Monday, March 05, 2007

Oh the tragedy around here.... or what a way to spend a birthday

It all started on the 21st. My MIL called to wish me a happy birthday a day early since we were leaving to go to the old scatterville the next day. Right after I got off the phone with her, another call came in.

It was the City of Old Scatterville. The meter man had just read the water meter at our house and it had used 22,000 gallons of water that month. Well in a tiny town everyone knows your business so he knew no one was living there and shut off the water. Of coarse R and I were thrown into panic mode. He cancelled his Thursday classes and the kids and I loaded the truck and we drove down to see what the chaos was.

We arrived about 11pm and R going in first to make sure it was safe, but before we even got into the house we could see through the basement window that it was full of water. Sure enough about 3 feet of water and we could see that is had already dropped about three inches from that morning.

We drove on to our friends house and crept in as quietly as you can with three kids and a dog. Just a side note: I love you J. Without you I have no idea how I would have been able to function, you made what could have been the worst day of the year one that I will always remember as special, and it was all because of you. Words can not express how much gratitude I feel for having you in my life.

So the 22nd, My birthday, I called the insurance company to get the claim going, and J went to take her daughter to school and pick up mochas for R and I. She came back bearing scones, coffee, and flowers for my birthday. They were beautiful and my favorite Star Gazer Lilies. The insurance company told us it would take a while to get the claim going and we should probably start pumping the water out of the basement. We call a Restoration Company and they couldn't come out until the afternoon.

So we hung out at J's having the most lovely time. Our dog loved it there, wandering around her land and playing with the neighbors dogs. She was just gentle with J's kids, even the 11 month old.

At 2pm we went out to Scatterville and met the water people leaving T and K at J's house and taking W with us. We sat our our porch swing just feeling helpless as four trucks pumped the water out of our basement slowly. W and I dragged out board games to help the time pass.

We noticed that it wasn't just the basement that got wet but the bathroom walls, floors and the wood floor in the kitchen that had already been finished.

That evening J invited several of our friends over to celebrate my birthday and we had pizza. The kids had a blast playing and visiting, I had wine with my best friends and of coarse, A made a wonderful chocolate cake to die for. I really was the best birthday cake ever.

The next morning we headed back out to the house, this time W stayed back at the house and J's daughter who is K's age stayed home from school. They had fun all day long just playing in the 70 degree weather. R and I watched the crew drag countless things out of our basement ruined. Router and Table, tile saw, dremel tool, printer for my camera, a van seat... etc etc. After a stressful morning of rescueing my kids baby books from the dumpster and then finding photo albums of my mother who died when I was 20 something ruined, we decided most of the good stuff had been saved and I needed a break. So we went back to J's house so R could go to his meeting that afternoon. It was lovely afternoon of sunshine and sitting on the porch of her house watching the kids and dogs play and just visiting.

R and I went back out to the house to find the basement completely cleaned out. The dumpster full. Unfortunatly the fridge and freezer were in it along with paint and stain cans that can not go to the dump so we'll have to remove those later.

We tried lighting the beast of a furnace so that we could have heat in there again, the restoration company wanted it off for safety reasons.

It however wouldn't light so we headed back to J's house again.

We had some roasted chicken and she made the most delicious brocoli on the grill. I'm going to have to get propane for our grill to make some because it was great. The next morning we got a late start because we were exhausted but we were also trying to beat a snowstorm home. We packed up and headed to Scatterville to light the heater again. We spent an hour there and still couldn't light it and then hit the road. It was rain, sleet and snow most of the way home. About an hour and half away from home we hit snow. Tons of snow. You could only see paths in the snow from the cars ahead and visibility was nothing. It was very slick and yucky. R was driving and put the truck in 4 wheel drive to get us home. After the big city driving go worse since there were no cars ahead of us. After getting into town a few hours later, we realized our city had already gotten a foot of snow. So it was the fact that it was snowing so hard the trucks couldn't keep up.

Now the waiting began to find out what the insurance company would cover because the adjuster wasn't even able to go out there until Tuesday. Tuesday I spent the day on the phone with the adjuster, the restoration company, the plumber and the insurance man. The news was mixed. They would cover the wood floor in the kitchen, the personal property lost, and the water heater. They would not cover the bulge and crack in the foundation or the cost to have the pipe that leaked fixed.

So here are today, waiting for a check to arrive so we can head back to old Scatterville again. It is Spring Break for us, although we had a blizzard this weekend that closed the interstates for 3 days. This delays the UPS, and mail and everything else we are waiting on to leave.

We have decided to do the work ourselves again. We don't want to but it just makes for sense since we did it in the first place and we know what we did. The plumbers fixed the leak and got hot water back in place and the furnace going so now we need to go through the dumpster and list everyting we have lost. Then we can begin to rebuild the house.

It was so close to being done, and now it is so far away.