Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A big splash

It has been bitterly cold.

I think this is one of the harshest winters on record.  We are glad that we didn’t sell our snow-blower-on-steroids before we left NY.

A couple of days ago, my NY friends were (gently) taunting me because of the weather we’ve been having here.  It’s been below zero, the snow’s been falling, and if I had kids in school, we’d have been enjoying a plethora of snow days.

We live to the west of NY (well, most people do).  But.  That means the weather we get usually eventually migrates to NY.  This is happening.  They are getting extreme cold. (What did the weatherman call it?  A polar vortex?)  Also, while we may have had 5-6 inches of snow, they are expecting – I kid you not – 80 inches.  I’m waiting to hear how that pans out.

In the meantime, I tried to do a load of laundry today.

An hour or so later, when I went to put my clean socks and underwear into the dryer, imagine my surprise, distress and shock to find the laundry room floor under an inch of water.  The basement below was all wet, too, and most of our board games.  Jon said, “Unfortunately, the ones we play the most were on top, and they were the wettest.”

I was so thankful to have Jon and Laura at home, because I’ve had a recent downturn after my surgery.  They kicked into high gear and Lu worked on cleaning up the laundry room while Jon salvaged board games and inspected the damage below.  I moved shoes and tried to find the box of old towels that I had not thrown away when we moved.  Good decision, that.

While drying the laundry room, Lulu found my wedding dress hanging in a plastic bag in the back of the closet.  The bottom of the bag was damp, so we thought we’d better take the dress out and see what kind of shape it was in.  It was a lot cuter than I remembered it being, and it was in better shape...

…and it fit Lulubelle.  Looked pretty sweet on her, actually.

Shawn, who had come home from work to help us deal with the catastrophe (since it involved a frozen pipe), got all teary and used his phone to take a bunch of photos of Lulu in my old dress.

Lulu said, “Well, if anything happens to my dress, now I have a back up.”  This is because earlier we had been discussing a story about a girl who was working in a bridal boutique one day when two middle-aged women burst breathlessly into the shop and said, “We need a dress, off the rack!  Right now!  Our niece is getting married in an hour, and the make-up artist just spilled a whole bottle of foundation down the front of her dress!”  Lulu had been saying that she didn’t want a make-up artist and she wasn’t sure if she would even wear foundation, since she doesn’t usually.  Of course, if she does decide to use foundation, she will put it on before she gets into her dress.  Duh.

I, I myself, solved the pipe problem.  It was the pipe that carries the water away behind the washer, and the gooseneck had frozen in the outside wall.  The spigot from the washer just rests in this pipe, so I lifted it out, and used the top off a spray bottle to get the water out of the top (holding it in the open pipe and spraying the water into an empty pickle jar).  After bringing the water level down, I poured in a half a carton of salt.  Shawn, who was downstairs examining the pipes for cracks, said that shortly after I poured in the salt, he heard water begin to run through the pipe.  We chased it with two teapots full of boiling water anyway, to make sure we were safely back in the laundry business.  Whoosh.

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