In which we address the intricacies of financial planning, the variability of air travel, and the creation of our own pilot episode of “Duck Dynasty” (or, perhaps “The Beverly Hillbillies”)

The past few days have been, well. . . interesting.

I’m writing on Sunday evening.  Josiah flies out Tuesday morning to fly United through Chicago (O’Hare) to D.C. (Dulles).  His classes resume on Wednesday.

On Friday it suddenly became evident that college fees are due on Monday.  That factoid has made for a rather. . . um. . . shall we say, interesting(?) weekend and some necessary and productive—but somewhat uncomfortable—discussions.  As of this evening, I think the logistics of the financial decisions have been figured out, and the details and emotions surrounding them have been clearly communicated.  As a family, we move forward.

But back to Friday night.  Scott and I were playing a game – Gin Rummy, I believe, and he was probably winning – when Josiah came prancing, dripping wet through the dining room to obtain a towel in the laundry room while stating, “Dad, I think we have a problem.”  He had heard a noise in the hot tub that made him suspect there was a leak.  Scott said he’d look at it later, which he did (after trouncing me in the card game).  It didn’t seem to be a big deal.  The tub was a bit low, so Scott had Josiah add a few gallons of water (using the yellow jug from the cellar), and we went to bed.

Here’s what the hot tub set up looked like:

Family relaxing in hot tub

Family relaxing in hot tub

Saturday morning, it was a big deal, and that was not just my incredibly keen intuition.  The giveaway was that the garage door of the playroom was all the way open (in 35-degree weather) with a black hose snaking out as far as the end of the sidewalk.  That really couldn’t be a good thing.  I chose to stay out of the playroom for the first few hours, but it appeared that the hot tub was being drained.  There are times when it is best to stay out of the way and say nothing.  I did what was best.

I also made eight-layer dip for our Life Group meeting Sunday night.

When I finally got up my courage to go in there, the scene was – to say the least – unsettling.   The hot tub was standing up on its side where the colorful dresser had been.  The pantry shelf was askew in the hot tub’s former corner.  Some of the carpet was partially rolled up and sopping wet.  The plywood floor had standing water on it, and the very bottoms of the walls (rock-hard, thick particle board) were wet.  The room stunk, the propane heater was running, several fans were strategically positioned.  The shop vac was being used to squeegee up nasty water from various surfaces.

Oh, I may not have mentioned that we planned to use the playroom for some of the kids during out Life Group the following evening.

Scott and/or one or more boys had already been working a couple hours, but we all ended up spending the next several hours dealing with the flood, and the plans for the day kept changing every few minutes.  Go to the bank, don’t go to the bank, pick up vacation home supplies at Wal-Mart and take them out there, don’t go to Wal-Mart, take the two broken vacation home chairs that were living on the hearth to the furniture repair man, don’t take the chairs – and so on, interminably.

Near end of playroom, day after hot tub leak

Near end of playroom, day after hot tub leak

Scott decided that it would be necessary to remove the carpet in the far end of the playroom, in order to get it dry and get the floor dry.  I think the playroom carpet had originally been put down in two pieces, with a seam running across the room (past the pool table) from somewhere near the breezeway door to about under the pantry shelf.  Thankfully, most of the other piece (the piece under the pool table and going all the way to the garage door) seemed to be dry, but there was one significant challenge to removing the wet piece:  the white counter sat on the wet carpet.

Sadly, the moist carpet is inconveniently positioned BENEATH the white counter.  Sigh.

Sadly, the moist carpet is inconveniently positioned BENEATH the white counter. Sigh.

(Note concerning depth of water.  The lowest storage compartments of the white counter sit about – I’m guessing – an inch above the floor.  A few of the things stored in those lowest compartments had mild water damage.)

Re-“myoof”-ing that white counter was not for the faint of heart, or back, or leg.  It weighs a ton.  First, however, we had to empty EVERYTHING out of it and off of it.  Readers who have spent extensive time in our playroom will appreciate the magnitude of that task!  And then, there was the issue of where to put all that stuff.  The ping-pong table was set up.  The cover of the hot tub was on it, folded in half once it was relatively dry, and shove to the far end of the table.  The coffee table was on top of the hot tub cover, and we began piling stuff, including the hot tub step, up on the coffee table.  Then ALL the stuff from the white counter, and there was a LOT of stuff in the white counter, also had to be stacked Jenga-fashion atop the ping-pong table.  It’s quite the mountain.

The wet carpet had been rolled from the wall where the pantry shelf had been to a point in about the middle of the floor.  Did I mention that the white counter weighs a ton, even when emptied?

White counter as it hasn't been seen in seventeen and-a-half years

White counter as it hasn’t been seen in seventeen and-a-half years

Scott and Josiah used a dolly and a lot of brute strength to hoist it – in stages – up and over the wet lump.  With the white counter somewhat out of the way, they were able to roll the carpet up the rest of the way and then. . . well, what then?

My Hero with the pile on the ping-pong table

My Hero with the pile on the ping-pong table

Rain was expected that evening and it was forecast to turn to snow overnight with “blizzard conditions” developing.  Not the best of all carpet-drying conditions.  Not to worry.  The shop has a dehumidifier—and a two-foot deep pile of junk throughout. . .

Okay.  Now, how best to get this roll of wet carpet out to the shop?  Easy!  Pile it up on top of the Durango!  Yes.  The guys moved a few more items of clutter to clear a path to the garage door, and they hauled it out an slung it up.  Part of the roll hung down, making the Durango look like it had a peeing pony tail.  = )

Durango with reversed "hood" ornament

Durango with reversed “hood” ornament

Andrew eagerly drove, but while the rest of us walked back there, Scott had another idea.  Shane’s mesh flat-bed trailer (which was used to haul the hot tub from the showroom to our house and which will eventually be used to haul it to the Rendezvous – so he’s letting it live in our yard rather than his for a while) was sitting out by the garage.  If we put the wet carpet on that, and then backed it into the garage, it could sit there and dry out, and it would dry more quickly because the mesh would expose it to the air on both sides.

But would the trailer fit into the garage?  Not on the left side, but yes on the right side with about eight inches to spare.  While Scott surveyed that little backing up challenge, I wondered where we would go with all the junk in the right side (bikes, pieces of doors , parts of stuff, miscellaneous junk, who knows what), and I said, “the rats will eat it!!!”  Meanwhile, Andrew had stopped the Durango and was waiting to see where Scott wanted it.  He asked me what was up, and I told him his dad’s plan.  He said, “the rats will eat it!!!”  Hmmm. . .?

About that time, Scott decided the garage wouldn’t work, so to the shop we went.  There was some re-arranging of stuff and a great deal of strategic piling and propping, and eventually the sopping carpet was rolled out over most of the non-cleaned-out shop.

Unrolling the carpet in the shop

Unrolling the carpet in the shop

Scott was at the far end, however, and had to snake back on his belly, under and through all the gradu. We then had to have Andrew crawl back through it all to turn off the dehumidifier, because it can’t drain in sub-zero temps.

Andrew crawls over, under, and through to extricate himself after turning off the de- humidifier.

Andrew crawls over, under, and through to extricate himself after turning off the de- humidifier.

The carpet is damp, and may be so for some time, but at least it is inside and NOT in the playroom.

Late Saturday, we got notification that Josiah’s Tuesday morning flight from Springfield to Chicago had been cancelled, and United had automatically re-booked him on the next available flight:  Wednesday afternoon from Springfield to D.C. via Denver!  He checked all over creation to try to find an alternative flight, and eventually came up The Only Other Possibility. His original flights were free with our credit card miles.  The Only Other Possibility is on Delta (probably through Atlanta) for. . . are you ready?. . . a mere $1500.  He’ll go Wednesday and miss the first day of several classes.

Sunday morning church was cancelled, due to the weather.  Bummer.  It was already cancelled one Sunday in December because of snow, and Wednesday, December 25 (Christmas Day) AND Wednesday, January 1 (New Year’s Day).  Missing four services in a month is too much for me!  So we stayed home and got a lot of other things done, including, but not limited to, the guys setting the hot tub back down on the plywood, so that the hot tub repair person can come Tuesday and fix it.  Meanwhile, we are trying to dehumidify the playroom by running the propane heater fulltime and the dehumidifier, too.  Even with all that, there is  layer of ice on the insides of the windows.

Sunday afternoon, I looked at the Monday morning forecast (-10 degrees with with 20 mph winds; windchill index of -20 degrees) and decided I probably shouldn’t try to walk in that.  So I went out at 3:00 PM and did (in advance) the coldest, windiest walk I can remember.  It was so windy that a few times when I walked backwards because facing into the wind I couldn’t feel my nose, I could actually lean back and the wind held me up!

That done, we also cancelled the first meeting of our “Laugh You Way to a Better Marriage” Life Group (another bummer), ate frozen pizza and eight-layer dip, and played (Village Square) Dominion – which I won with 24 Victory points!

It’s been a full few days.  I may need a vacation from my vacation.

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1 Response to “In which we address the intricacies of financial planning, the variability of air travel, and the creation of our own pilot episode of “Duck Dynasty” (or, perhaps “The Beverly Hillbillies”)”


  1. 1 LexisLogike January 6, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    That photo is a long way from being the most flattering one ever taken of me.


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