It was shower and bedtime one Saturday night last spring. I was in the hall on my way to the bedroom when Bill, my husband, flew past me with a slightly blue cloud of words around his head. All I really recognized was, “Gotta get to the basement!”
He didn’t even hear me ask why. Suddenly I was aware of a noise like Niagara Falls thundering out of the bathroom.
Hesitantly I looked around the corner and saw our normal looking bathroom as the noise subsided and Bill reappeared with a bigger blue cloud of words around his head. The recognizable ones this time were, “…water pipe burst in the wall! And “Turned water off.”
Then I ran for the basement. Miraculously the water went so fast it passed directly to the drain without flooding the collection of silk cemetery flowers stored on the basement floor. That was the good news.
Bill began to gather tools for a quick repair while I called our kids to locate the loaned-out pipe wrenches. Our number two son appeared quickly with his own wrenches to help Dad out.
While they worked I tried to locate a plumber at 10 o’clock on a Saturday night. I finally found one with an answering machine and left a message to call us. Then I walked up the block to another one of the family homes so I could shower and wash my hair.
Bill and Bob managed to rig up something so the cold water could be turned back on. At least we had water for flushing, cleaning, drinking and cooking.
Sunday the plumbers called and agreed to come and survey the situation. On Monday they agreed they could replace the pipe easily by cutting a hole in the bathroom wall.
We realized we had lived here almost 40 years with no major plumbing repairs. Besides that, the drains were so sluggish they could have been used in a drain cleaning “before” ad, if any of the products would work.
I’m sure the plumbers wanted to do a high-five dance when we said, “How much to re-plumb the whole house?”
After we recovered from hearing the estimate, the project sounded simple enough. But when I got home from classes on Wednesday to find the commode and vanity in the upstairs hall, a hole in the bathroom wall, and an order to go pick out new flooring because the old floor had to be torn up, simple no longer described this project.
In three very long days and nights I became a real connoisseur of public restrooms in our area. Can you imagine what it’s like to know you must use the restroom before you go home. I actually envied the outhouses of days gone by.
Finally the project was completed. No more making the bed and running the vacuum while waiting for the sink to drain. One whoosh and it’s all gone.
It turned out so well that I find myself wanting to invite guests to sit and chat for a while in our new bathroom.
Editor’s Note: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate on Oct. 15, 1997.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.