Waiting is an art, which is often learned while practicing waiting. Almost a month ago we, along with scads of others in our small part of the universe, experienced ice dams and then because of all the intangibles, like the next door neighbor in our attached condominium heating up his loft, fell victim to the ice melting and then refreezing. When that happens it sets off a chain reaction and the ice lifts the roof shingles and the melting ice trickles in or in our case poured into the closet in the study.
Frantically we watched the brownish wet spots increase their territorial expansion like a marauding army. I took photos of the onslaught marveling at the tenacity of the water’s invasion. The rug in the closet took on water and the wet spot spread like an inkblot outside the closet. We sopped up water with old towels and then threw them in the dryer.
It doesn’t take too long before a rhythm is established.
In the morning we began our persistent phone calls. Even though I knew that other souls were reporting their bouts with water, I wanted an immediate redress of the situation. The management company sent two men to hammer down the ice dams, but they didn’t go far enough and the water continued with a fury. What had been a quick moving rivulet became a raging stream seeking a path and our closet wall filled that need.
A day later a more experienced contingent of intrepid ice men arrived and hacked away all the ice dams. The water abated and then stopped. By this time we established a contact with our insurance agent. “Go ahead,” she said, “get the water retraction done.”
Even the sound of those words is ominous. We waited for the extractors. They tore out the walls of the closet leaving it bare and cold looking. They left a behemoth dehumidifier and three stacked fans. For three days the fans created a symphonic cacophony. Their sound — relentless and strident. No — insistent and maddening.
We waited for the insurance adjustor and then began the wait for the key man to inspect the work. The first appointment he forgot, but offered copious apologies.
Then began the task of getting the closet put back together. This company said they did both. “I don’t have a plasterer on my crew,” said the key man. He subcontracted the work. The plasterers were to come Thursday afternoon at 1:00. They called at 2:00 pm and said, “We’re running late so we’ll there tomorrow at 12:00.” What’s another day. So we waited for the fellow who was supposed to put back the insulation and hypervac before the plasterers did their work. He didn't show.
I’m practicing patience.
Friday the fellow installing the insulation arrived and put that in. We were on our way. Two hours later the plasterers arrived, went upstairs, looked at the closet and said, “This is textured and we left our sponge at home.” I gave them directions to the hardware store. They left and never returned. Destination unknown —disappeared to foreign places.
We called the key man. He called them. “We couldn’t find a sponge,” they said.
So it’s Saturday. They are upstairs putting up the board. Soon they’ll start plastering. Monday we call the key man and begin the wait for someone to put back the closet.
This is all a waiting game. Did I mention that they also need to check the basement—there’s small water stain.