Sunday, February 10, 2013

First World Problems

About a 3 weeks ago, we noticed a "bubble" in our kitchen linoleum.  I *hate* our linoleum.  Despise it.  But we don't take baths in dollar bills, so we've chosen for the last 4 years to live with the kitchen as it was when we moved in.  Well, that's not totally true... we got rid of the wallpaper and slapped on some cheery yellow paint.  Beyond that, we've lived with the cabinets that won't stay closed, the countertops that make me tired, and the linoleum that says nothing good about our "style".

Then along came this "bubble".

The linoleum is so high quality and high "klass" (as my friend Debbie would say) that it had a split in between it and the next sheet of it.  Right.  A lovely little division just wide enough to get crumbs stuck in and nothing- including my persistent dogs- could get them out.  Our first assumption was that maybe something had spilled right at the split and caused the linoleum to bubble up.  That was not only an assumption, it was just plain naive.  We put our best efforts into getting the linoleum to go "back down" by putting weight on it- thank you, Primo, and the heavy water jugs you provide.  Nothing worked.

At coffee with my smarter-than-me friend Kam, she asked what was immediately under the spot on the floor.  "Ummm... the garage."  Have you gone down there to look to see if there is a leak?  "Ummm... no."  Then that afternoon I did.  And saw this.

Yep.  We had a leak.

I called our favorite plumber (whose number I will gladly hand out to anyone and everyone- he's wonderful) and our insurance company and both Mike The Plumber (not to be confused with James Denton) and a team from After Disaster arrived around 5:00pm.  Nothing like multiple vehicles with the words "AFTER DISASTER" emblazoned on them to get your neighbors worried about your family's safety.

Mike found the leak after lots of searching- it seems the connection from our pipes to our fridge had gotten worn down from nearly 20 years of chlorine in the water system and had just deteriorated.  It was emitting a super-fine mist, which eventually led to the sub floor becoming saturated.  Hence the linoleum bubbling up.  Ugh.

The team from After Disaster came every day after that for nearly two weeks to check to see how the drying process was going.  They sealed up our kitchen, put dehumidifiers and fans in there, and cranked up the heat to 96 degrees.  It made our downstairs area stink, it made it loud, and it made it unbearable.  We haven't had access to our kitchen sink in 2 weeks, we have a layer of grime everywhere, and our beautiful new dining room table is now the landing for everything that had to be quickly taken out of the kitchen- as well as where we put the non-kitchen-y things that we pack in E's lunch.  I am so beyond sick of restaurant food, I just want my house clean, and I'd like things to be "normal" again in my kitchen NOW.

Yep.  I have first world problems.

The first week that all of this was going down, I wasn't really phased.  I had beautiful, God-given perspective that in light of our 2012, this was nothing.  It was so not a big deal, it was just a thing, and it would be fixed soon.

The second week, my perspective changed as we had some big things happen in our family and I needed our kitchen again.  That beautiful, God-given perspective was still there, I just was able to filter my own selfishness and need through it and make it more about me.

Now, heading into week three, I'm just inconvenienced.  And defeated.  And frustrated with myself.  It is still "just" a floor.  It is still "just" a thing.  It is not permanent, and while it is a hassle, it's not going to destroy us.

I am such a brat.

The beauty in this whole ordeal is the "crack" in the linoleum.  That was probably my biggest headache in our kitchen.  Well, it's a toss up between that and where you could see the exposed staples the last homeowners had used to reattach the lovely linoleum in the corner.  But the crack- that was what saved us.  There was no visible water, no puddle in the floor, nothing to cause us great alarm.  Without that God-forsaken crack, we never would have noticed the leak... and our floor could have collapsed.  Now that.. that would have been a much bigger First World Problem.  I feel like I need to go back in time and apologize to that crack that I hated so much.  I feel like I need to tell it that, while it wasn't aesthetically pleasing, it served a purpose to save my house... and that I am sorry I hated it so much.  And I feel like there is a lovely sermon illustration in all this...

...But for now I've been sitting downstairs too long and the mess is starting to get to me, so I'mma gonna go back upstairs where it's safe.  Y'all enjoy your home-cooked meals today.  And enjoy doing your dishes.
my favorite pic of this debacle.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

there is totally a sermon illustration in there, and I am absolutely stealing it! ;)