Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Disaster Strikes!

We moved into our apartment on a Thursday. It took all day for the movers to pick up our things from the family from whom we bought them, move them to our apartment, and put them back together. They didn't leave until nearly 7:00 that evening, at which time we ate, got Lane's pack 'n play set up, and got her in bed. We then set about getting a few necessary things in order and crashed, completely exhausted.

Friday we had planned a few things: namely, I was going to go back to the apartment where we had been staying and clean it really well since the family would return from vacation on Sunday. We had been keeping our money, keys, and Shannon's phone (my battery was dead and the charger was missing) in his office, which we had been warned we could get locked out of, but the door had to be closed forcefully, so it was unlikely to happen.

Well, guess what happened? We didn't get locked out of his office, since the door wasn't locked, but we couldn't get into the room as the door was completely stuck closed. Did I mention that we didn't have a home phone or internet access yet? I ended up walking to a friend's place and using their phone to call someone who could call someone to come fix the door. Praise the Lord that Shannon had unlocked our front door earlier that morning (you have to use a key to lock it, even from the inside) to set trash out, otherwise we would have been locked in our apartment with no phones, no internet, no money, and no keys. I have no idea what we would have done. Anyhow, later that day the door finally got opened and we got a new doorknob for it. And we got very little else done that day.

Saturday came and we spent the day doing all the things we had wanted to do on Friday but couldn't do because of lack of money/phones/keys/etc. I think we finally got our phone set up, but our internet still didn't work. We went to church that evening and I babysat for a couple, not getting home until almost midnight. Shannon unpacked a little bit and we went to bed, exhausted, at around 1 a.m.

At 4:00 (or thereabouts) I woke up to go to the bathroom (I am pregnant, after all). And as I swung my feet out of the bed and put them on the floor, I stepped into water.

A lot of water.

I floundered around for a few seconds, trying to figure out what was going on, turn the lights on (oh, no power), and figure out where the water was coming from. A loud gushing was coming from the bathroom and I managed to wade through the two inches of water to the bathroom, open the cabinets, and turn off the water source, all while getting sprayed like crazy with water.

Shannon and I wandered down our hallway and into his office and our living room, all of which were two inches deep in water. Water had seeped into the kitchen as well. We stood there in complete silence and complete darkness trying to figure out what on earth to do, who to call, how to fix this! We finally decided to call the guy who had organized our movers and who had hired the guy who painted our apartment and is a general fix-it guy. After talking to us on the phone for a few minutes and walking us through trying to figure out if our whole building was out of power or just us, he said that he'd be over soon.

I don't think the photos do the amount of water justice.

5 a.m. came and they showed up. In the meantime we had been using our cell phone lights, mini squeegee (you know, the kind you use for showers or windows), and a dustpan and mop bucket to bail water. It's amazing how much better the situation looked when our friend and the handyman showed up with big squeegees, more buckets and mops, and got our power back on.

Our hero with the large squeegee. I think if you enlarge the photo you can see how deep his feet are in water...

We bailed water, moved furniture, squeegeed floors, and in general worked like crazy for two hours. At 7 a.m. we all sat down for a breather, and Lane woke up. I peeked into her room to find an absolute disaster: Shannon hadn't cleaned up her toys/books when he put her to bed the previous evening! But not a single drop of water was in her room. I have no idea how or why water got everywhere else, 2 inches deep, but didn't go into her room, other than giving credit to God for looking out for us. All of Lane's things would have been ruined which would have been devastating to me, since she doesn't have that many toys to begin with!

Moving furniture to mop/squeegee underneath.

So we finally got all the water bailed out of our apartment and our floors fairly dry. The handyman fixed the problem (a hose to our washing machine). I went to the family's apartment to try to get it clean before they arrived home at noon-ish. And then we set about to cleaning up all the wet stuff. I did laundry for days. I hadn't unpacked my clothes yet, and a lot of them got soaked. And a lot of them bled onto each other and got ruined.

Wet clothes, wet clothes, and oh, some more wet clothes.

A few days ago I finally got the last load of laundry done. I'd been washing things separately, trying to see if stains would come out, letting things [air]dry first so that they wouldn't mildew while waiting to be washed (any of you who have lived in Europe know the fun of doing one load of laundry with a 2-2.5-hour cycle and then having to hang your laundry to dry). The good news was that I was able to salvage a lot of my clothes. The bad news is that some of my favorite things were ruined. Hopefully our insurance will cover them!

Stuff drying on the balcony.

And that is our disaster. It seems that disasters always come in threes. So we're still waiting on number three to strike, since we only had two! We've been here almost three weeks now...maybe it will pass us all together? We keep having nightmares about flooding...


  1. Wow! At least the move wasn't uneventful!! I"m glad that things were ruined and that you were able to fix the problem!

  2. Wow, what a welcome. When we came out to have Calvin, the first night we arrived in Istanbul, I woke up to go to the bathroom only to hear a gushing sound of water, also coming from the washing machine. Thankfully we didn't have so much to mop up. But we did have to wake someone up at 3 am to figure out where you turned the water off in the apartment. You poor thing.


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