Last night, I smelled Cedar in my bathroom, or thought I did, but didn’t say anything about it to Fuzzy, for fear of being teased. Besides, we’d been talking about saunas at work, and it might have just been my over-active imagination.
This morning, I awoke to a grey sky and was immediately ecstatic. The rain has returned! We’re really not beginning summer in March! When I walked into my bathroom, there was still a faint trace of something like Cedar, and there was condensation on the inside of the window over the sink. But, again, I didn’t think anything of it. Surely it’s been that way before. Hasn’t it?
Then tonight, when we got home from work, I was luxuriating in a bath full of bubbly minty water, reading the first chapter of my third straight Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russel book by Laurie R. King, when Fuzzy came in, and paused. “The floor is bulging,” he informed me, his voice sliding from its usual bass up past the tenor ranges. “That means there’s water under the linoleum.”
Now, it’s important to remember that we spent a small fortune and a week of plumber-enhanced hell, this winter, because of a broken sewer main in this same bathroom, and therefore we’re both a little paranoid (Fuzzy more so, this time, but only because I was blissed out by the bubblebath.)
Out Fuzzy goes, with his big clompy boots and a flashlight we got from the Winchester Mystery House last Halloween, and then, a bit later, in he tromps. “Are you done with the hot water?”
“What’s wrong?” I demand.
“Are you? Because you have to stop everything now.”
“The washer has to finish,” I remind.
“We may not have 14 minutes. Everything will be ruined. That bubble is getting bigger!” (It wasn’t, but some things you just can’t argue about.)
“What’s wrong?” I repeat sliding the drain stopper aside, and making the decision to end the bath.
“There’s a valve, and water is POURING from it. It’s all leaking under the floor. There’s mud.”
Having never really bothered to wade through the much and mire that was once a dog run for a wolf-hybrid and now serves only to irk me, I’ve never looked at the closet for the water heater. But Fuzzy has. Go Fuzzy. So he clomped back out, and I got out of the bath and into fuzzy pajamas. (The best thing about the rain is that I get to wear fuzzy pajamas.)
Eventually, I find out that the tpr valve has ceased to function, and he’s turned off the water heater, the gas to the water heater, and the cold water input to the water heater. He calls a water heater emergency service, and within an hour a guy in a white plumbing van is outside our door.
I would be a very happy woman if I never had to see another white plumbing van.
So, Water Heater Fixit Guy tromps out back, and his flashlight dies, so Fuzzy gives him a Winchester Mystery House light of his own (we have a collection, apparently) and then a few minutes later (well, okay, half an hour later) the van leaves, and Fuzzy comes back, “Do you want the good news or the bad news?” he asks.
Of course, I’ve already been researching the price of water heaters, and finding that they’re not terribly expensive. About $500 for a Really Really Really good 50-gallon (our size) one, before installation and accessories. We could do it ourselves, but Fuzzy’s not good at stuff like that.
“About a thousand dollars,” he tells me, handing me the estimate. “But we then have to get it permitted, because when they replace it, they have to bring everything up to current code.”
“How long does that take?”
“You want me to live without hot water for two weeks?!?!!!!”
But before I could start cursing, he assured me that the permits happen AFTER the work is done. And that if we go with this company, they’ll have their white plumbing van outside the house between 7 and 9 tomorrow morning, and I’ll either be asleep or at the salon, and won’t even know they’re around.
I agreed to the estimate. Even though I think we could get a cheaper water heater from another source, I know we couldn’t get it by nine AM, and without my involvement.
I spent an hour looking at potential replacement bathtubs to soothe myself. Bathtubs, soaking tubs, which is what I want, are surprisingly reasonably priced, but I guess when you consider it, they’re just big pieces of plastic with strategically placed holes.
Fuzzy’s evening, however, took a turn for the worse. Cleo, our belligerent barking bitch of Beelzebub, took issue with him trying to take her squeaker, lovingly liberated from inside a plushie, and nipped his finger, drawing blood.
And, unlike every other time she’s done something wrong, she has NOT gone up to him to cuddle and apologize.
But…at least there was lovely rain today.
Wet by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.