WARNING: This is a ‘poor pitiful me” post 🙂 My 38th birhtday was a few weeks ago. Birthdays aren’t a big deal for me, for the most part I would rather not have them acknowledged. Without thinking about it, I volunteered myself to rip out my parents bathroom floor on my Birthday. No big deal, It should only take a few hours and it will keep my sister off my back about how I “never do anything for Mom and Dad”…which of course is exactly why I left L.A. was so that I come sit in rural East Texas and DO NOTHING. I digress.
My morning started with a fussy, constipated baby, and a wayward dog covered in ticks. I have 3 phone conversations with my Mom before 10 am and not one Happy Birthday. I then get yelled at and slap HARD on the hand because I wasn’t quick enough for someone. If it hadn’t been my birthday I would have called the police. I don’t normally tolerate anyone being physically abusive with me. I just got in my car and left the situation.
I arrive at my parents house and start by taking their sink out and discovering that the plumbing isn’t even close to being correct and someone in the past has simply used silicone to connect the PVC pipe from the sink basin to the OLD cast iron pipe in the wall. There is MAJOR water damage and rot in the wall and under the cabinet because of this. Next I remove the toilet. Same story. Plumbing is all wrong and the subfloor around the toilet is saturated with waste water. We didn’t know it was leaking as there were 4 layers of linoleum on top of the subfloor keeping all the moisture out of sight and smell.
GROSS but fixable. I start taking up the subfloor…to find another layer of subfloor, and a LOT of rot. So I go deeper to ANOTHER LAYER OF SUBFLOOR. At that point I had to stop I’m finding major rot in the floor joist, or stringer it was hard to tell which way the floor was running at that point. While discussing repair options with Dad, as this was no longer going to be a quick job of pull up the old and laying down new subflooring, I started really looking at the plumbing for the toilet.
My parent’s house was built back in the mid 30s. It still has the original cast iron pipes through out the house. This includes the sewer pipes. The problem is the adding of each layer of subfloor distanced the toilet from the original sewer pipe. At some point someone…bless their little pointed heads…used what appeared to be 4 inch vent pipe to “connect” the cast iron sewer pipe to the toilet. It’s possible that at some point the joint between these two pieces was caulked or siliconed to make a water tight seal…but that was many many years ago. now it’s just one piece of pipe siting on top of another. Thus, every time the toilet is flushed a bit of water, with its additives, escaped into the multiple layers of subfloor…
That’s when I threw in the towel. Way beyond my physical abilities as the crawl space under the house is only about 18 inches…and I’m a big woman. I finally called in my cousins for help. My cousin J(who is adoptive Father to Brenna’s Biomom) was able to send his brother over with a crew of men to get the project completed.
I am very thankful to them. There was no way I was going to get it done by myself and my parents needed it fixed. We ended up sending my sister K, Brenna and my Dad to Florida for a week to see my Brother while they remodeled the bathroom. Dad REALLY did not like having to walk outside to use a port-a-potty!
So at the end of my Birthday I had received two “Happy Birthday” wishes(one from each parent) 2 phone calls from my amazing best friends Cassie & Laura and a very odd flat bread pizza thing from Subway. No cake, no candles, no gifts. I received a “Happy Birthday” text from my brother, and a voice mail from my other sister. We talked later in the week.
I really miss my friends. I’m not sure I have ever felt as mentally, emotionally or physically drained on a birthday before. I need a vacation to just get away from here. I’ve not had a true vacation in over 2 years. I want to sit in the shade on a beach somewhere with a breeze and someone nice to look at to bring me drinks. Some day!!