Saturday, October 13, 2007

My vacation

The water line on one of my basement walls, before the demolition. The water was full of mud.

I'm still reeling from the latest disaster in The Year From Hell, but things are looking much better now. It's been nearly a week (last Monday morning) since I got up, showered and got ready for work, went downstairs in the dark--and stepped in ankle-deep water! The entire lower floor was submerged and it's (or WAS) a nice, finished, walk-out basement. My son's large studio bedroom is down there, with lots of his things, a full, nice bathroom and a very large living/family room full of furniture, TV, books, and all sorts of personal things. The water line on the walls was 11 1/2 inches, nearly a foot of water, and it came from a city storm sewer failure during a rainstorm we had last Sunday night. My sump pump simply couldn't keep up with the onslaught, it was like a tidal wave, knocking over shelves and bookcases.

One corner of the demolished basement.

I couldn't even bear to write about it, at first. It's such a shocking thing to lose books from my childhood that were given me by my Aunt and Grandmother, both long since passed. My son's high school yearbooks, stuff from college and grade school--books I read to him as a baby--all ruined, as was furniture, computer equipment, movies, games and electronic equipment. I was pretty distraught on Monday evening as the cleanup crew were stripping the ruined (new) carpet and floor tiles. They had to cut out the bottom of each wall because the water soaked upwards, to dry inside the walls. The insulation had to be pulled and thrown away, the frames and baseboards ripped off and discarded. All of the regular doors and my two pocket doors were torn out and thrown on two huge heaps of debris, outside. My once very nice, comfortable basement has been gutted and looks like a demolition site.

Even though I had to go down there constantly all last week, it's only stopped being painful yesterday. I have lots of vacation time accrued so I went in to work each day for only about 1 -2 hours and then came back home to deal with the cleaning and drying out, insurance, adjusters and all. The phone rang constantly, and people were showing up in work vans to check water readings, move fans, etc. for the entire week. My insurance only covers the actual cleaning, not contents or disposal. The cleaning costs were so high that they used up all of the insurance money like lighting a match to paper. And I had to pay the deducible, $500, before the crew even started. That was part of my mortgage money for November.

SLA came over for a few hours that first, horrible night. A friend of VMan came over on Thursday and helped me dig through the wet piles in seach of anything salvagable. We dragged a few things back in and the help and support made me feel a whole lot better (although my leg and back have been killing me since then, that stuff was wet and very heavy). I had been going to call the kids on Tuesday, as they were moving back up here (into the basement!) this coming Monday, but my son called me to tell me that they would be arriving on Sunday or Monday. I told him the sad story about all of his lost items and asked if they could come up any sooner to help. Well, they arrived last night! And I was glad to see them. VMan's friend has a trailer and an available dumpster, so today we are loading up the huge piles of ruined stuff and hauling them away.

Needless to say, I'm NOT having the planned Open House tomorrow. And, ironically, my house was listed in the newspaper for the very first time on Wednesday! Just when it is in no condition to show to anyone. Sigh. My house will be off the market until the basement is put back together, an extensive and expensive job and I certainly have no "extra" money to spend on it. It's really really got to get much better than this. Oh, and work, even though I was only there about 10 or 12 hours this entire week, was very very interesting, in a bad sort of way. But this is enough woe is me for today! Have a great weekend!

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Blogger Maria said...

God...I am so, so sorry. What a rotten thing to happen at such a rotten time....

All I can say is that perhaps this was karma? Maybe someone would have snatched up the house and now you will find a way to stay....

Just hoping for you...just hoping.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

That's not fun and not a nice way to spend vacation time. Good luck in pulling through.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Michael Manning said...

I was so sorry to read this. At least you attacked the situation and separated what you could save from what was lost. I feel so badly for you, but willkeep you in my thoughts & prayers!

7:43 PM  
Blogger deni said...

Oh PBS, I'm so sorry this has happened, but (and I know this sounds like one of those pat answers) maybe there is a reason for this, one you can't see just now.

I know you want to keep your house, and I am in pretty much the same boat, that mortgage payment is tough to come up with though.

I will pray for you.


8:57 PM  
Blogger magicfingers said...

So so sorry to hear about the disaster. Thank goodness the kids weren't already down there.
Sometimes it's hard to see but Everything does happen for a reason even if it takes a long time to find out what that reason was. You are in my prayers.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Lorna said...

From the first look at your post, I was itching to jump in my car, head south and figure out how to find your basement. I wish I could have helped, and I'm glad there were people there for you and that you could take time to deal with the disaster. Like many of your reader/friends, I am hoping that this will eventually prove to have been for the best.

1:33 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

OMG I am sooooooo sorry! I can only imagine what u must be feeling.

Hope things get a little easier ~

8:08 AM  
Blogger Fizzy said...

OMG that is terrible. I wish something wouls happen to you soon. I am glad that your friends and family are helping you sort it out. Something good MUST happen soon!

8:38 AM  
Blogger Gypsy said...

You are certainly being tested at the moment and it is SO undeserved. Like many of the other readers, I can't help feeling that this is divine intervention (albeit of the worst kind) and the universe seems to be conspiring against you selling your house.

As quickly as bad things can happen, so can good things happen just as quickly. Hold on to that thought and lets hope things start looking up soon. I wish I could do or say something useful. Alas, Australia is a long, long way away.

9:50 AM  
Blogger BikerCandy said...

I'm so sorry! What a rotten thing to happen. I hope everything works out soon for you. Keep up good thoughts, something will be going your way soon!

7:35 AM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Oh that SUCKS...I would be SO pissed off.

Glad you're getting some help with it though...that would be So overwhelming to do all alone!

8:29 AM  
Blogger ordinarygirl said...

I'm so sorry, PBS! I wish I could help you clean up. :(

1:54 PM  
Blogger sumo said...

Soooo sorry for your troubles...darn rain! Looks like you've got a little help though. A little is better than nothing...sigh...

2:03 AM  
Blogger Walker said...

Gezz just when you think the worse is over this happens.
I am sorry for your bad luck.

I don't understand whyt they insurance doesn;t cover the contents and the repair of the damage?

I thought house insurance covered the contents to, mine does.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Gypsy said...

Just popping in to say hi and that I'm hoping things are starting to look up for you. You have been in my thoughts and I hope the tide turns soon. Take care.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Dale said...

No post for a week. You must be shattered over what's happened. Here's hoping things dry out and shape up soon. You're lucky to have family and friends to help.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Gypsy said...

How's things? Hope everything is ok with you dear girl. I miss you.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Michael Manning said...

Just stopped by to see how you are!

6:25 PM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Still busy, huh??? Hope it's going okay for you! :)

7:58 AM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

Oh Lord. I'm SO sorry this happened to you! No sense in saying "I know how you feel," because even though it happened to me, it wasn't YOUR stuff. We all get very attached (and for good reason) to our "stuff."

It seems here like you've been away since then ... hoping all's okay in your world and you are able to handle things as they come along.

All the best to you. Thinking of you.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Walker said...

It's been awhile I hope all is well.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

How are you doing PBS? Lots to deal with right now obviously. Be lovely to hear from you if you get the chance to come back and update us and let us know you're doing ok *hugs*

2:11 PM  

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