Thursday, June 02, 2005

A Tale Of One City, Three Houses, A River, And One Very Amusing Group Of People

It was the best of times, it was the... well, not really the worst of times, but there were several hours that could have been a whole lot better...

Memorial Day Weekend each year contains two important birthdays... both on May 29th. This year the birthdays were extra special. The "baby" of our brood, Allison turned 21, and Lori celebrated her 29th birthday for the very first time. All week we anticipated the weekend with eagerness and excitement. Finally, it was Thursday. Thursday night we headed north for Dunnellon and the Rainbow River. It was going to be a wonderful weekend!

Some of the aunts and uncles were already up in Dunnellon at Aunt Betty Ann's house on the river. Since Himself and I got into Dunnellon late, we unloaded the car at my mother's house where we would be staying, relaxed a bit and then went to bed. Friday the rest of the group would be arriving, but not until after I had a chance to sleep in for a bit.

The third house in the ensemble used to belong to us until we sold it to some friends a few years ago. It (which we fondly refer to as "the riverhouse") is right beside Betty Ann's house on the river... on the opposite side of the river from my mother's house. It is currently still in the process of being remodeled... lots of projects to be done. That house always seemed to have need of something. This weekend would be no different.

When the "kids" arrived on Friday evening, they followed the usual routine of greetings and unloading of cars. Koko, the Siamese cat was anxious to get out of the car and into his favorite house of all. He viewed the riverhouse as his very own playground... complete with a giant carpeted cat tree that doubled as stairs to the second story for any people who happened to be around. The door to the riverhouse was unlocked, and Allison, carrying darling Koko, stepped inside.

Koko, lacking any patience whatsoever, was wiggling to get down and go for a romp. He finally wiggled enough that Allison let him down... into about two inches of water that was flooding the first floor. Koko was not a happy camper, and neither were the kids who looked at the mess with dismay. They were seeing a major damper on their weekend. Himself was seeing a lot more. He was seeing a huge task ahead that night.

To spare you most of the unnecessary details, I will tell you that no one was electrocuted by the electric wires sitting in the water, the source of the water was discovered and the kids still had the second floor which held a working bathroom, bedrooms, and best of all air conditioning! The water was coming from the water supply hose to the ice maker in the freezer. It had split open sometime in the previous two weeks since the owner, Norma, had last been there. We figured by the state of the mold already growing that the leak had been there for at least a week.

Himself and the kids all pitched in and moved the furniture out of the water, pulled up all of the carpeting on the first floor, and then they pulled up all of the padding on the first floor. Then they pushed all of the remaining water outside, and swept up all other remnants of flooring. Bleach was sprinkled around to keep the mold and mildew under control. The next step was to turn the airconditioning on full blast and set up a dehumidifier that was gratefully borrowed from the neighbors next door.

Norma was called the next morning and given enough details so that she could make the call to the insurance company. It was a mess. It was going to be a major job to get the house back to a livable state. Norma, being the laid back person that she is decided that it was not a major catastrophe, just an inconvenience. She was very grateful that it had not been her walking into the mess, by herself late at night. Himself and the kids had taken care of the hardest part of the immediate clean up. The wood paneling all around the first floor would have to be replaced, but Norma was going to do that eventually anyway. Upholstered furniture can be reupholstered or replaced. She was also planning on putting down tile on the first floor. So, her timetable may be a bit changed. Like she said... an inconvenience.

So that is the story of the flood. Other events included (1) Alex, age almost 4, pushing his almost 2 year old sister off the dock into the river... with an added bounce off of a lower dock, just missing spearing her back with a protruding nail. She still came up smiling. (2) Jodi, the almost 2 year old, tattooing herself and one bed sheet with a permanent marker. (3) The two little ones discovering how much they love being in a kayak... regardless of whether or not it is in the river. (4) Garbage can corn and yummy pork loin along with some African chicken on Saturday. (5) Aunt Peggie's yummy chicken enchiladas, homemade salsa, and guacamole on Sunday (6) A wonderful birthday celebration on Sunday evening. (7) Olivia the Mouse That Barks entertaining everyone with her antics. (8) Rhodent experiencing an inflamed and swollen esophogus inhibiting her ability to swallow even fluids. Much more went on over the weekend, but this post is long enough. It was great fun even with the usual squabbling, difficulties and "inconveniences" involved.


happyandblue2 said...

Sounds like it was exciting and fun except for the flooding and almost accident with the 2 year old.
Great pictures..

L said...

oh-ho! So YOU'RE the one who got me sick! HA!

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