Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
Please pardon the post-hols silence from your humble host, but we’ve been having another outbreak of the Joys of Home-Ownership here at Port Swiller Manor this week. Would you like to hear about it? Super! Thanks for asking!
Whelp, ol’ Robbo had gone down the office Tuesday as per usual, leaving teh gels home to squander some of their last remaining summah vacation time. (Mrs. R had stayed up in Connecticut for a couple extra days to visit with her parents and grandmother.)
If you will recall, Tuesday was a day of torrential rains throughout much of the South-East and Mid-Atlantic. The area immediately around the port swiller demesne was no exception.
About midday, I got a call from the Middle Gel.
“Daaaaaad, there’s a puddle in the [basement] study!” she said.
“Well,” I replied, thinking it was just some wet coming through a window frame,”just drop a towel on it for now.”
“Okay,” she said.
A bit later, she called back.
“Um, Dad, the puddle is getting bigger.”
“Well, put down some more towels.”
This back and forth went on for a while. Finally, I suggested she call Mrs. X, a friend of ours who was on stand-bye babysitting duty in case the gels needed immediate assistance while I was off at work.
A short while later I learned that what had originally been described to me as a mere “puddle” was, in fact, a couple inches of water spreading rapidly across the entire basement floor. At this point, I did what any sensible husband would do and called Mrs. Robbo.
“Mooommy!” I said.
Mrs. R then leapt into action from afar, getting hold of our contractor, who in turn immediately sent a crew along to start damage control.
It was only when I got home that evening that I learned of the full scope of the thing: Carpet ruined. Pergo in my study ruined. Baseboards gone. Bottom of drywall saturated. In addition, I found that the Internet servy-routy-thingamajig was dead (as was the printer), which is why I have not had access to the Webz until this evening.
Oh, and a consultation with our soon-to-be-former homeowner’s insurance revealed their attitude that once rain hit the ground, it was our problem, not theirs. (I picked a hell of a week to quit moonlighting as a drug mule.)
It was also only when I got home that I learned the youngest gel had been trying to unplug things while standing in the flood. I believe I aged several years right about then.
So what was the cause, you ask? The rain was coming down so heavily that it overwhelmed all the drainage measures out front and ponded up against the house directly above the basement wall. It then found its way down between the cinderblocks (which have been showing signs of age, wear and tear for some time) and bled out into the basement at a rate far, far greater than anything I’ve ever seen in 14+ years of residence here. I blame Manbearpig.
So you lot know what all this means, of course? That’s right, MOAR RENOVATIONS!
For one thing, they’re going to have to excavate at the side of the house to come at the leaky basement wall and repair it. They”re also going to put in new floors in the basement (Pergo all the way this time), replace the two feet of drywall they had to cut out all the way around and install a sump pump. Mrs. R, seeing an opportunity, has also declared that what was once nominally my workshop is going to be converted into another bathroom for the use of houseguests who stay at the Manor. (The study doubles as a guest room, you see, and to date lodgers have been forced to endure the horrors of the gels’ bathroom upstairs if they wanted to shower up.)
In the meantime, of course, we’ve had to move all the furniture and things out of the basement and are presently working out places in which to stuff them for the duration of the project. Also, although I got Verizon to run a cable up to a new router in the living room, we won’t have access to the teevee downstairs until it’s all put back together again.
As you can imagine, everything is all ahoo at the moment and probably will be for some time.
At any rate, there you have it. Seeing as I will not be able to watch my beloved Nationals on the teevee or listen to my stereo in the evening for the foreseeable future, I imagine I may spend rayther more time hanging around here than usual.
UPDATE: Spent much of the morning moving things out of the basement and trying to jury-rig something close to normalcy. Not much hope of that, but at the least I managed to set up my stereo and CD player in a corner of the living room so I can listen to musick (with headphones, of course). I also found a place for the little teevee and DVD player, so I can carry on Netflixing. So I’ve got that going for me.