Government quarters are not without their challenges. The biggest challenges I faced as a dependent spouse always happened during one of my husband’s deployments. This ordinary lady faced many cursed quarters moments over the years. This blog is about the water curse deployment. I spent a great deal of time actually cursing during this curse. I look back now and laugh. Back then, it was not that funny. Ok, it was somewhat funny then too. It is always better to laugh than cry! Choose laughter my friends!
The deployment started out normal enough. We said good-bye to our soldier and started the fun adjustment time of moving from a two-parent family to a single parent family. Not sure what trespass I committed, only there must have been one. A couple of weeks in, I was going through the normal nighttime take a bath/shower routine (ok, fight) with my two boys. It was while the second child was in the shower that I went into the downstairs powder room.
It was raining in the powder room. Water was pouring in through the wall, the ceiling, the vent, and the light fixture. I immediately called in a work order. Calling in a work order for government quarters is like calling the maintenance folks in an apartment only less reliable. I ended up calling in a work order repeatedly. I came to realize that the water raining into the powder room was from a burst pipe inside the walls taking. This broken pipe was moving the wastewater out of the shower and sink upstairs. So a little over four weeks and about 100 showers later, someone finally showed up to look at the “leak”. He had the nerve to tell me I should have called the issue in sooner! As if! GRRRRRRRRRR
Understand that our quarters only had two bathrooms, the powder room on the first floor and the full bath on the second. We had no choice but to use the one and only shower. I suppose we could have avoided showering, used the kitchen sink to clean up? No that is just gross. Therefore, for weeks it rained in the powder room. Every night after shower time, I washed all our towels so we would have dry towels for the next mop up job. The powder room was a total loss. The wood cabinet was beyond salvaging, the lights were water logged, and the floor warped. It took two full days to repair it all. No water at all in our home for those two days. I took us to a hotel during the repairs.
Three weeks later, our dishwasher filled the kitchen, powder room, and some of the living room with water. After mopping up, I again called in a work order and proceeded to wait for a response. At least I could avoid using a dishwasher. I did dishes by hand for about two weeks while waiting for a new dishwasher.
A few more weeks later, the bottom fell out of the hot water heater. I kid you not! The whole bottom just rusted all the way around dropping the bottom to the ground. Thankfully, the hot water heater was not in the house, but in a small shed just outside the kitchen door. It was nearly six weeks before we were the proud recipients of a new water heater. Six weeks of cold showers, cold-water laundry, and dishes. The shed thankfully survived, mostly because of the two-inch gap between the walls and the concrete floor. The plants on that side of the house really thrived. I guess they liked a constant supply of water. I had no way to shut off the water trying to go to the water heater without shutting off the whole supply to the house! Who comes up with these freaking designs?
The final straw was the garden hose. Yes, I still had to water the plants on the other side of the house. I was using the hose watering plants and trees when it failed spectacularly. I was drenched. I think I stood there a few seconds sort of stunned speechless. Then I burst into tears and the cursing commenced. I gathered up the hose and tossed it into the dumpster. I was done with water. The plants could survive or not on their own.
For months, I managed to hold on to my sanity (if not my temper or sense of humor) through one water-based crisis after another. Not exactly positive about what finally appeased the curse, but for these small things, I am grateful! An ordinary year made extraordinary by a water curse. Building memories that still can make me laugh aloud at a sequence of very water full events.