Over the last two weeks of break, I've put in almost 90 hours of curriculum work. Most of that time has been spent at school or at the district office. However today I was able to work from home. I must say, working from home is nice. I woke up without an alarm clock about 9:00, made my way down to the kitchen table, and worked in lounging around clothes. On a side note, I need to figure out how to work from home when school is in session!
A couple of hours later, still sitting at the kitchen table, I heard a crash and then a whooshing of water. The first thought in my head was, "Noooo, I don't have time for this!" I am so burnt out at this point and still had a couple of big projects to finish. I ran through the kitchen towards the sound, and what I saw put me in a state of shock. A rather large (maybe 6 inches) piece of porcelain had cracked off the bottom of the toilet tank, fallen to the floor, and water was POURING out of the bottom of it. And when I say POURING I mean POURING, like a raging river. It sounded like someone was filling up a bathtub.
Now the only way I can think to describe my initial reaction is by saying I was like a defective wind up toy. I spastically turned around in circles, looking around at what had happened, trying to figure out what the heck I should do. Frantically, I pulled the bathroom trashcan underneath the hole, hoping to at least limit the amount of water that fell on the ground as I waited for the tank to empty. The problem was, the tank didn't empty. It kept running and running and running. Within seconds the trashcan was overflowing onto the floor again. I ran out to the garage and found some buckets before the wherewithal to locate the turnoff valve hit me. I got a bucket underneath the hole and then tried my darnedest to turn off the water valve underneath the toilet. The water kept coming as I swam around on the floor trying to turn it off with no luck. It was just too hard for me.
It took me another moment of flooding water to decide what to do next. Remember, I was still in my lounging around clothes but figured at this point it didn't matter. I ran out the door to find a neighbor to help. Of course not one of the neighbors that I know was home. So I ran around the block just to see if someone was outside who could come and help. There was a lady I wave to when I walk the dog working outside in her garage. I frantically told her my story and she told me her neighbor just drove in and he would be able to help. I've never met that neighbor before so it took every ounce of my being to knock on the door. While I waited for the door to answer I noticed blood running down my hand. Oh for heavens sake! I had gashed my knuckle on a sharp edge of the porcelain. I grabbed a hold of my hand to cover it before the door opened and frantically told the man who answered what my story of woe. As it happens, he wasn't the neighbor. He was just visiting. But he agreed to help, and we ran back around the block to my house.
When we got there, the water was still running fiercely. All I kept thinking was, "WE ARE IN A DROUGHT!" The neighbor's visitor fought with the valve a bit, but once he got it turned off the instant quiet was the sweetest sound in the world.
I thanked the neighbor's visitor profusely and told him I could handle calling the plumber and getting the water soaked up. But he was kind and stayed for a bit helping me get the rugs dragged outside and swept a lot of the water into the garage so it could run out to the street. While I felt very much like I was imposing, I was thankful for the help.
After getting the flood waters contained, the neighbor's visitor left, and I again stood in the middle of the kitchen trying to figure out what to do next. Luckily, in this case, it was a hot dry day so things sopped up into towels quite well and the rugs were safe outside to dry. I called a plumber that was highly recommended and will be getting a new downstairs toilet tomorrow afternoon. Within the hour I was back at the kitchen table working on curriculum again. Although this time with a heart beating a bit faster.
I am SO thankful that I happened to be home today, and it didn't run for hours while I was gone. And that it was the downstairs toilet so the water just sat on the tile floor and was easily swept out to the garage. If it had been upstairs there probably would have been so much damage - carpet, ceiling, walls. Ugh, I can't even imagine. Replacing a toilet stinks (no pun intended), but flood damage would have been so very costly. And I'm also relieved that none of my nearest neighbors were home to watch all the water pouring out of my garage into the driveway. I know someone would have reported me to the water agency for wasting water! But on the downside, about half of those hours I've put in over the last two weeks are now going towards fixing this plumbing problem. On the upside, at least those hours are there.
Ha! I'm still in some shock over the whole incident!
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