Friday, January 17, 2014

Grimacing a Smile

It should be no surprise to you that last week was a rough one for me and pretty much all of Charleston, West Virginia and the adjacent eight counties. Oh, you live under a rock? Inform yourself!

You might remember from this post that I was already commiserating the pretty miserable start to a week that I had no idea was only going to get worse, i.e. the chemical spill that tainted the tap water of nearly 300,000 people. The week started off as any first week of a new year should with a BANG. But there are good BANGS and bad BANGS and this was most definitely a bad BANG.

It started off with two days of below zero temperatures that my furnace could only keep up with to the tune of 62 degrees in our apartment. Luckily, I had my new and incredibly warm winter coat to help me fight back.

Until that is the realization that this $130 winter coat that had quickly become the love of my life had a gigantic tear sprouting from the top of the zipper. This tear was not an easy fix and was only getting bigger. Said coat had to be shipped back to COLUMBIA at my expense so that they could analyze it for 4-6 weeks to determine whether or not the tear was a result of my error or manufacturer's error and thus covered by a warranty to be repaired or replaced. I will keep you updated on this one. But just know that my cold little heart will be shivering for the next 4 to 6 weeks sans my dear, beloved coat.

Typical J and W.

Then, my Hunter boots, graciously gifted to me by Victoria, both sprung a leak. On the same day. BOTH OF THEM. I wanted to cry. I wear those things ever day, everywhere. I feel a little lost without them. I have contacted Hunter but have yet to hear back from them concerning possible repairs, which I would gladly pay for myself. So, in the meantime, :( sad face.

Then, a tree fell on my office and my car. You will remember that from my earlier post. The car is okay just sporting some new scratches and dents. No biggie, right?

Yeah, no biggie, until said car breaks down on W while he is interviewing 6 hours away. You won't believe what it took to fix it. $500!!!!!!!!!!

But that happened after the chemical leak--news of which broke to the public at about 6pm. TEN HOURS AFTER THE CHEMICAL HAD SEEPED INTO THE ELK RIVER AND SUBSEQUENTLY OUR WATER SYSTEMS. I was aware of a very funky smell in my apartment bathroom at about 5:15 on Thursday afternoon. I didn't think much of it and decided to go for a run, which thankfully didn't progress past a brisk walk. Nearing the end of my walk, I received a text message from a friend warning of the chemical spill. Sure enough, by the time I got home around 5:50, we and about 299,998 people were under a water ban. Water was only to be used for flushing toilets and putting out fires. Comforting, right? W left for his interview the next morning, lucky guy. He got a nice hot, hotel shower! I, well, I washed my hair in a bucket with two inches of water and a bottle of water. Invigorating.

That Saturday, Cap, J and I ventured about 30 minutes west of town to a non-tainted water area to shower at the YMCA. When we got there, the women's line was about 30 people long and I nearly had a meltdown right there next to the kiddie pool. I had left my phone in the car and went to retrieve it, and ran into our savior. No, not that savior. This savior was Meagan, a fellow Junior League girl who I barely knew. That sweet lady invited us to her friend's house where she was staying because of the spill and we were able to shower. Then, we ate restaurant food, which = food you don't have to clean up after since there is no usable water to wash dishes and/or make said food. What a way to lift your spirits!

Until, W calls and tells of his car trouble in the middle of your delicious mushroom-smothered patty melt and margarita.

Happy Freaking 2014, B. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

We were without water from Thursday afternoon until Monday at noon. I showered that afternoon and have had no adverse effects. The smell in the water was the worst in our apartment on Saturday and Sunday. It was so bad that I had to open windows because it was burning my eyes. By Monday and after the "flush," the smell was still noticeable but was not hurting my eyes like before.

(By the way, we continue to drink, cook and brush our teeth with bottled water.)

So, things were looking up, right? Wrong.

Wednesday afternoon, the heat in the office breaks. No biggie. Its fixed Thursday afternoon.

:) Happy face.

Skip to the wee hours of this (Friday) morning--3am to be exact--and I am awakened by the loudest roaring and rattling I have ever heard coming from our radiators. (Did I mention that W left Thursday for an interview 6 hours away??!) It literally sounded like the house was about to take off and shoot into outer space. My heart was pounding and I had no clue what to do, so I sat on the floor and called W, sobbing into my hands and praying for a break. I thought that surely the whole house must have been roaring and was waiting for Cap and J to call, but nothing. I ran outside and their lights were still off. Of course, it was a B problem. Just little ole lonesome me and an exploding boiler. Duh. Silly me for thinking I had company in my troubles. I called and texted Cap and J until I finally woke them up (sorry, guys!). By that time, I had turned my thermostat down and the noise was getting fainter. J came to the rescue and we shut the gas off from the boiler. I got back in the bed at 4am and lay there wide awake until about 5:15. The fear of a boiler/gas explosion was pretty minimal at that point, but I couldn't ignore the rhythmic "whom-whom-whom" of the boiler motor that continued to spin for the rest of the morning. I catnapped off and on until 9.

Thanks to a 3:30am phone call to my landlord and subsequent text messages, a repairman was at the house by 11. Luckily, the motor just needed a little bit of oil and all is fixed. Such a simple solution for something I thought would surely end in death.

But, man! I tell you, the universe is seriously trying to make herself heard.

Universe, you have my full attention.


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