Camping in my mom’s living room

Two weeks ago, we moved into my mom’s basement – a life-long aspiration finally realized.  It was amazing that we were able to put everything we owned into a 26’ truck and somehow squish it into my mom’s house.  For a few weeks before the move, we had been triaging everything we owned into one of several piles  – keep, donate, sell, throw away.  After we moved in, we went through another round of triaging, except now we are going through my mom’s stuff…. Stuff that her and my dad had accumulated over 25 years.  My sister told me today that she knew that mom and dad were packrats, because she is finding that she has been turning into one… There is a lot of stuff…. I don’t know how many RCA cables one man needs, but after throwing away about 90% of them, I still have a bucket full.  I’ve had to make a LOT of runs to the dump.  I think I made my last run to the dump today… The lady that works there is probably starting to recognize me as one of her regulars coming in every weekend.  Maybe I can qualify for some frequent dumper program…

We had a few hiccups in the move-in plan, but it’s finally starting to feel like home… On the weekend that we moved in, a contractor was finishing up some work in my mother’s bathroom.  To test whether or not the shower was leaking, he kept the hot water on for 45 minutes.  I’m not necessarily saying that this is related to the next part of the story, but it does seem that there is a possibility that there could have been some correlation.  That afternoon, the water heater burst and flooded the entire basement (same basement that our family moved into with 26’ truck worth of boxes.  )  When I got this call, I was at the office.  Tenille was stunned, and most of the answers to my questions were “I don’t know.”  I don’t blame her.  There’s something about standing in your own house with water sloshing up your pants that slowly shuts down your brain.  I know, because this happened a week before we left for China earlier this year at our Bothell house.  And as I saw the water rush in from outside to inside the house, it wasn’t clear to me what we should do.  Similar to wife, my reaction was – call someone…   Someone else who hasn’t been brain-zapped by the kryptonite affects of flood water between my toes. 

Basement Flooding 2009-08-26 003Basement Flooding 2009-08-26 004 Basement Flooding 2009-08-26 001

Just as in our Bothell home, when people who knew what they were doing finally got to my mom’s house, they were able to get things in a stable state pretty quickly.  They suctioned up as much water as they could.  They took off all the baseboards.  They piled all our boxes into the middle of the rooms.  They set up about 20 heaters/blowers throughout the basement.  By the time I got home, I told my wife that it didn’t seem so bad and everything looked like it was under control.  She almost gave me a black eye with her dirty look.

This was the state of our home for the next 7 days.  We got out Caleb’s kid tent and set it up in the middle of my Mom’s upstairs living room to make it seem like a fun thing for Caleb to be sleeping on the floor.  He loved it!  Andrew slept in a pack n play in the den.  Tenille and I got the couches.  I’m not sure if it was because I was dead tired from moving, but the couches weren’t so bad… It was slightly crowded, but again, not so bad… I think the worst part was just our own antsy-ness to get moved in once everything dried. 


Last  week when all the dryers were finally moved out of the basement, we started the process of setting up our home.  Today, we hit a milestone – my mom can park in her garage again.  It’ll probably be another few weeks before we’re able to get Tenille’s van in the garage also.  That should be a big day…

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