Becky Says...

October 2002

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October 8

The flood described yesterday is neither the first nor the worst flood I've been through in this apartment. Which may account for my less-than-panic about it. What's happening right now, in case you wondered, is that I'm letting things dry. Which is a little tricky, given that there is still some minor dripping (in the bedroom this time) and the humidity in the apartment is higher than outside. I'm thinking of renting space to anyone wanting to grow tropical plants in the piedmont area of North Carolina.

In my years here, there have been a couple more floods besides the one yesterday. The first one was, in fact, the worst. I had been living here a couple of years when that one happened. (The piano hadn't moved in yet. It wouldn't have made it through that flood without damage.) That flood was in the middle of a very cold winter, and its cause was burst pipes. They were poorly insulated when the building was built; they are very well insulated now.

Anyway, when that one happened I was away attending a funeral. I had been gone the better part of a week, and got home to find several odd things. The draperies in the living room were open, there were pieces of furniture slightly out of place, and the heat was going full blast. Oddest, there was a roll of duct tape on the dining table.

It was that roll of duct tape that caused me to call the maintenance people instead of the police. I thought there might have been a break-in during my absence, except I'd never heard of a burglar leaving duct tape. So I thought a maintenance person might indeed know what was going on. Back in those days there was a human on call in the maintenance department at all times, so I got an answer rather quickly. I asked whether or not anyone had needed to do work in my apartment, and the gentleman responded by asking me if mine had been one of the ones that had flooded.

I actually didn't know at that moment. All I had to do to find out was take off my shoes and step on the still-damp carpet. That done, I told the man that yes, mine had been visited by large quantities of water. He filled me in on the details, and told me that that I'd be getting new carpet as a result.

As I looked around after the phone call, I realized that water had been several inches deep---I could see the mark on the wall. I lost several record album covers and some other paper things, and over the next few days dealt with having to dry out a whole lot of things, including anything that had been on the floors of the closets. There are a couple of report covers I have that are still warped from that, in case I need a reminder. Oh---I kept the duct tape and have nearly used it all now.

The carpet replacement was done in stages. First, they took the old out, along with its padding. The plan was to let the floor get totally dry before putting in any new carpet. That meant I had about a week of knowing just exactly how cold a concrete floor can be in mid-January. Then came the installation of the new stuff. After all that, I finally started getting things back where they belonged, and finally got over the feeling that my feet were going to freeze no matter how heavy my socks were.

Not that I want to have another flood like the one in the wee hours of Monday, but in perspective, it was a nuisance instead of a disaster since I was here and could rescue things as needed.

Now, anyone need greenhouse space?

Text © copyright 2000-2002 Becky