Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Day the House Broke

Sometime on Saturday I headed down to the basement and decided to put a bin of Carter's outgrown clothes into the crawl space.  I hauled the bin to the back where the baby stuff lives, and just as I was putting it into place, in the shadows I could just make out a dark patch on the floor.  I reached down and realized it was wet.  And then I realized that the top of one of the bins was very wet.  And eventually I realized that the water was dripping from up above.  Originally I thought it was under the sink, but I couldn't see anything upstairs.  Shortly thereafter I realized it was the dishwasher instead. 

I called a plumber who came and identified the leaky part as the valve that controls the water flow into the dishwasher.  We turned off the water to it and later in the day I started drying out the subfloor, which has curled a bit around the leak.  I don't think it's major damage, but it's definitely annoying.  Of course now I'm torn about what to do.  One appliance repair place quoted me $200 to fix both that and the handle that's been broken for a couple years.  Of course, the new one I'd probably get retails for $386  at Lowe's, minus 5% for their credit card, but plus $119 for installation and another $100 if we get extended coverage that everyone's insisting is important these days.  Seems like a no-brainer, but if something else goes wrong next week, the new one looks like the no-brainer, you know?  So in the meantime I'm washing dishes like a crazy person, trying to keep up.  It's a throwback to the days in our old house when I had to wash everything by hand...and I did not miss it.  I do like the feeling of cleaning out my sink and not having anything else waiting in the dishwasher, but it's a lot of work.  It's good motivation to make a decision--quick!

Halloween night as we came in from trick-or-treating, we heard a terrible bang in the garage just seconds after we walked in the door.  Craig went out to look, fearing the worst, but couldn't find anything out of place.  We shrugged it off and moved on.  Saturday afternoon, after the dishwasher debacle and once Carter was napping, I was going to run a couple errands.  As I opened the garage door, I heard another terrible noise...and suddenly noticed that the piece that connected the garage door to the opener was dangling from the opener track.  Oh, crap.

It turns out that the horrible noise we heard the night before was the high tension spring that helps the door open breaking.  We had no idea that can that, in particular.  And because the spring is the thing that makes the door seem so much lighter than it actually is, the door was very heavy.  The opener couldn't open it, and the center bracket that connects it to the opener ripped right off the door.  It caused a little damage and I was praying it wouldn't be enough to necessitate a new door.  Of course, because the door was now crazy heavy, we couldn't get it more than a couple inches off the ground.  I tried calling the company that installed it (for the old owners, though we used them at our old house, too), but we didn't get an answer since it was later in the day.  We were trapped at home!

Luckily we had enough food and didn't have anywhere we had to go.  Sunday morning we did have to skip church and we figured that we'd probably have to miss work Monday morning until someone could come out.  Sunday we decided that we had to get out, so even though it was very cold, we bundled up and took a walk in the sun (and wind) to get lunch and get a couple reinforcements.  We walked a little over a mile to a Wendy's along the main drag, had some lunch, then walked across the street to a Rite Aid.  Craig wanted chips and dip for the football games, and we grabbed a couple other things (including some cheap fall cookie cutters on clearance) before making the cold walk back home.  The wind was cold and Carter is refusing to wear gloves, but aside from that it wasn't too bad.  He rode nicely in the stroller, and Jacob walked without complaining.  The boys were pretty good at lunch, and as a whole it wasn't half bad!

We were, in fact, trapped on Monday morning, so while we could get Jacob on the bus, the rest of us were stuck at home.  The garage door guy came a little after lunch.  He went over how he was going to fix it, and suddenly I realized that he was going to do it right then and there!  We were going to be free!  He fixed the damage to the door and reattached a new arm.  He was done in less than a half hour, and we got off for less than $200, which was such a relief!  And we were free!  Craig went to work and I stayed home with Carter, who woke up right after Craig left.  Still, I got thanksgiving decorations up, and we ran a quick errand prior to picking up Jacob.  I bought frames to get a couple of Jacob's pictures up on the wall.  One was replacing a frame that Craig ran into and broke, and the other was to frame Jacob's gorgeous Asian-looking tree picture so I could free up one of the changeable frames.  It definitely made for a strange couple days, but we survived!

It wasn't any fun having two things break within a matter of hours, and I'm not looking forward to bill #2, but all things considered, we've been pretty lucky so far!

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