Christmas is such a nice time of year. Like most people who celebrate Christmas, we enjoy the time with family, the great food, and the fun we share exchanging gifts, baking cookies and listening to holiday music. It’s always a special time and a real joy for me.
This year (actually just a few weeks ago), my parents have bought a house nearby and came to their new place (into which they have not yet really moved). My elderly aunt and uncle and my brother and sister-in-law came and stayed with my parents in their new house. My gang hung around the new place too and it was setting up to be a really fun time. My brother and I planned to do a few projects to “tighten up” the new place and then just goof around for fun.
The house had been empty for a good period of time so there are always kinks that need to be worked out. The kitchen and bathrooms were remodeled and had never been used so we figured there might be a few little things as is common with new construction. Little did we know…
As people started using the plumbing, we discovered that the shower drain leaked, the installers had cracked the tub spigot, the door was not sealed in and the water control valve was not installed correctly. My brother and I set about remedying all of those issues by basically yanking out all of the things and re-installing the tub/shower correctly. Meanwhile, we found that the wax ring on one of the toilets was leaking. It turns out that the plumbers had not tightened the hold-down bolts at all…it’s a wonder the toilet didn’t just topple over when used.
Meanwhile, my Mom was cooking in the kitchen and ran some peels down the disposal. I think there was a drainage problem beforehand with a clogged pipe, but the peels made it very apparent and stopped up the kitchen drain completely. We had a snake and ran a good bit into the drain to clear it but it was a job for a plumber…after-hours on a weekend. The guy came out and was great and ran 50 feet of snake into the drain and made it better but definitely not clear. He’s coming back to finish later this week when regular rates apply. Hopefully that will be a simple fix!
My aunt became very ill during the shower fix and we were concerned that she was in very bad shape during all of this…it came to the point where we called an ambulance to take her to the ER. Since my brother and I had the shower apart, Emily volunteered to go along to the hospital with my aunt and uncle. About 5 hours later, we found she had both kidney and gall stones and all was basically ok (the wonders of medicine!)
Around 8 or 9 that evening, when everything seemed to be winding down and it seemed like nothing else could go wrong…you guessed it…more went wrong! The hot water heater started leaking water pretty badly…it turns out there was a faulty pressure relief valve that didn’t really need any pressure before it decided to relieve itself. No hardware stores were open when we figured out what was going on so I got a new one the next morning. We were back in business in 20 minutes or so and everyone could get hot showers!
As bad as all of this sounds, for some reason, it just wasn’t a stressful weekend for me. LOTS of stuff went wrong, but it all had fairly clear solutions. I knew everything was going to be ok and that I’d have a good story to tell. I doubt it is necessary to document this entire weekend here as I doubt I’ll ever forget it, but just in case, this was definitely a Christmas unlike any other!