Yesterday we spent a fun-filled afternoon deep in family togetherness, by which I mean we went to Otto’s office and parked the children with their Nintendo DSs while Otto and I did some work. The kids thought they’d died and gone to heaven when they complained of hunger mid-afternoon and we took them to the VENDING MACHINES and let them each pick out their own pouch of high fructose corn syrup-laden, salty fatty goodness.
Finally, our relentless phone calls back to the house yielded a pick-up by our crappy answering machine, and lo, we knew power and order had been restored. We returned, and celebrated with reheated lasagna.
I also sent Monkey upstairs to shower, as the children were beginning to become a bit fragrant. (Otto and I know how to wash up in the dark in the sink with cold water without screaming [much]. The kids, well, I was choosing my battles.)
So Monkey had his shower and came down all squeaky clean, and after a little while Otto said, “There’s water running somewhere.” So naturally we gave Monkey the evil eye, because sometimes he sees something shiny and doesn’t quite shut off the water all the way, but he insisted that he had. And then we checked the toilet that has a tendency to stick, and that wasn’t it, either.
So Otto grabbed a flashlight and went underneath the house, and when he came back, his expression was grim.
“Well, the hot water heater is gone.”
Gone. GONE?? Like, it got up and walked away? But no, it was still there. Most of it, anyway. Except, you know, the BOTTOM of it. The part that KEEPS THE WATER CONTAINED. That part was sort of gone, and we’d been watering our property since sometime after Monkey’s shower—thank GOODNESS, because it’s not like we had six inches of snow melting and doing that for us already!
So. We had heat. We had electricity. But we only had one clean family member, and we had no hot water.
School was canceled again today (APOCALYPSE. NOW!), but Otto had to go back to work, so he bravely shaved with icy cold water and otherwise cleaned up and made himself presentable and set off to work. I was left to wrangle with the plumbers who never called back yesterday, and the good news is that I got one of them on the phone right away.
The bad news is that our original-to-the-house hot water heater model no longer exists. Haha! Isn’t that AWESOME? I mean, after the storm and the trees and the power and everything, that was really just the icing on the crap cake, I must say.
See, we have a gas hot water heater in our crawl space. It’s called a lowboy. Those are no longer made, because… well, I have no idea. Maybe because sometimes they blow up? No idea. Anyway, the choices were to repipe and move a taller unit elsewhere (“How about your basement?” the plumber helpfully suggested, apparently not aware that having a crawl space is generally, you know, because you don’t actually HAVE a basement), or convert to electric and stay in the same location.
We’re converting to electric. Which means that we need both a plumber AND an electrician AND several additional buckets of money to pay for it all. Awesome.
In the meantime, I woke up this morning wanting nothing more than to be clean, so I went all pioneer and heated water in every pot I own and had a nice soak in three inches of water in my tub. Hmph. But at least I had the presence of mind to save a pot so that I could rinse out my hair after I washed it.
Hey, at least now I don’t have to worry about knocking out the plumber or the electrician with my stench when they arrive. That’s good, right? Right.