I spend a great deal of my time these days trying to decide if the mundane occurrences in my world can be pithily and easily translated into material for blog posts. Just try to imagine the thought processes of my grey matter at work hoping against hope that munching on granola would make even half-decent fodder for this space. Such is the torment and emotional shackling that is NaBloPoMo. So it was with some satisfaction that an idea just sort of fell into my lap the other day.
While sitting in front of my laptop and putting the finishing touches on Tuesday's column, I started to hear water running in the upstairs bathroom that was previously used by the boys when they lived here. (The Husband and I tend to avail ourselves almost exclusively of the spacious en suite off of our bedroom.) Now, that in and of itself wasn't really all that unusual. My wonderful and lovely cleaning woman Vanny was here, and she had taken it upon herself to spruce up the unused lavatory just enough so that the layer of dust and cobwebs growing in there didn't make it look like we were operating a root cellar. She did what any normal and logical person cleaning a bathroom might do. She wiped out the tub, rinsed out the toilet, and proceeded to start the water so that the cleaning solutions might be flushed down the drain and bowl. As I was parked on the couch in the family room right off of the kitchen and directly beneath the bathroom, it didn't come as a shock that I could hear the water flowing. That is, until I saw it cascading through the pot light fixtures in the kitchen. It was like a scene out of Singin' in the Rain and I half expected Gene Kelly to show up and start splashing in the massive puddles that were forming all over the floor. The first thing....and I do mean the very first thing...that I thought of was....BLOG MATERIAL!!
I yelped. Vanny must have thought that I had fallen, because she quickly ran down the stairs to find me soaking wet and scurrying around searching for buckets, towels, and a mop.
"Blog material", I shouted. "Blog material."
Vanny, who clearly had more sense and headspace than I did at that moment, ran back upstairs to turn off the valve on the toilet and stop the water in the tub. The woman is clearly the brains in this outfit. I began the clean up in the kitchen; the strategic placing of the buckets, the sopping up of the excess, and the mopping up of the now continuously flowing creek that began heading downstream towards the basement, all while taking in the details of the scene. I must remember this for the blog. This is classic blog material.
As the water flow dwindled and the decontamination of the kitchen commenced, it became clear that the bathtub was the culprit. Something has obviously corroded and it will need to be replaced before it can safely hold water again, if ever. (In this old house, leaks have a tendency to lead to renovations.) Vanny and I spent the next 45 minutes sloshing through the wading pool created on the main level. The good news was that while there was a great deal of water that had poured through, it was all clean. We also managed to staunch it fairly quickly, (Vanny did...I was far too concerned with planning the writing of this jaunty anecdote to think rationally) so it could have been a lot worse especially if nobody had been home at the time. There was no damage to the ceiling in the kitchen and other than a soggy mess, no lasting damage to the floor.
It was around the point when I was trying to figure out how I might humorously retell the story, that I realized we should probably check the kitchen cabinets directly below the waterline. As I opened up the one that holds all of our glassware, a tiny waterfall gushed forth to greet me. Vanny and I proceeded to remove ever glass in the three-shelf cupboard and sop up the mess. As I sponged with the last remaining dry towels left in the house and a second roll of Brawny was pressed into service, she filled the sink in order to wash and disinfect our drinking glasses. Another yelp...this time it came from Vanny. It seemed that one of our water glasses had cracked in her hand creating yet another cascade, this time of her blood. Thank goodness the cut was small and I could staunch it with some basic first aid. I have known Vanny for more than twenty years, but I don't think that I ever before witnessed the look of relief that crossed her face as she was leaving for the day. The woman couldn't escape this madhouse fast enough.
And all I could think of as she was leaving was....this is great blog material.