I Need An Ark by ErinFarwell

IMG_3021_1Woke up about 3:00 am several days ago and wondered why our “guard cat” AJ was standing at the top of the stairs and growling into the darkness below. Woke up at 4:30 and wondered why my husband had decided to take a shower in what constitutes the middle of the night to my way of thinking. Woke up at 5:00 to the sound of his feet pounding up the stairs as he yelled: “We’ve got a flood!”

We didn’t need an ark, though for a while that seemed a possibility. Mike went into the crawl space to turn off the water and survey the damage. We found that the hose had come off of the back of the fridge that went to the icemaker. Everything was wet but the damage didn’t seem that extensive. I called my insurance dude and a company he recommended to come out and clean the mess up. Easy peasy.

AJ - Guard Cat
AJ – Guard Cat

Did I mention we have hardwoods covering almost the entire main floor of the house?

The experts came, studied the situation, and ripped up most of the hardwood. The subflooring is damaged in some places, so weak that one wrong move and you’ll find yourself in the crawlspace without stepping outside.

For days we had many, many giant industrial fans and dehumidifiers rumbling through the house and crawl space and we felt as if we lived in a wind tunnel. The kitchen cabinets my husband installed less than two weeks earlier were pulled out, along with the new sink and every other built-in cabinet and appliance in the kitchen that rested on the floor.

The Forlorn Bookcase

We had started to paint our living room a year-ago August and in the manner of all home improvement projects in our life, we didn’t finish it until this September. Granted there was much rewiring to do and changing of layout but still, the project should never have taken that long. Now, because of the flood, the floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcase, newly painted and beautiful, was removed from its moorings and sits forlornly off to the side. I can barely stand to look at it.

I’ve had a claim rep here and someone to give me a bid to put everything back together but for now I wait.

In the meantime, the main floor of the house of an obstacle course in weak subflooring, raised nails, and abandoned cabinetry. It is unlivable and unusable except for the laundry room and fridge (minus the ice maker).

For all intents and purposes we are living in the master bedroom suite – Three humans, three cats and two guinea pigs. While my daughter’s room is down the hall, the television and computer are in Mike’s and my room, along with the animals, so here is where she does her homework, plays, and generally hangs out. Our bedroom has become the kitchen, living room, dining room, and office: an ark of sorts.

My "Ark"
My “Ark”

And so I wait, sending out my dove in the form of calls to the insurance company, hoping to see it carrying back new hardwood flooring in its little beak and praying I won’t have to wait 40 more days.

I know I will survive this and try to focus on the positives. We had just started a kitchen remodel and will now have new floors to go with the repainted walls, cabinets, etc. The closest under the stairs needed to be emptied and reorganized and the water damage crew did the emptying for me. Scuffs and stains on the few bits of remaining hardwood will be sanded and refinished with the new, so it will all look nice.

This is good, right? That’s what everyone tells me but if I had a choice, this isn’t the one I would have made.

In the midst of this drama I am reminded of an essay Dave Barry wrote about moving. In the end, he decided, the most practical thing was to burn all of your stuff in a huge bonfire and start over at your new house. I’m beginning to think this sage advice might apply here as well.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

I know I will survive. The only question is how sane will I be by the time everything is back to normal? I’ll keep you posted.






Farwell-Shadowlands-Final Cover.inddAHE New Cover

15 thoughts on “I Need An Ark by ErinFarwell

  1. Erin,
    It sure seems like life is throwing folks some curve balls these days. What a journey this one sounds to be. May everything fall into place quickly for you and your family and you have smooth sailing for a long time after. Doris


  2. Gosh Erin, I was cheering for you while your kitchen was being remodeled, now I will pray for you and Noah (your hubby). I know the feeling, when our house burned down, it was older (but I loved it, and we had been lovingly remodeling it- by the sweat if our brow), we got a brand new home, but 11 years later, I still find myself looking for items that burned. I hope it doesn’t takes them 40 days and 40 nights to do the repair, and I hope you get some sleep. Cher’ley


    1. Thanks Cher’ley. So sorry to hear about your house and we are also doing our remodel by the sweat of our brows. I’m sure it will be fine in the end, I just need to survive to that point. 🙂


  3. I’m so sorry. There’s nothing quite like having to deal with soggy stuff. I’ve learned that guard cats are usually more dependable than dogs; the hard part is waking up enough to remember that.


  4. Erin I’m so sorry for all that you are going through but this I know. It will turn out to be a blessing. We lost our house to a fire in the 70’s and it was heartbreaking and very scary, as we were asleep at the time. After I got over the initial shock all I could do was be thankful that my husband, our two children and I were safe. Nothing else matterred. The blessings and love that showered down from friends, family and even folks we didn’t know was amazing and I’ll forever be grateful for them. It sounds as if some of that is already happening for you now and I can say it’ll get better – you’ll get to redecorate your ark!


    1. So glad you and your family were safe. By comparison my problem is more of a difficulty rather than a tragedy. All will be well – I just have to keep reminding myself of that. 🙂


  5. Oh, crap. Your problem reminds me of people who live Wrightsville Beach and get flooded by hurricane surges. Thank goodness you and your husband are not afraid to take on remodeling/revamping housing projects.


  6. So sorry this happened. Guess you’re getting an idea of what it felt like to live in a one room cabin in pioneer times. 😉

    We went through something similar a number of years back. The tube to the ice maker sprang a leak and we didn’t know it until the floor buckled. Turned out to be somewhat of a blessing. We were planning to re-do the kitchen too. Got the insurance to pay for a new floor, counter tile, sink and one cabinet. Was a mess for a while though.

    Hope your repairs go quickly!!


  7. What an ordeal! Erin, I’m so sorry you have to go through this. Remodeling alone can be incredibly frustrating, and to have this additional problem thrown in…. Ick! Someday, though, you’ll look back and tell fond stories of how you all lived in the “ark” of your bedroom.


  8. Erin, I echo everyone’s sentiments wishing this hadn’t happened to you and wishing you well as you move forward. With all that’s happened, you find humor enough to share with us, creating smiles in the midst of chaos. Bravo, bravo, you brave, persevering soul! May your dove bring back and olive branch soon!


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