What They Will Remember
On January 9, 2007 | 7 Comments | Bill, children, events |

I think they will remember the hotel. Yes, that’s what they’ll remember. They’ll remember three nights at the hotel.

Remember how we had separate bedrooms? And remember the counter where we pretended to be at a restaurant? And we had two separate bathrooms. And three (3!) televisions!

And we had waffles Every Morning for breakfast! Yes, they had that really cool waffle cooker that you poured your own batter in, and then you flipped it over, and then the timer went off when your waffle was All Cooked.

That was Cool.

Yes, I think that’s what they’ll remember.

I hope they Won’t remember how the house stunk to High Heaven, and how it felt gross to even think about going into the basement. I hope they won’t remember how we started to run short of clean clothes or how– briefly, sometimes– our tempers flared.

Maybe they’ll remember the Moment of the Burst on Friday afternoon, when Everett declared that Something Was Broken downstairs, because he heard all of that rushing water just after someone flushed the toilet.

I’ll remember it: Mom, something’s broken, he said.

Yes, I’ll remember that, and the water seeping under the carpet. I’ll also remember the sigh of relief when Bill came home and inspected the point of the leak. He examined it, and he fixed it (we thought) and That was That.

And so I’ll also remember when, on Sunday, Everett made a second announcement horrifyingly similar to the first, at which point we discovered that it wasn’t so easily repaired as we had thought. No. And this water that was seeping under the carpet, yes, this water that we thought was just water– Just Water– was Not Just Water At All, but rather was all the Dirtiest and Most Vile water in the house. You know the kind: the water that is usually swept away with every flush by every drain and taken off somewhere through something called a sewer system.

That was the water in the basement.

Which is why we we are here– the Residence Inn, night 3.

The children are having a great time.

I’m thinking they might remember the workmen who will have to knock down a wall and rebuild it again after they have finished cleaning and cleaning and cleaning the concrete pad of the basement floor. They will probably remember having new carpet installed and new wall boards repaired, and new tile by the French doors that lead onto the deck.

They won’t remember how their father spent his Sunday: cleaning the Vilest Water out of our basement. They won’t remember it because they didn’t really realize it was happening, playing, as they were, quietly and happily all through a Sunday afternoon. They won’t remember it because their father didn’t make much of it. He just cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and Never Complained Once and never asked for help because he just didn’t want any of us to have to participate in So Very Disgusting a task.

I will remember that.

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Comments 7
Heather Posted January 10, 2007 at2:30 am   Reply

Oh Dear! We had something similar after Hurricane Floyd — 8 inches of water in a 1400 sq ft basement and it was gross, smelly, disgusting…but at least we didn’t have THAT water in our house.

Sorry to be lazy in responding to your notes — I have been absolutely buried in work since Thanksgiving and when I get home I can barely look at another computer!

When I was 4 I drove across the country and back with my parents — CA to FL to VA and back. I remember asking a dozen times if we were still in America (I thought I was asking if we were still in California — when you’re 4 they sound the same). I remember my parents going to Disneyworld while I was in the hospital for dehydration (they took me the day I was released). And I remember just one night of that whole 4 1/2 week trip, staying in a hotel.

Lynne Posted January 10, 2007 at4:40 am   Reply

I am sooooo sorry this is happening. I am happy for the waffles and the Place to Be for all of you right now… I know it is small consolation for the mess and inconvenience. Remember, you are Not Home Yet, and that is a Very Good Thing. Then, we shall see face to face!

tworivers Posted January 10, 2007 at9:14 am   Reply

Bill is a saint. Of course, he is really a Saint because Someone already washed him clean of even viler stuff than he cleaned out of your basement. But he is a saint to do that. Bill, you are really something.

You are not in the hotel at the end of my street, right? I think not – I think it’s not open. But that would be cool … where are you? I have your pie plate, I guess I’ll just hold onto it …

Mort Posted January 10, 2007 at1:20 pm   Reply

What is it about the hotel that is so exciting? O visited her Grandparents one time while they were staying at a hotel and from then on it was – can we please please please please please stay in that place where Grandma and Grandpa lived when they visited?
I have only two other things to say. 1) hmm knocking out a wall…which wall? and since they are knocking it out can you simply have them reconfigure the whole basement. not that it needs it. Just wondering.
2) Wow a lot of stuff happens to you. Maybe you should just lay low for awhile and let stuff happen to other people. Other people that aren’t me of course.
Take care.

Robyn Clanton Posted January 10, 2007 at3:34 pm   Reply

When I was in fourth grade, our entire single story house flooded when the washing machine malfunctioned. Since they had to rip up the carpets, we only had cement flooring for a little while. I’m sure my mom hated this season, but my sister & I LOVED this period of life because we got to roller skate throughout the house! So rest assured; I’m sure your children will remember this as one of the highlights of their childhoods. 🙂 PS – Aren’t you excited that I’ve moved from lurker to commentor!

Rebecca Posted January 11, 2007 at4:06 am   Reply

Thank you all for your sympathy and even your stories of similar misery. This, too, shall pass, right?

We are home tonight. Hooray!

And yes, Robyn. Welcome. I am glad you are no longer a Lurker. *wink*

Jennie-Rebecca Posted January 12, 2007 at9:17 pm   Reply

O, I am so sorry about the Vilest Water. I could take a lot of other things more easily than that.

We had major flooding this spring in our basement, and I remember being amazed at how clean it was, having filtered through sand and soil and through the stone foundation. But clean water in one’s basement is still bad.

I’m glad you’re back home–

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