Friday, November 30, 2007

Now I can tell you about the flood at my house

Picture this:

Yesterday, I'm in Tampa and things are just wrapping up for the week when I get a text message from Softie asking for our landlord's phone number. I asked why he needed it since I happened to know that LandLord was just over at the house that morning to pick up his mail.

He said there was water everywhere and he needed to call him. So, I asked why was there water everywhere and he said that the toilet had overflowed.

Now, I know that I tease about being the man, but I'm pretty sure that if the toilet was overflowing, it's my husband that I would call before I'd call LandLord. That man barely speaks English.

Anyway, I gave him the number and about 30 minutes later, while I was driving home, I got a call from him. Softie.

He said that he had left the house earlier with Mini to get Sweetie from school. On his way out of the development, he saw Middle's bus coming to drop him off. Now, this isn't amazing or anything, it just gives you a little time line. Middle is 13 now and generally, he's pretty low maintenance. He watches TV. Get's himself a drink. Goes to the bathroom. Pretty much without any reminders.

Well, apparently during the less than 60 minutes that Softie was gone, Middle had to pee. So, he did. No trouble there, right?

Except that there was a faulty something in the toilet and the water didn't stop running. It was apparently running pretty quickly too. Too quickly, in fact, for the toilet to keep up with the draining. And since the toilet is just the friendliest creature in the house and the floor looked so dry to it - or something - it decided the share as much water with that little floor as it could. It shared and it shared and it shared.

Apparently, our house is built on a bit of an incline...toward the front of the house. Nice thing about that? The bathroom is in the back of the house. Softie said when he drove in the driveway, there was water coming out of the house, through the garage, and into the driveway.

Doesn't that sound nice?

There was a solid inch of water all over the house. Except the back. The kids bedrooms. Hmm...

Anyway, I kept driving the 2 hours from Tampa and arrived just after the nice man from ServiceMaster. When I got home? Softie's little slipper shoes were completely soaked through and his socks were wet all the way to the top. When he showed me our room, Mini was jumping on the carpet and there was so much water that the splashing was seriously getting his shirt wet.
Mr. ServiceMaster had already given the news to LandLord that it is going to probably be about a $15,000 job to clean up. Why you ask?

Water in Florida just doesn't drain like in a desert. The water here, well, the water and the laminate. Apparently, there's a problem with the snap together floor. There is a little water proof blanket underneath the snap together floor. Notice the word BLANKET? Yeah, it's very absorbent. The law of the land apparently says that if there's a water problem (read:flood) the laminate must be removed from the premises.
I cried a little. I'm still not feeling 100% from being sick earlier this week. When the whole crew arrived around 10:00 and said it would be a couple more hours before they'd be done with phase one, I thought we could wait it out. That the kids could just go in their beds and sleep, while I rested comfortably on the couch and the worker bees did their work.

That was before I heard the sound of the removal of laminate. That sound and it's accompanying splintering rips for about 5 minutes. Ugh! I was fried. There was no way we could stay here and it was getting late.

I looked online to see if I had enough Marriott or HiltonHonors points racked up to stay the night somewhere nice. Not so much.
So, I made a couple of phone calls to the next hotels on my list...which were all. booked. up. I sorta felt like Mary. NO ROOM! A cattle stall was actually sounding pretty good by then.

Um, yeah, so I got out June. She's our little assistant in the car. She tells us how to get places and what's around. So, June and I looked up hotels near here. First one. No room. Second one. No room. Third one's a charm. Right?

Yeah, not so much.
Anyway, I packed up the kids and we hopped in the car. I told Softie I'd tell him how to get there and where we ended up once we ended up there. Once quick check to see if everyone had eaten, which Softie said they had, we shared a quick kiss, and then the kids and I were off.

10 minutes later we pulled up at a Rat Hole. Roach Motel. Ewgh. BUT! I was tired, they had room, and we were there. I paid the woman through a tiny little slot in a window. Then. She handed me 3 more towels through the door that she unlocked and slit open just enough to push them through. Safety was ooozing out of this place. Let me tell you.

We opened the door to our first floor, picture window wall room and there was a TV, a table, 2 beds, sink. It looked pretty normal, except for the holes in the wall over the beds. Not kidding.

We discovered that there were actually 2 TV's in the room. One was tucked into a little dresser thingy. There was one remote. It didn't work on either TV and the TV that was hiding...didn't work at all.

I told the boys to get ready for bed, and Mini told me for the first time that he hadn't eaten dinner. What? But I'm hungry. My tummy is hurting.

Here's where I got my MOTY nomination during all this.

I informed him that we were not going to order Pizza Hut at 11:00 a night. That he didn't choose to eat like the rest of the kids or whatever, and that there's something absolutely amazing about going to sleep when you're told to. The grumbling in your tummy? You Can't Feel It When You're Sleeping.

Lies. I know. But he bought it. sooo...that was settled. Sweetie and Middle in one bed, Mini, me, and Softie when he finally arrived (sometime after I fell asleep for the first time of many times last night) in the other.

There was no blanket on the bed. There was a top sheet and a bed spread. Mini Mann wanted it all up close to him, and I was like, "I don't want that think anywhere near my face!" Oh, and the pillows were like that too.

Sleep was restless. Cold. Hot. Uncomfortable. There was the stress of whatever was going on at the house. The sense of disaster and displacement. The realization that....needless to say, my crazy head was SPINNING!
When Sweetie woke up in the morning, she was just about to get in the shower when she realized there was no shampoo. There was some really weird soap that someone probably received as an inheritance from their 130 year old grandma. That soap was then sold to the motel owners at a flea market some 20 years ago. Yes. It was that bad.

Since I'd just been at the Marriott in Tampa and I'm a good little hotel guest, I had all the essentials from that hotel packed in my suitcase. Thank goodness. Oh! I also had deodorant for her. and a toothbrush. and lotion. that's when I made up for putting my kid to bed hungry.

Softie was getting ready to leave with Mini to get him to school on time. He was trying to hurry Mini along when suddenly Mini shouts, "What? I can't go to school! I am STARVING!" Softie didn't know I put him to bed hungry, but luckily, he had some snacks in the van that he was willing to share. So. There. The kid was fed.


Then? I knock on the door of the nasty motel room. I stumble to the door and open it. The motel lady, the one with the towels slipped through the door the night prior asks me if we're almost ready to check out. WHAT? It's 7:30 in the morning? You seriously just knocked on my door to find out What?!

We were out of there by 8:30. NEVER TO RETURN.

I did need to swing by the house and get the right color shoes for the day. and when I got here, this is what I saw:
from the garage door looking in.
Just past the kitchen

bad toilet...
my bedroom
The rest of the pics are over on Flickr. There's so many fans and dehumidifiers runninng at 100 degrees. and the noise? Yeah. There's that too. We're apparently going to find a little bit nicer place to stay tonight. Mr. ServiceMaster thinks he can turn the fans off tomorrow.
While that's not flooring, at least we can move our stuff back to where it goes.

1 comment:

  1. This brings back a lot of bad memories for me. Did you read my blog back in September? We just did this at our house. ServiceMaster, too. I hate them. Do you have renter's insurance? Our homeowner's insurance would have paid for a hotel, but we stayed at our neighbor's house. It was way too loud and hot with those dang fans and humidifiers. ServiceMaster does want to get things done fast, so hopefully you'll be back to normal soon. Sorry this happened to you!!!