|Bookshelves in progress, accompanied by a “Sex and the City” marathon.|
I now have new respect and sympathy for people whose entire houses get flooded by hurricanes, overflowing rivers, tsunamis, burst dams or whatever. I only had one room get soaked, and it has taken almost two months to begin to recover. I never saw this coming.
I woke up on Aug. 20 to discover water all over my laundry room. My 12-year-old water heater had died in the night, and water was pouring out the bottom. Phooey. But the laundry room, formerly part of the garage, was never completely finished. Once I mopped the water off the concrete floor and got a new water heater, I figured my troubles were over.
But no. The next night, I was on the phone with a friend when I happened to walk barefoot through my den, also formerly part of the garage. The carpet was soaked. Major curse words flew out of my mouth. I have already blogged about the details of all this ad nauseum. The short version: I spent a day trying to sop up the water with minimal success as the stench of wet carpet padding, wood and sheetrock permeated the house. The next day, I followed my father’s advice and called the insurance company. Water damage workers tried to dry things out, then removed my entire carpet and my four six-foot tall bookshelves. They also chopped a soggy section out of my wall. Over the weeks that followed, I had many visits from various professionals, interspersed with long periods of waiting.
Everything from that room, including hundreds of books, all of my clothes and a host of photos and knick-knacks, is spread through the rest of the house. But now it’s almost over. The wall is patched and painted, I finished putting together the last bookshelf last night, and the carpet is due to be installed on Wednesday. Emerald cut, rust-colored Spanish tile instead of the silly white Berber that used to be there. It will all turn out to be an expensive blessing, I’m sure.
Having been surrounded by my possessions all this time, I’m not so fond of them anymore. And I realize that when the flood hits, everything that gets wet becomes worthless. I will reconsider every item that I put back in that room. Do I really need so much stuff? Don’t answer that. I know what you’ll say.
Meanwhile, yesterday I noticed the roof is leaking in the laundry room. Just a little.