You cannot be a fair weather friend when you own a house.

There has been less cooking than usual in our house this weekend. The reason is that we had a lot of rain for a few days, and the city where we live has a rather old storm water/sewer system. The result was an inch of muck and water in our basement, coming up through the drains. Eek.

We found it Friday afternoon, and after a brief bit of non-elegant annoyance, I settled in to the reality of our weekend. With bleach and brooms and piles of wet cardboard being thrown into our trash bin, we cleared out the basement, disinfected it, and returned it to a state that was actually far cleaner than it had been before. Judging from the others who had water in their basements near us, we actually got lucky – for the most part, ours pooled over the drains and went back down as the storm water pipes got less overwhelmed. Still, there was damage to lots of stuff, and it made me decide never to leave clothes in laundry baskets on my basement floor… goodbye, fair clothing!

Just like I was talking about with handmade gifts and handmade food, this weekend made me realize that what I’ve committed to this house with Husband is more than I committed to apartments (all I’ve ever lived in as an adult). If you buy your apartment rather than renting it, you do this same thing. You are committed to learning as the home goes through troubles – sure, you may have insurance, but you might have to learn what you want to file claims about, and learn how you will replace what was lost. Husband and I spent much of yesterday figuring out what we want in a hot water heater (you have no idea the options if you’ve never had to do this), and feeling at a loss quite often.

What comforts me is that the house will get fixed through channels that others have gone through before and can help us deal with. We will be able to, someday, tell others about how we got water out of our basement and how we picked the hot water heater that worked for us, and how it got paid for and installed. Doing everything that is new and strange for me this year has been tough, but I have to think about the information about fixing a house the way I look at a new recipe: namely, someone has made this work before, and even though I will probably modify the steps and ingredients a little, I can make it work for me too.

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29 comments on “You cannot be a fair weather friend when you own a house.

  1. This is so true, having a house means showing so much care and dedication as we would our favorite recipes. I know from experience, having a home has taught me very valuable lessons in owning a home.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda says:

    I really like your attitude – the way you look at this whole event as a positive learning experience. Hope the lesson only has to be learned once, though!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. slfinnell says:

    Flooded basements are no fun. Ours was less than a year old and only flooded because of a 100 year rain event. Glad you came away with a silver lining of some kind 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The joys of home ownership! In a funny way it will make you like the place more because you had to ” save” it ! Good luck. Onwards and upwards!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. nancyruth says:

    Homeownership. The agony and the ecstasy.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Elizabeth says:

    After many years of marriage, we have replaced three water heaters! I always think we just bought the leaking one, but it turns out to be 10 years old!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. you have a great attitude 🙂 i often am overwhelmed by the issues at my home, but I will always remember what you said: “.. the house will get fixed through channels that others have gone through before and can help us deal with..”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Patrick says:

    These episodes are how “a house” becomes “the house,” eventually “our house,” and, finally, “our home.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Patrick says:

    And if you want more drama, and a big helping of suspense, start changing out electrical fixtures by your selves 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Christina Nifong says:

    Lovely analogy — caring for a home is like completing someone’s recipe…. Thanks for that!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Kim Smyth says:

    Sorry you had to go through it but glad you have such a great outlook on it!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Tony says:

    Sorry to hear about your basement troubles. I hope your next weekend will be a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love the analogy between caring for a house and making a recipe – so true and such a great way to think about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Frugal Fish says:

    It must be a rite of passage to have your basement flood right after you buy a house. Ours flooded about 12 inches and we had to toss carpets, couches, and chairs. I was pregnant and there was no way I wanted a baby crawling on carpets that had sewer water on them. Unfortunately, our insurance did not cover that type of flood. But you survive, and learn. My wedding dress, which had been sealed in a special box, was damaged. Oh, well, I had not planned on using it again! Thanks for following me.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Sorry to hear about this… a flooded basement is never a good thing but the decision to respond to the situation and not react to it is the best way to handle it. This will pass too 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  16. serendipitous mischief says:

    I love your analogy! I agree with you; I find that comparing unexpected events and the steps that follow to something with which you’re already familiar makes it a little less stressful. I hope that getting things back in order goes smoothly for you!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Michaux says:

    Life can be exciting, frustrating and random all at the same time. I’m glad you all figured everything out. Sometimes that in itself can be the most difficult thing about life. While I’ve never owned a house just yet, I have an inkling taking ownership as the house manager. It feels different once I took on that role, and I know a bit where you’re coming from, because stuff hsppens for sure, and if we’re deeply involved then it becomes an engagement.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Jeanne says:

    Wise words and such a wholesome attitude to unforeseen (negative) events. We’ve just bought our second house — a mountain cottage in Spain — and gradually learning about its hidden “charms” (euphemism for things no one told you). But knowing is certainly better than not knowing, though we are having to pay dearly for the knowledge :-p. All part of making a house your own home 🙂 :-). Thank you for following my posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. boozilla says:

    This is probably late in the water heater search day, but. We got an on-demand water heater (Takagi) and LOVE IT. Environmentally sound, not wasteful. Reasonably priced. Even if you’ve got another heater by now, they don’t live forever (sadly) so there may well be Another Opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. beetleypete says:

    We don’t have a basement in our bungalow, but do have recurrent flooding in our shed and garage from groundwater, when there is heavy rain. So I have some idea of that sinking feeling when you see the water. (Sorry about the unintentional pun…)
    Thanks very much for following my blog. It is much appreciated.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. nootkabear says:

    The best thing we have ever done when it came to hot water heaters, was to go to a flash heater type system. The one we have uses propane, but they have them for natural gas as well. We use approximately one grill sized propane tank a month. Of course, we have gone to a much bigger tank, but we tested with the smaller to see if was really feasible or not.

    We had fired the gas company, and needed to heat the water. A 40 gallon hot water heater, or any hot water heater that keeps a pilot light, and stores hot water, is from the dark ages. Plus, the heat it puts out. The fact that Gas South was charging $30-35 per month for pass through charges, even when you did not use any gas, was ridiculous. So we fired them.

    A lot of people don’t realize that they pay for a gas company to rent the pipes to get gas to their houses, here in GA. After de-regulation of the gas companies, we were stuck with pass-through charges. So Atlanta Gas still was reaping the benefit of one time being a monopoly.

    Anyway, we have never been sorry that we left the gas company, there is always a way around everything. So we save $30 a month for a tiny inconvenience of making sure we have propane, not a big deal. We have a stainless steel grill that doubles as an oven, no big deal. And we have hot water, without having to keep 40 gallons of water heated at all times, which is nice.

    Americans are very spoiled, and wasteful. You will find in life, that there are better, less expensive ways to do things than what we grew up with.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. What a great way to see it all– your attitude applies to a lot of things we face… thanks for the great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I completely sympathize. It is a full-time job. As an at-home Dad I look at it as my job to do laundry, clean, do repairs, landscape, etc. When the kids get home from school I cook and clean some more and then my workday ends after dinner. It’s about a 16 hour day. My wife and I used to argue over chores but once I looked at it as my full time job it made more sense. I left my job to write and take care of the house while she continues to work her way in her career. We both respect one another and there is less fighting. Just yesterday I blew leaves for about 3 hours. Saved about $400 on landscaping.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Eugenia says:

    What a great attitude. Now you can look back and be proud.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Sandy KS says:

    This is a great look out in owning a house.What a positive attitude looking forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. ekurie says:

    This happened once to my family when we lived in NJ. Dad installed a sump pump. Thank you for reading my blog, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. d3b01946 says:

    Thank you for following my blog. I downsized on semi-retirement into a flat. The relief at not being the one responsible for when the basement floods, the roof leaks, the drains block or the gutters need clearing is IMMENSE. But home-owning was also a joy most of the time…happy times ahead

    Liked by 1 person

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