This morning I woke up about 6:15am. That's about normal, though I didn't get to bed until almost midnight. March Madness, of course, and Lori is out of town and we chatted late. I got up and peed then crawled back into the covers to get more sleep, but couldn't. After about 30 minute of debating whether to get up or not I got up, put on my sweats and sweatshirt and sweat socks. Normal attire for when I first wake up to head to my office and try writing. I don't sweat when I write - it's just comfortable. I flip open my laptop and hear a soft tinkle sound, like water running, somewhere. I follow the sound to the kitchen and that's when I remember: In my multi-tasking sensibility last night (dishes, laundry, dogs, cats, kids) I set the dog dish on the kitchen counter, angled the filtered water tap, turned it on, and forgot it.
When we renovated our 1940's cape cod house a couple years ago we installed an under counter water filter system. There is something about this particular unit and the water flows very slowly. Very, very slowly. Slow enough that impatience can get the best of us, especially when filling a large container and our dog water dish, while not too large is large enough. Lori and I have both set the dog dish on the counter, angled the tap, set it and forgotten it. Usually the other of us stumbles upon it and turns it off. Water will dribbled some over the lip and into the sink and some onto the counter, spreading out, along the back edge and under the toaster and microwave. I would venture that the absolute longest one of us has ever forgotten it is maybe 30 minutes. Maybe.
This time? About 8 hours is my guess.
Damn! Dammit. Godammit!
Of course my first thought was actually: Godammit Lori! If she hadn't been out of town, she'd have filled up the water bowl, not me, and none of this would have happened. Seriously!
Then my second thought was. Shit, there is water on the counter, and some on the floor, but not as much as I would have thought from 8 hours of constantly running water, even if half made it safely into the sink. I took a deep breath and went into the basement. Water dripping from a recessed light fixture is a bad sign. And then I could see the bulging drywall tape outlining the seams in the basement ceiling. Not good.
Several gallons of water had dripped and spread out on the floor. Part of an area rug was soaked, but fortunately no major damage to anything else. But the ceiling? I knew there was water up there and knew it had to come out. Leaving it leads to mold and crumbly drywall. Dammit! I fetched a utility knife and tentatively cut a hole. Then I pulled down a chunk of soggy drywall and a steady trickle of water ran down my extended arm. There is nothing like wet drywall. They call it drywall, because its dry. It's not supposed to be wet. Then a larger hole I could poke my head through to see along the floor joists. Ugh. Water was pooling in spots nearly the width of the basement. So I went to it and after about 30 minutes of battlefield surgery I had several gaping holes in my basement ceiling a couple piles of demolition debris and a head full of wet drywall dust.
At some point in the midst of this, my anger and frustration (with myself this time) shifted. Besides the drywall and some insulation, the damage seems manageable. This part of the basement is where my son practices with his band and we have a fair amount of musical gear. Some ours, some not. None of it was affected. It's also where I store my camera and video gear for Sister Eden and thankfully it was untouched. And then I thought, with the audio stuff going on in this part of our basement, maybe we could have some lemonade from this lemon. I've always thought of putting in some acoustic dampening tiles. Maybe now is the time.
And now I'm wondering what other parts of the house, or maybe my life, I can cut holes into!