My Christmas Adventure

My Christmas adventure began at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. I was actually working that day, and my wife called to tell me there was water dripping from the ceiling in our pantry. So I hurried home and soon discovered that the leak was coming down from the attic. My first impression was that our roof was leaking, but our landlord came and checked it out (thank goodness he went up into the attic instead of me this time) and our next-door neighbor had left his swamp cooler hooked up. The water line running through the attic had frozen and burst, so the water was running down between the walls.

The fact that he spends about 4 hours at home every month didn't help matters. But he left his garage unlocked, so we got the water shut off and started using a wet/dry vacuum to clean up the water. Our pantry has the original carpet put in 40 years ago, and had probably never been cleaned, so we were sucking up brown water. I tried to look at it as a good deep clean for the carpet.

Our neighbor’s sister was in the neighborhood and stopped to see why her brother’s garage was open. We told her what was happening, and she basically did nothing, saying he would be home in a few hours anyway. Then his ex-wife stopped by, and actually went in to his place. His ceiling was about to collapse, so they punched some holes in it to drain the water out. He was coming back from Elko, and apparently the pass was closed so he couldn’t even get home yet.

We vacuumed up what we could (it was an amazing shop vac we borrowed from my parents that actually sucked the water right out of the carpet), and watched it seep back over from our neighbor’s as soon as we vacuumed it up. We did this for a while until the seepage slowed, and went to Christmas Eve dinner at my parents’.

When we came back, one of our neighbor’s friends/employees was at his place starting to clean it up. We did a little more vacuuming and put a fan in there to try to help the carpet dry. By the afternoon on Christmas Day, it was dry and we were able to put all the stuff back in the pantry (it’s directly under the stairs, so it goes back 10 or 12 feet, and it was amazing to see how much stuff we had fit in there).

Despite the general sogginess of the holiday, we had a nice Christmas. My dad gave me and Sam the Dangerous Book for Boys, which is one of the coolest gifts I’ve ever gotten.

The situation is especially funny in light of our neighbor’s profession. Any guesses?

3 comments:

A Bunch of Roaches said...

Plummer?

lizzyland said...

Have to say that I love sump pumps! Helps keep things dry for us. But then our basement starts to flood when it rains, when snow melts, and of course when Cherith floods the bathroom.

Joel said...

Christine wins. He's a plumber. You'd think a plumber of all people would understand the consequences of frozen pipes.