Monday, February 14, 2005

And then things really got interesting

Have you ever had a day when you woke up tired from a long week, with too much still on your agenda for the day, and a deadline looming far too close?

Have you ever noticed that those are the days on which all hell breaks loose?

Maybe that's not quite the right word, though. All water breaking loose would be more like it.

Friday night we got to bed late. I woke up early on Saturday for no reason. I was tired. DOB was tired. The house was still a mess, and we had company coming that afternoon. DOB had a pile of work he was going to do from home. We ate breakfast and prayed for strength for the day.

DOB's brother (B2) came by to check his email, and DOB asked him to poke around in the attic and see if he could figure out why we'd had a bit of dripping from two of our ceiling air conditioning vents. B2 vanished into the upper reaches of the attic. I settled down to feed D1. DOB worked on the computer.

Then B2 called out, "Get a bowl and run to the bedroom!" Fortunately one of my bean buckets was empty, so DOB grabbed it and ran. The next thing I heard was great wooshing sounds and cries of distress from DOB. I manage to persuade D1 that she was finished eating and ran back. Apparently the air conditioning vents were filled with water. B2 had dumped some of the water out, but rather than descending straight into the bucket, it had shot out from all sides of the vent, drenching DOB and the vicinity and leaving the bucket dry.

For the next flood, we managed to find a better method. I stood on a chair and made sure the bucket was covering all possible water-spurting spots. DOB held the bucket straight over his head, which is easier than holding it out.

"Can you believe this?" he said to me.

"This will make a great story," I said.

And several more gallons of amber water with brown gook came rushing down.

We got about five gallons of water from that vent, and moved on to the one in Abbey's room. This one required moving much of the furniture. It also yielded five gallons of dirty water. Then, one by one, the other six vents in the house and their surrounding furniture. Fortunately the office one was dry, so the computers were not endangered. The rest yielded a gallon or two apiece, but while waiting for the moment when B2, crawling around in the installation, would manage to knock the water down, DOB had to stand with the bucket over his head, like Moses at the battle of the Amalekites.

When that was all done, D1 and I had both had it, and went for a nap. DOB and B2 went around unscrewing all the vent covers to dry, realizing at that time that the whole job would have been a whole lot easier had they removed them in the beginning. Now we know that for next time--which, of course, will probably never occur. (The theory is that the water was simply a couple decades' worth of condensation, which can probably be addressed by properly propping the ducts to drain as they condense.)

Then, later, of course, all the ducts had to be cleaned and reattached; a full meal had to be fixed, because we were all starving after that; all the bowls and pans used to catch drips had to be washed, dried, and put away; and all the housework that had originally been looming was still to be done. Somehow it all happened, and I was wrapping up the vaccuum cleaner cord as the doorbell rang.

We did have a very nice visit, and the first play rehearsal went well at church on Sunday. Relaxing weekend? What's that?

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