Homeownership

I feel like I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been depressed.  I’ve touched on this here and there and I hate to be such a downer, but I’ve been thinking today that this is my blog and it’s supposed to be a record of my life, not just the happy happy parts.  So as I move out of this depression (today I’m a happy person), I think I need to write about the last month for only the sake of getting it down.

My weekend birthday was great.  I got to go to dinner with just my husband, have some friends over to play some games, jump around jump castles for a four year olds birthday, have an amazing helicopter flight over the mountains, followed up with dinner at one of my favorite places – Zio’s.

And then Wednesday came around.  Dad came over to fix our leaking sink sprayer and leaking tub faucet before going to Virginia on Friday.  I’d asked him to fix it several weeks before, but he was busy and never got around to it.  In order to fix the tub, he needed to turn off the water to the house, which is down in the crawl space.  Immediately, he noticed a leak coming from our water heater and running through our storage.  It didn’t seem too bad to him, but the water heater was definitely shot and we needed to get it replaced and he didn’t have time.  Cody and Zach spend the evening moving everything away from the “flood”: anything dry was moved closer to the furnace and uphill and all wet things went to the garage, outside or straight to the trash.  The next day a plumber came and immediately notified me that all the water heaters they stocked and could get wouldn’t fit in the crawlspace.  I began doing some research and quickly learned that they no longer make gas water heaters that fit in crawl spaces and that the electric ones are hard to find.  I immediately started crying.  There was literally a waterfall in my crawlspace (the shut off to the water heater only didn’t work and we needed water in the rest of the house) and I didn’t know what to do.  I called my dad – who of course was stressed and couldn’t take my crying, but said he’d come over to put in a shut off to the water heater so that we just wouldn’t have hot water, but could still flush toilets and wash hands.  Which was all I wanted – I just needed a little room to breathe and think.

Dad came over.  On his way he called to tell us his friend (an electrician) just happened to be in town from Kansas and said he’d help get us the electrical we needed out to the crawlspace.  Long story short, Dad tried to do to much, we had communication issues, he left in a huff (to go to the store) and I spent the entire night crying and saying that I never wanted my dad’s help again because it isn’t worth the emotional turmoil.  We hugged at the end of the night, but it still wasn’t a pleasurable incident and apparently it was all my fault.

The next day (Friday), Dad flew to Virginia, I called a new plumber and Dad’s friend showed up at the house.  Ron quickly made an assessment, called a place, found a water heater that would fit and said he’d be willing to help us go it all.  Ron went to get supplies and when he returned Zach helped get the water heater in the crawl space, but by then it was too dark to do much else.

Saturday, Ron arrived about 9AM and Zach spent the day helping Ron do everything.  Ron was absolutely perfect to work with Zach.  He works at Zach’s pace, would give things to Zach to do, didn’t mind questions.  Zach really enjoyed the experience and learned a lot – even it if did take away from his school work, but his teacher was kind/understanding enough to let him out of a few assignments that week.  Isaac loved Ron and had him read almost all his stories to him and Ron was so sweet to read each one with a smile on his face.

I thought the worst was behind me.  And maybe it was.  We enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving with Mom, Ron (Zach’s dad) and Cody, plus a few friends in the evening.  And the day after Thanksgiving Zach and Cody fixed my drier.  I know, after the old one started smoking we got a new one, but it is fancy and had been flashing “AF” since we got it and it wasn’t drying clothes very quick.  We thought it might be the length of the drier vent (it’s like 21 feet), but I was also concerned something (lent) as stuck and we were going to burn this one out.  Zach and Cody climbed up there and worked it again and got more lent than the last time we did it (two months ago) and now the drier works perfectly and no more “AF.”  Zach thought I was over reacting, but I’m so glad I pestered and it is fixed now and it is so nice to be able to do all the laundry in one day instead of one load a day.

Then my dad came home.  When he and Zach had been in the crawlspace he’d noticed the flue to our furnace was knocked over and broken.  I never saw it, so I can’t provide much more insight.  I do know the furnace was original to the house in 1982, so it was almost 30 years old.  Zach and Dad taped it back together and we thought we were good at least until Zach got done with school.  But then Dad called all my phone numbers on a really busy work day.  I was done, so I called someone.  I learned that we could get a new one with a bunch of incentives and such and they could install at the end of the week.  It would be 95% efficient instead of the 50% we were probably getting and it would circulate the air more to help with the cold downstairs, but hot upstairs.  We did it. It seemed like it would be the next thing to go and we would probably need to replace it before selling the house anyway, so we might as well get to use it.

The guys were installing the new furnace when one comes upstairs and says, “You know you have a leak down here, right?”  Thankfully Zach was home, so I made him go look.  Turns out our drain pipe from the kitchen was leaking (and we wondered why some of the stuff we removed from the crawl space smelt like a dead person).  At the end of the day, I gave Dad a call and he said he’d come look at it.  It turns out when Dad had put the hose rack on the house last spring, his screw got the pipe, which was tightly pinned and brittle and it cracked the length of it.  Took him two days to fix the pipe and he still has to fix the wall under the sink, but it’s fixed.

I’m kinda wishing Zach was more of a handyman, but I also know he has so much schoolwork right now, that it wouldn’t even matter.  It might have only caused him to get a bad grade because he would have spent more time on these projects, but it also could have saved me some stress.  I felt hopeless and like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders and had no one to go to for advice, help or to just talk it out.  I’m so thankful we are coming to the end of Zach’s classes, but that itself opens a whole other can of worms, maybe that will be a post for another day.

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