Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Last Straw

Where do I begin? It's best to start at the last place we were together…our newly purchased furniture items were arriving at our flat.  While I was out with my friend finding toilet brushes and such, John waited for the delivery truck to come.  "Delivery truck" is a term loosely used because I know what you are picturing in your head when I say it.  It's not that.  "Delivery truck" here is more like whatever has a minimum of 2 wheels and can have something stacked on it.

This time it was a flat bed mini-pickup of sorts loaded with furniture and delivery guys hanging on for dear life.  John greeted them and showed them where the final destination would be.  They were not amused.  The place where they can park is a bit of a distance away from where we live in terms of carrying large wooden closets.

They carried everything in fairly quickly and with only a few dings here and there adding to the character of the furniture patina.  John had to do some quick algebraic equations to get the big closet through our bedroom door, but finally success.

I arrived home a short time after and began thinking about where each item should go.  This is the fun part.  I told John that I had already had some fun today so I would save more fun for the next day.  That statement was the beginning of the end…

In the middle of the night I began to feel nauseated.  Soon the room was spinning and I was clamping the mattress so I wouldn't be flung off.  Obviously, I had some sort of bug.  I tried to just close my eyes and sleep through it but the spinning would start again.  I stared at the ceiling and tried to be fascinated.  I listened to the sounds of the house hoping it would lull me to sleep.

I heard the hum of the a/c, the click of a nearby gecko and then periodically drip, drip, drip… We have an air cooler for the rest of the house that runs on a steady stream of water so I didn't think anything about it.  Soon I had drifted off to sleep.

I awoke the next morning thinking that the worst of the virus was over.  I proceeded through my morning routine which included making our bed.  I began to put the bedspread on when I heard a more pronounced "drip" sound.  I investigated by our window and noticed water dripping in and around the frame. The paint was beginning to bubble.  This is bad.

We have a first floor apartment.  There are 2 floors above us.  Someone above us has a plumbing problem.  I flew into panic mode and began flapping through the house looking for John.  He rounded the corner holding his right arm and said, "Does this look like a bite to you?"  It was red and swollen and the size of a golf ball.  "What in the world?" I said, "That's no mosquito bite! What is that?!" He shrugged, "I don't know.  It's big though, huh?"  We agreed to keep an eye on it.

With his limbs still in tact, I pointed to the now-dripping paint bubbles above our window.  We have a big problem!  We collectively groaned.

The landlord is still away on vacation so we found the caretaker and explained the problem.  He investigated and told us that the tenant on the second floor was away.  He also mentioned that there are no spare keys for this particular flat.  John and he walked around the building to the second floor and noticed water coming out from under the door of the absent tenant.  Not good.  John also discovered a horrendous smell emitting from the water.  Really not good.

John suggested that they break the lock and investigate.  The caretaker said no.  He would get into trouble.  John tried to convince him that water knee-deep and putrified for a returning tenant would be worse.  The caretaker would not be moved.

They went hunting for the water shut-off valve and thought they had found it.  They came back to the flat and asked me if I could see water still dripping.  It was and I did.  The caretaker told John he would make a call to the plumber and find out what the problem was.  I had mistakenly thought this would be considered somewhat of an emergency. 

John returned to the flat and shut the front door.  The door knob mechanism broke when he turned it.  He sighed and said, "I'll go get a new lock while you wait for the plumber." 

"Okay," I said in my bravest voice.  The bug I had wasn't going away.  I was dizzy, nauseated and frustrated.  I returned to the bedroom to see the increasing damage.  The towels hadn't stopped the water and now a puddle had made its way to the hallway.  I mopped and cried, cried and mopped. 

"It's just a stupid drip, Pam. Get a grip!" I admonished myself.  I said a prayer to the effect, "God…This stinks."  I know.  Not my finest hour, but I believe He appreciates honesty. 

I lay on the couch after the cleanup and watched an episode of "Frasier."  I couldn't help but laugh as Frasier's brother, Niles, ordered something to drink and asked for a straw.  The waitress replied, "I'm sorry, sir.  We're all out.  That was the last one."  He paused and muttered, "Hmmmm…the last straw.  How very appropriate."

I felt the same way.  The last straw.  Some days are just like that.  You don't even see them coming, but before you know it you don't have just one challenging situation, you have four.  I continued watching the show feeling much better having laughed and gaining some much needed endorphins.

The plumber never did arrive, so in the evening John and I concocted a bucket system to collect the water.  It's definitely MacGyver-ish in its appearance.  We slept in the guest room because the dripping was too loud.  John would get up and do a "bucket check" throughout the night.  Such a good guy although I do believe I heard him muttering under his breath periodically.

So today is another day.  My initial plan was to put the new furniture into place, organize my cabinets and try to find 2 wedding presents.  However, it looks like we will wait for the plumber as he busts into the tenant's apartment and then get a plan of action.  I'll keep drinking Propel and John will apply the Neosporin to his now near normal-sized arm.

Lest you think that I am in the depths of despair, don't worry.  We all have days that leave us "strawless," making us draw from deep reserves in ways we haven't considered.  But for those who may be fellow Lamenters, I leave you with this:

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
 to the woman who diligently seeks.
 It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
 quietly hope for help from God.
 It’s a good thing when you’re young
 to stick it out through the hard times.

When life is heavy and hard to take,
 go off by yourself.  Enter the silence.
 Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
 Wait for hope to appear.
 Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
 The “worst” is never the worst.

Why? Because the Master won’t ever
 walk out and fail to return.

Lamentations 3:25-31


Today's BOGO Blog:  Taxi Teacher

1 comment:

  1. So sorry you are sick, and water problems are the worst. You impress me with your coping capabilities. Humor is balm for the soul. I love Frazier too, especially the one where they went to the spa and thought they were being kept out of the "gold room" and ended up locked out by a dumpster. Then the bees attacked their honey facials. LOL! Their snobby attitude gets them in so much trouble. hope you feel better soon!