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I’ve been a little stressed lately. I’s Christmas season at the theatre, which means twelve shows a week. I’m in line edits for my YA novel, The Tethering, which, while less panic inducing than content edits, are still super stressful. And I’m trying to have a happy Christmas even though I’m going to be driving cross-country on the Christmas Eve, Christmas day, and Boxing day. I know I’ll be with my husband, and that’s great. But I’m trying to cram in as much Christmas as quickly as I can, so I don’t feel like Santa or Jesus cheated me this year.

So, I’ve been having a rough week. And every time I thought it was getting better, something else came up. I kept putting one foot in front of the other, but then my foot landed in a puddle, in my carpet, in my room in cast housing! And not just any puddle. A cold, seeping, ever-growing puddle. More than anything in this world, I hate having cold, wet toes. Give me wet jeans, give me a bra that digs, give me four inch stilettos, just please God keep my feet warm and dry! But the puddle seeped through my sock, and as I leaped away screaming, I saw the dark foot print of death. The carpet was wet to the padding. I took of my now soaking sock and searched for the source of the water. I felt along the ceiling and walls. I ran my hands on the bathroom floor. And then I found it: the evil cold wetness was coming from the water heater. And there was no off valve.

I called emergency maintenance at 11:30 pm. I had water in my carpet. I needed help! The nice man agreed to come by and take a look. He laughed when he saw me at the door. This was not our first foray into soggy carpets. We had met before. He looked at the pump and found the leak. The “water in” pipe had cracked. I asked him to find a way to shut everything off until morning. But he couldn’t find the valve either! Who builds a condo without a valve! He told me to wrap the pipes in towels and hope for the best. The best did not come. By morning, the towels were soaked and the floor was worse.

The man came back with his buddy, and the buddy found a valve. They started to change the pipe and quickly discovered it had been the wrong off valve. There was still water flowing! They were making it worse! SO much worse! Buddy suggested that I hold the ends of the pipes as they changed everything out. I said if it didn’t work for the boy with the thumb and the plum and the dam, I wanted no part of it. They left to find a valve, and the carpet pond grew triumphantly, undefeated by us mere mortals.

I was out of time. I had to go do a show. I was panicking about the edits I hadn’t gotten done because I was trying to protect my belongings from the puddle. Luckily, I have friends at the theatre! One came to the rescue with a shop vac. As soon as the men fulfilled their impossible dream of finding the valve, they fixed the pipe and the shop vac friend cleaned the carpet. I was left with a wet carpet and a blower trying to murder my allergies. Thank God my mother was coming to visit and bringing apple crisp or I would have curled up on the moist carpet and cried.

I’ve made it through the worst of the week. I think I may survive. But I do give you, my lovely readers, a most heartfelt apology that I have nothing amusing to offer you today. Sometimes when fighting a battle to the death with a water heater, a carpet, and a long lost valve, the best you can do is to survive.

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One Response to “The Carpet Crusade: The Search for the Holy Valve”

  1. Having come down to the basement to a mini-flood – thinking I had fixed it, and finding out the next morning that no, I had NOT fixed it, I know what you’re talking about.

    It turned out to be a broken backup valve on the pump that deals with the humidifier’s water – and yes, I eventually did find the shutoff valve (but after I thought I’d fixed it, so it didn’t help the flood). And the plumbers came that very morning. And I have ignored my husband’s wet magazines just fine for the past month – I just don’t have the energy to care.

    I won’t tell you my worries – just say a little prayer for the daughtorial unit, would you? – but I’m glad you’re healthy and at least TRYING to get a good attitude to get you through Christmas.

    Peace is EARNED, not given. Merry Christmas – great luck with your book and your shows. Keep your feet warm, and remember how much it helps to write, even if people laugh.


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