Wednesday, October 14, 2009


After two weeks of visiting friends and family and zig-zagging across 15 states, we finally arrived back in Fort Myers, Florida and our beautiful, clean, neat and dry condo - just the way I left it. Boy it was good to be back!

We were greeted at the door with the chirping beeps of dying batteries in all of our smoke detectors - beep...beep. I thought it sounded like crickets. While Bill looked for a ladder and some 9 volt batteries ...beep...I decided to throw a quick load ...beep...of dirty clothes...beep...into the washing machine...beep...Beep...and then I started to unpack...Beep...Beep.

The next thing I know...Beep...Beep...Beep...Bill is yelling that we have water everywhere...BEEP...BEEP. The water limit...BEEP...BEEP...BEEP...sensor switch had...BEEP...BEEP...BEEP...BEEP...failed on the washing machine and water was pouring out onto the laundry room floor...BEEP...BEEP...BEEP... and into the living room. The carpet was soaked. I grabbed every towel in the house and tried to soak up the water before it did too much damage...BEEP...BEEP...BEEP...BEEP. There was a knock at the door ...BEEP...BEEP... It was our new downstairs neighbor - a retired New Jersey cop. Water was coming through the light fixture in his laundry room. BEEP...BLEEP...BEEP...BLEEP... What a way to meet!! ...and by now I wanted to rip those #$&*#*! smoke detectors down and jump on them!!

I called our HOA management company, Alliant and they contacted H2O-911. Within the hour technicians were taking off baseboards, ripping up carpet, removing wet padding, setting up fans and huge (LOUD!) dehumidifiers in our condo and in the one under us. When they turned on the fan in our bedroom (yes, water had soaked it's way through the living room to the bedroom) huge dust bunnies - no, more like grizzly bears, started to fly everywhere. We have a decorative ledge in our bedroom which has apparently been collecting dust for 10 years - just waiting for the right opportunity to "share." Wonderful.

In the midst of the dust-storm, friends arrived with a ladder and several 9-volt batteries. The beasts were finally quieted.

My nice neat condo was now in shambles. Stuff was piled everywhere. Furniture was moved to high ground and we could barely hear ourselves think over the roar of the fans. I had a washing machine and piles of wet towels in my entry way and we hadn't even put the lanai furniture out yet.

Today, things are looking up: son, John arrived last night; the new washer was delivered and the old one was hauled away; all the heavy equipment was removed; the missing padding was replaced and Bill is putting the final touches on the baseboard. As I told the representative from H2O-911 when he presented me with the bill -- we were lucky, no one died -- life is good.

I think I'll go to the pool.

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