Monday, December 09, 2002

I like snow, and I don't mind it being cold, but this level of cold makes it hard to remember what warm feels like. On the other hand, in the summer when it is boiling it's difficult to imagine this temperature.

On the bright side, we have water again. Saturday morning, a puddle started to appear on the utility room floor. Bob said he thought, "d-mn dog(s) must have peed on the floor." In about 30 seconds it was apparent the canines were not at fault. He shut off the water in our house, but that served no purpose. So he ran upstairs and threw me out of bed (it is an understatement to say that I am not a morning person) so I could join him in being frantic.

The furnace and hot water heater happen to be at the lowest point of the floor, but the washer, dryer, refrigerator and freezer are in there too (along with a lot of other stuff like the bin for paper to be recycled, the hamper, and, since this is a closet-less house, racks of clothing). We moved as much as we could to the kitchen, yielding a mud mess on the floor. We used almost every towel in an effort at mopping, and building a fabric dike around the furnace, but the flow was about the strength of a garden hose. It was coming in from a hole in the concrete step in the storage area under our front porch. After a call to the village, the mayor and then the superintendent arrived. They shut off the main water supply from the village pipes to our house and the flood stopped, but that meant no sinks, no shower, no toilet.

As long as there is a heat source, I can tolerate having no electricity, and there have been a few times when this has happened. In terms of water, we went without the bathroom for a week while we were renovating, but we did have water in the kitchen sink. In Samsonville, there is a stream near the house and so buckets can be retrieved for emergencies, but in Castleton, this isn't an option. I should have drawn water in the tub or at least a few pails worth, but in the frenzy to save the utility room there wasn't time. There is a big difference in having a little water v. having not a drop of water. (Meaning not a drop coming out of the faucet; there was plenty of water on the floor.)

The hope was that the culprit would be the pipe between our house and the village water pipe, which is under the sidewalk in front of the porch. There was the potential that the leak could be in the part of the pipe that runs through the concrete foundation, and we'd have to have it jack hammered inside. In that case, all sorts of things that are stored under the porch would have to be moved. Saturday evening, the asphalt was cut to prepare for digging with a backhoe on Sunday morning. Sunday morning while this was taking place, Sophie watched from the window near the couch and barked continuously. I thought she would drop from exhaustion, but instead she just drove the rest of us (me, Bob, Rudy, Edna) crazy for over 4 hours, and today she is catching up on her sleep. The equipment was loud so luckily her woofing didn't seem to have any impact on the work outside.

By noon we had the good news that the break was in the pipe and not in the foundation, and in no time our water was reconnected. Now the only signs of the problem are missing asphalt, an orange cone on the spot, and a bunch of symbols in fluorescent spray paint on the road, indicating the presence of gas lines and other underground utilities. Oh, and quite a few things are cluttering the kitchen, and are not back in their respective places in the utility room. So that was the weekend.

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