Thursday, March 06, 2008

No Pictures Please

I thought about taking a picture of it. I really did. I even brought the camera downstairs. And then I stopped and thought, "Do I really want to remember this so vividly?"

The answer was no. You'll have to live with these beautiful words.

I didn't bother going down to the basement this week to work on laundry. We had plenty of clothes, and I've been so busy with quilting, I didn't want to add to my workload.

Earlier this week, we experienced a bit of a spring thaw. With temps in the high 30s, the icicles started dripping, and the inch of ice on the sidewalk finally melted to reveal the concrete beneath. Another thing happened. Our basement's dehumidifier started working non-stop.

When we acquired this dehumidifier, one of the first things my husband did was to rig it up so that the basin automatically drained through a hose to the floor drain in the basement. Really nice. We just let it do its job, and we didn't have to worry about emptying the reservoir.

The last day I went to the basement was Monday, and I noticed that the dehumidifier was pumping away, and a puddle was building around the floor drain. It wasn't draining, at least not fast enough. I put a laundry basket underneath the laundry chute hole to catch the falling clothes so they wouldn't land in the puddle, and then I forgot about it.

Imagine my shock and horror this morning when I went down right away, dressed completely, even lace-up shoes (thanks FlyLady), to get the laundry going again.

Picture it. A six-foot wide puddle around the floor drain, probably four inches deep in the center, of murky brown liquid with clumps of what is probably toilet paper. I didn't look close enough to find out.

Oh man. The smell. It's not as bad as I would have imagined, but it was bad enough to make me gag as I quickly sorted the small mountain laundry and started the washer. I really wish I wasn't a responsible adult. I wish I could have just given in to temptation and ran screaming upstairs, vowing never to go downstairs ever again.

For a second, I wished we were just renting this house instead of slowly building equity by paying off a mortgage. But then I realized that we would have to rely on someone else's timetable in getting the situation resolved. We own the problem, so we can start fixing it right away without delay. A blessing and a curse, all wrapped up in one.

Chris will be changing into old icky clothes when he gets home from work. He'll squeeze his huge meaty hands into my dish gloves, and put on his old shoes that are held together with duct tape. And then he'll use our nifty plumber's snake to try and clear the clog that obviously exists.

Best case scenario: He'll work the snake for 30 minutes, and the "stuff" will recede back where it belongs. We'll spend the weekend washing the basement floor with bleach and tossing everything that isn't washable that was in the path of the oozing guck.

Worst case scenario. I'll have an angry, stinky husband, and the drain won't have cleared. We'll have to spend our meager savings on a plumber who will hopefully be able to remedy the problem with a bigger snake. There are other worst case scenarios, but I don't want to talk about those costly matters. I'd like to pretend that our tax refund will go to our debts, not our s**tty basement.

Sympathy, please. Words of encouragement needed.