on top of a lake
It has been a crazy few weeks. I am just happy to say we all survived the holidays. Of course, it didn’t end there. Apparently my calling the house the “lake cabin” wasn’t entirely a misnomer – the lake seems to be underneath the house!
On Monday we arrived back at the lake cabin (after a day in Pasadena) to find a large van blocking the driveway, and three men in white Hazmat suits standing on the front lawn. Should you ever find yourself in this situation, the best advice I can give you is to keep driving. Instead we went in to investigate. Big mistake.
It would seem that after all my asking about the strange smell in the house, B’s parents decided it was time to take action. They tried calling “the only plumber they trust”, but it seems he has skipped town and is now in Miami. His recommendation was that they get a current copy of The Penny Saver. Seriously.
They had trouble getting someone to show up same day, but apparently one finally did. After some investigation, it was discovered that the point at where all the water sources in the house collect to go to the sewer was leaking. It was so bad, in fact, that they had to take immediate action.
The good news was that the homeowner’s policy should cover it. The bad news was that they didn’t manage the expectations of the parental unit properly, and given that they watch 20/20 religiously, there was a two-hour back-and-forth over signing papers giving the plumbing company authorization to directly bill the insurance company. I went and hid under the covers at that point. It was freezing in the house.
Before that happened though, they laid down plastic to protect the 25-year old carpet, and set up a long hose to start pumping out the raw sewage – aka “the lake” – under the house. During the process there were at least a dozen guys through the house, and at least three trucks in the driveway. The smell was intense, so we went out for a bite to eat.
Once the large van was filled with waste, the next step was to try and kill all the bacteria and their friends living down there. This was done by pouring limestone into the affected area. Wish I could say that made it smell better – it really didn’t.
The hot water also had to be turned off so the guys working in the area would not be burned by hot pipes. This meant that technically the house was uninhabitable, so around 1 o’clock in the morning, all of us headed out to check into a nearby hotel. I packed not only for the night, but also for our six-day trip to Vegas. Needless to say it was not my finest packing.
We arrived at the hotel, and B and his father went to inquire about rooms. We may be in Southern California, but the temperatures can still dip into the 30’s at night. While the rest of us sat freezing in the cars, B’s father actually looked at hotel rooms (his brother may be visiting). Really, he did. B was a witness. Keep in mind, they had to be back at the house by 8:30am in order to let the workmen in, so they could finish what they started. I really don’t understand.
We missed the free breakfast, but stopped by the house before hitting the road as I forgot a couple of things. B’s mother was there by herself. Apparently the other two were off at the DMV. That will give you an idea of the smell. They ended up spending the entire day at the DMV only to have his sister fail the written exam (she has since passed).
At any rate, this hopefully will rid the house of that awful musty smell. I have no idea what we have been exposed to. Maybe we will have more pep in the New Year? Who knows? It took the plumbers three days to finish the job. Thankfully we had Las Vegas to escape to. You know it is bad when Las Vegas is your escape.
on the night stand :: The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Greer