Whenever I leave home for a few nights or a long weekend, one of my greatest fears is to return home and NOT find things exactly as I left them. Well, I can say we've crossed that one off the list.
We returned home Sunday afternoon from a wonderful time with family over Thanksgiving, with lots of travelling and turkey and too much time in the car, longing only to sleep in our own beds. Instead, we climbed the stairs to the sound of an industrial fan and found all of our posessions piled high in the non-carpeted areas of our two-bedroom apartment. Sometime early Friday morning while we were away, a pipe near the water heater had burst and our apartment had flooded, mostly in the closets and bedrooms and hallway. When they called on Friday morning, they said it was a "leak" that got the "carpet" and would be "cleaned up" by the time we got home. Bleh for bad communication! Though not completely unexpected, it was still a shock. Thankfully, the water didn't get everything, but they had to clean the entire carpet so everything was moved and rearranged and piled up hurriedly. I will say one thing -- the poor guys who had to move all our heavy furniture and bookshelves and stuff miraculously moved three bookshelves and our computer desk without taking anything off the shelves. (Even Gaines' little Yoda figurine above the computer is still there!) Way to go, Carlos!
We stayed in a hotel for three nights and were able to return to our apartment on Wednesday night. (In between, some very gracious friends offered us places to hang out, nap, eat, play and check e-mail. We are so grateful for their hospitality! Jacob, especially, since it meant he could actually crawl around and interact with other kids!) They dried out the carpet and replaced the carpet pad, and now we're cleaning up the rest of the mess. We are just now finding out exactly what the damage entails. I'm finding all sorts of stuff that I didn't think about being on the floor, like the mesh laundry bags or the cardboard boxes of pictures under the bed. Thankfully, all of our electronics/computer stuff and furniture has survived unscathed. So, here I am, sitting at the computer researching how to get that mildew smell out of clothes! I'm very thankful for internet access. If you have any cleanup tips, please let me know.
I'll end with a few important things I've learned this week:
1. I am way more attached to things -- especially favorite pairs of shoes -- than I should be.
2. Always clean up before you go on vacation because you never know who may have to rearrange your stuff.
3. We have too much stuff.
4. Even if your home is in disarray and smells slightly musty, if you've been away for a while, sleeping in your own place is always better than somewhere else.
5. Always, and I mean ALWAYS, turn off the water before you plan to be out of town. It will just make things so much easier in case of unexpected emergencies.