Monday, December 31, 2018

Unbelievably Crazy Pre-Christmas & Houseguests' Arrival Disaster

It's hard to believe it happened, but it did. In fact, there aren't even adequate labels for this post! :-O

On December 16, Sunday night, when my parents were already here, taking care of my young niece and nephew (5 and 7 years old) and my sister-in-law was returning the next morning from a weekend in NYC and bringing her mom and dad from the airport, our water softener BURST!! Spilling water and flooding the stairwell, hallway, laundry space, bathroom, (carpeted) family room, and almost the guest bedroom on our house's first floor.

It was 10:20 pm and my oldest son, my parents and the kids were already sleeping. Our youngest son went to brush his teeth and there was no water, so he told us, and when my husband opened the stairwell door, water came rushing out. It was the stuff nightmares are made of, except in real life! :-( My husband had to literally shake my poor dad awake -- he was sleeping on a mattress on the floor of the family room and his covers and mattress were getting wet. there were a couple of inches of water on the floor when my husband turned off the water main.

I sent a frantic text to a group of 10 friends and in about 20 minutes, the one who lives closest, had brought us a huge shop vac so we could finally begin to remove the water that until then was being "mopped" by all the towels in the house (some of which my husband and dad were trying to wring by hand to try to stop the water which actually seeped through the stairwell wall into the adjacent bathroom).

We were up vacuuming and cleaning up until close to 1 am. My parents' luggage and Christmas gifts were inside the stairwell -- the most damaged gifts were mine and my husband's, which were at the bottom of the bag. The suitcases weren't damaged because my husband was very quick to remove them. We were without water overnight, which wasn't fun. My husband went to a 24h Walmart at 2 am to buy some galons of water.

Next morning we had the plumber come first thing in the morning and as soon as the water was restored, my sister-in-law arrived from the airport with her parents! It was pretty chaotic because the plans were to have all of them (my parents, my sister-in-law and her kids, and her parents) stay with us, but with the family room and guest bedrooms out of commission, that would be hard! We called the insurance company, and then a local home restoration service, but they only came after 7 pm to get started on their work. They ripped off some of the vinyl flooring in the hallway and stairwell, cut off some drywall, and brought in a huge dehumidifier and four large fans. Those were on from Monday night through Thursday morning and were very noisy!

On that first evening my sister-in-law stayed at our youngest son's bedroom, her parents in the oldest, the boys slept in our bedroom and my parents slept in front of the Xmas tree in the living room (in spite of the noise coming from the first floor). The subsequent nights, a neighbor offered two spare bedrooms in her house for my parents and my SIL's parents to sleep and that was incredibly helpful!

We did go to Pennsylvania for a couple of days and when we came back my brother arrived from Indonesia where they live.

I will continue later because I need to go to sleep now. But it's been CRAZY here in the past two weeks!