From before I can even remember I thought you had to grow up and buy a house. This is particularly ironic because we lived in an apartment until my mom died and I went to live with my grandparents. I was 14. I needed to own a house someday.
So, I grew up, moved 1000 miles away from everyone and was doing really well living in an apartment. If the AC went out, they fixed it. If the toilet ran, they fixed it. When the AC drain backed up again, they still fixed it. Garbage disposal backed up, the nice gentleman came and fussed at me for putting potato peelings in it, but he fixed it. For free. But I was an adult so I bought a condo. I had heard about being “house poor” and was willing to go through that for four or five years. That was eight years ago but who is counting?
This morning as I left to take the cats to an overdue vet check-up, the city water person was digging out the main cut off. “That’s odd, ” I thought but kept going. Oh yes, backing up momentarily. A year ago the couple across from me had a son and a daughter approximately 4 years old and six. The main water cut off is out by the road in a metal box 8 to 12 inches below the yard. It has a lid, but the grounds people hit it with the mower frequently so it is never where it is supposed to be. The kids filled the hole with dirt one day. It wasn’t my yard so, live and let live.
Where was I? The county guy was getting to the cut offs. I know I paid my bill, and the one nice thing is they actually still knock on your door and try to get you to pay before they turn off the water here. It is amazing what you find out spending as much time sitting on my balcony as I do. Evictions happen early Sunday morning if you were wondering. This is a mixture of owners and renters. The neighbors have barely lived there a month, so I assumed this was some routine, overdue maintenance.
So, I take the cats to the vet. Bring them home. Decompress from being overly nervous cat-mommy and head upstairs. The carpet is wet. Great – I guess I forgot to empty the steam cleaner yesterday. I turn it on. Bubbles, bubbles, warm bubbly water. Now I am really confused. You see where this is going, I didn’t at the time. I go to the bathroom to empty the waste bin on the steam cleaner. Puddle. Under the clothes basket with the CLEAN clothes in it. Panic. Did I pull a hose lose when I got the cat carriers out this morning? I store them next to the washer. I am not good in a crisis. Even one as minor as this. I did laundry last two days ago and this is warm water. Mop, mop, mop. Move washer and dryer to see the hoses. No leaks that I can see. Wait, brain is working. I go knock on the neighbors door. Ring the bell. Hear them inside. Repeat. Ah, avoiding me, very mature. Did I mention the condos are mirror images of each other, so their washer would be just a thin wall away from mine?
Go home, watch the washer through an entire load to make sure there are no leaks. Go extract as much water as I can from the carpet, it is only wet in this weird 2 by 3 foot area at the foot of the stairs. No need to panic, I suppose, but no one told me these things happen when you decide to buy your own place. And you can’t just call the main office in a dither and have someone come fix it. You have to fix it. Or worse yet decide what service person to call, wait for them to come and pay them for a service call, even if they can’t do anything. No one told me, which I guess is just as well. I kinda like it here.