I feel as though I’ve made the leap from riding a bike to driving a car when I went from renting a house to owning a house. Fundamentally, they both are similar in form and function at first glance. But once you start down the road….. let me tell you how different they can really be.
Now, I’ve owned a house or two before. Back in the distant years of my married life, husband and I owned a home, bought land and built a home (we actually built it ourselves, with help from family, over a three-month period). We had apartments we rented out, so I was well versed in repairs and remodeling. We had the means, funds and teamwork to handle the adventures as they came.
Then came ‘the change’ that forever changed my life. And for the past decade or so, I’ve been satisfied to rent. While not perfect, it suited my needs. Until late last year and I traded in my trusty bicycle and bought a car…. I mean I traded in my rental status and bought a house. This sweet baby is all mine.
That means the repairs are also all mine. And so far I’ve managed pretty well, at the risk of sounding boastful, in how I’ve coped, adapted and learned. Until this week.
This week we had a bad ice storm. I missed work Monday. My hot water went out. Ironically I still had cold water so I did what I thought I should do, leave the hot water faucets open for when the ice thawed. It really should have only been a matter of a couple of days or so. In the meantime I heated water in my copper kettle for bathing and dishes. I patiently waited and hopefully prayed each day, as the temperatures rose, my water would soon return.
Today was the first day I was finally able to safely make it to my crawl space hatch and when I pulled it away, my heart utterly sank. Filling my crawl space was at least eight inches of standing water, as far as the eye could see. Somewhere in the near corner, I heard water steadily pouring. From a faucet I had foolishly left open to encourage the ice to move along? From a broken water pipe? I could not see anything in the sweep of my flashlight but the beam isn’t the best.
So, being a new homeowner now, I put on my Big Homeowner Panties and drove down to the local hardware chain where a good person sold me a sump pump and garden hose. I ran that darn thing all afternoon long, hours upon endless hours. It barely put the smallest dent in the water. In fact, I’m not sure it sucked enough gallons out to even have bothered to be honest. I was so very careful with every drop of water I used today, not wanting to add anything to the wading pool already down there.
Now, to look on the bright side of this mess, I did take out a home warranty when I bought the house this fall and have contacted them. I now await for a technician to contact me and make arrangements to come out. I am sure they have hefty sump pump sucking equipment that will drain it out far more efficiently. I just dread the time we have to wait for the draining and drying while I was hoping–foolishly–to accomplish that today.
So for now I am still counting the days until I can take a hot shower in my own home. It sure won’t be tomorrow. But for now, it’s late, so I think I shall take off my Big Homeowner Panties and put on my Gonna Cry Girlie Jammies and crawl into bed.