5.27.2011

Day 5-Disaster Strikes!!!

We have a gas stove.  And gas hot water.  And gas heat.  This evening Hubbs came in from working in the garage smelling like a rotten egg.  I teased him about it and he stripped down in the laundry room, (where I promptly stuck the clothes in the washer) and ran upstairs to take a shower.  But the smell refused to leave.  So we cleaned up what little mess there was in the kitchen and that wasn't it, either.  We realized Hubbs had brought in a box from the garage.  So he emptied it and sniffed it all and no--we found no source, but it was getting stronger. 

At this point I kinda started to freak and called the gas company.  They explained that they put a smell in the gas to alert people to a leak and informed me they would put in an urgent work order.  We snatched up the kids and took off for a few minutes, sticking close so we would be here when the gas man came.  We noticed on the way back to the house that the whole neighborhood smelled like rotten eggs and figured there must be a burst line or something.  The gas man came and I hung out with the kids in the back yard while Hubbs found out what was wrong.  The kids were alright, they were busy getting as FILTHY as they possibly could, throwing dirt and whatnot.  Finally Hubbs comes to me and says, "Well, there's no gas reading in the house." 
My kids make filthy look good!


I decide to call the city to see if they know what is going on.  Yes!  They do!  The water department had to put a grease eater in the pipes of this neighborhood and they have no idea when the smell will dissipate.  That's fine, though, a relief from the thought that our house was about to blow up.  Stomach curdling, but a relief, none-the-less.

Except when I went to tell Hubbs and the gas man, they weren't so excited.  Instead, gas man told me that our meter failed the pressure test and he would be forced to shut the gas off until we could get the lines fixed.  He gives us a coupon for $100 off the repair (just exactly what we need right now is a repair bill so huge it's going to require a $100 coupon!!) and wishes us a good weekend.  I tell Hubbs I'll go call someone and he stops me to say that gas man told him to wait until Tuesday or we'd get charged a "holiday fee." 

Did I mention we have gas hot water?  Gas stove/oven?  Thank God we don't need the heat right now or we'd be forced out of our house! 

I don't want to get into our personal financials too much here, but suffice it to say that Hubbs is a disabled veteran and we get paid an itty bitty pension once monthly at the beginning of the month.  Month's end is always tight, but due to other circumstances, our once lovely emergency fund is having coughing fits and we're looking for more and more ways to cut back.  Trust me when I say that having to repair gas lines is *not* in either of our definitions of cutting back!

And then I look down at my filthy, filthy little munchkins and I point my finger at the house and yell, "BATH, NOW!"  Because I knew there would be a little hot water left in the heater and I wanted them to use it before it cooled off. 

While I was scrubbing them clean, I looked down at my camp style wash bucket full of dirty diapers that I intended to wash in the morning and I scrub the kids a little faster and kick them out to get jammies while I hurry and wash this load of diapers. (they are now hanging in the dark and my dog is not happy to have been in his kennel for the better part of today)  I wondered to myself what I'll do for the rest of the challenge and, for a brief moment, consider throwing in the towel on the handwash part until I realize that there's no hot water going to the washing machine either, DUH!  In the words of Scarlett O'Hara, "I'll think about *that* tomorrow."

When we're downstairs again-washed, changed and awaiting entertainment-Hubbs pulls little man away from his side and says, "He smells like CRAP!"  He looks down at his shirt and says, "He just PEED on me!"  He hands me little man and I pull down his (note this is the LAST of these) wool cover to see that he has, indeed, had a serious blow out.  I change him into his 3rd cover (Dudes, we are STILL rockin' it!  I'm so proud :P) while Hubbs rinses the soaker.  But rinsing didn't cut it...I had to do a full-blown wash cycle.  So count both soakers out until after the challenge is over. 

Hubbs and I then got the kidlets set up watching a movie and started to brainstorming HOW on EARTH we're going to live for 4 days with no hot water and no place to cook.  But this is a very valid line of thinking for this challenge, because what on earth would any of us do without hot water or a place to cook food if there was a natural disaster?  Here are the options we brainstormed:

  • We would like to build a real fire pit so we could boil water over it if needed
  • We cooked dinner tonight on our electric griddle (moot point in emergencies, but it was sure a load off my mind tonight!)
  • We have the grill-runs on propane
  • We can run water through the coffee maker to make wash water (again moot in emergency, but it will get me through to Monday night!)
  • We're washing our dishes in cold water, by hand with anti-bacterial Dawn
Any other thoughts?  This is a big time lesson in emergency preparedness for me.  If a tornado wiped our town out tomorrow, we would STILL have to diaper little man and we'd STILL have to eat.  It's something to think about, for sure.

2 comments:

Heather said...

Oh my goodness, my heart is breaking for you guys! I thought I had a difficult day 5. I am sending you a message through FaceBook.

Heather from Mistakes in Motherhood
http://www.sumnerrain.com

Gayle said...

Well, I can tell you in this "emergency" he'd be wearing disposable diapers. I mean to say... that's all I ever used anyhow because cloth grosses me out, but without hot water... definitely wouldn't attempt it. You are stronger than me!

Do you have a camp stove? That would be the place to boil water otherwise I'd just use the BBQ. Such a bummer for you, but on the up side at least the water is still running and you have a toilet! Now that wouldn't be fun!

Enjoy your weekend!