Overwhelmed? Stressed? Bit panicked? Yeah, keep going.

Friday was supposed to be a good, good day. It was Kim’s last night in town; we had grand plans to paint my bathroom a pretty, pretty graceful grey, and then cook a turkey dinner, watch Gatsby, and get good and tipsy. We had mostly prepped the bathroom when Kim dispatched me outside to see if Gatsby had arrived yet.

That’s when I first saw a rather alarming amount of water in the front yard, next to the sidewalk.

“It didn’t rain today, did it?” I called back to my sister. I didn’t think it had – it’s been ridiculously hot and without any relief (like rain), but… there was water. When it rains, the area against the foundation back behind the shrubs takes awhile to drain. It always fills up fast. Also, the area between the houses. But, again…no rain. So where was the water coming from?

I checked the faucet over there in the corner – not only was it dry, but so was the wall right underneath it. There wasn’t any water bubbling up from anywhere. I had no idea what was going on. My neighbor, bless his heart, was in his driveway, so I pulled him over and asked him to look at it and tell me who I needed to call. A plumber. Terrific. Because it was now late on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend. No way that was going to fail.

But my neighbor swore that the same thing (almost)(god those ‘almosts’ always get you) happened to our Jimmy Buffett neighbor and he had a plumber come out and it only cost a hundred bucks or something like that. He recommended getting his name from Jimmy Buffett. Jimmy wasn’t home. So I called the name of a plumber affiliated with AAA because there was a discount and no emergency night/weekend charges. But there was a waiting list. Great. I put myself in the queue.

Meanwhile, as Kim was painting and I was running outside every 20 minutes to check on the flood levels (were they changing?) and the water meter spin-levels, I saw Jimmy in his garage. I pimped him for the name of his plumber, but wasn’t really encouraged when he couldn’t even remember using one at first. Then it came to him. Except he had gotten the number from another neighbor of ours. Well. At least this plumber has a good reputation. Jimmy said he’d get the number and text it to me, but I was a little skeptical. That’s a lot of people to wait on and the Friday afternoon window was quickly closing.

I swear it’s because I doubted that Jimmy got the number so quickly. And why, despite being waitlisted for a few hours, the neighbor’s plumber got to me first. Hooray for local businesses!

The plumber was really nice, even if he did tell me the leak wasn’t in the (more) easily accessible line out at the house or under the yard. Oh no. He used his fancy water-leak-detecting stethoscope to tell me the leak was under the living room floor, behind the shared wall to the guest bath. They would have to jackhammer up my floor to get to the pipe. And maybe cut out the drywall in the wall.

That’s when the anxiety really set in.

Mr. Plumber did his best to comfort me, only chuckling at most of my questions. I didn’t have to shut off the water unless it got much worse. It was more than a drip, but less than a steady stream. My foundation would be fine until they fixed it. My house wouldn’t sink and my walls wouldn’t get cracks in them. My insurance would probably cover it. [This is me, carefully not crying over that statement now.] I wouldn’t have to get a contractor to handle all the repairs after – they take care of it right then. I would be fine – unless it got a lot worse – waiting until Tuesday, after the holiday, when they could come back and fix it. And then the really nice plumber told me he was the one on call all weekend, and that if I had any problems or even if I just got worried, to call and he’d come look at it again. That bit did make me feel a lil better.

So Kim and I painted my pretty, pretty bathroom and had a really tasty dinner and I ran out and checked on the flood levels a zillion more times. Or, at least I did before we got good and roaring drunk. Because that’s all there is to do when you’re trying to drown the panic.

So! This morning I called the plumber to see when they’d be here – they don’t assign specific times, but probably before noon. And they can’t say if they’re going to start the repair or not. UGH. Then I had to check the flood levels – a small, lazy river has formed between my house and the neighbor’s house. Put out chemicals because, oh! Yeah! The standing water against my foundation is probably breeding West Nile! Called my insurance agent. [TURNS OUT STATE FARM IS GREAT AT FENDER BENDERS, BUT DOESN’T COVER JACK SHHH FOR HOMEOWNERS!!] Wait for a claims specialist to call me back. Checked on the ants – did I mention that ants have popped up in three different places? Two are opposite ends of my kitchen and one is uncomfortably close to my bed! And then call my doctor because when I went to pick up prescriptions yesterday, it turns out they stopped making one of them inexplicably. You know – the prescription it took us over a year to find because my body kept rejecting the alternatives. Fantastic.

I’m trying to remember that all of these are fixable things. Expensive, quite possibly, but still fixable. And the Ex was pretty fantastic last night, letting me vent and offering to keep the girls as long as I needed. At least I won’t have to worry about bathing them or one of them falling into the gaping hole in the living room if they can’t fix it right away. But even with a heaping dose of perspective, I’m pretty sure I’m still going to spend a good portion of my morning alternating between quietly crying into my coffee and breathing into a paper bag.



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One Response to “Overwhelmed? Stressed? Bit panicked? Yeah, keep going.”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Oh dear! Hang in there – this too shall pass. It reminds me a lot of my first Christmas post divorce when my kids were with their dad and my basement was full of sewage. I was a wreck. But, it is all fixable.

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