The Bad, the Good, and the Really Good 7/2/15


Ted and I woke up earlier than usual Wednesday morning.  Maddie had been restless all night, and Ted took her and Bear out for a walk well before the sun came up.  While they were gone, I brewed some coffee and went out on the deck.  The moon was full, and the couple of shots I took about 20 minutes apart showed our world as it was that morning – quiet, peaceful and beautiful.



Ted came back with the pups, joined me on the deck with his coffee, and we chatted for a while about what we had going on the rest of the day . . . mainly our warranty people were coming in again around 9:00 to finish touch-up work on the ceiling at the top of our staircase.

The morning proceeded as planned.  The warranty team came (two guys that do an amazing job with anything they touch), set up that “high-wire” board again across our stairwell and began their work.

And then. . . . . . (insert sound of thunderous noise, shouts of dismay, cries of “Oh no! Oh no!”)

I was in the bedroom, and my immediate thought was one of the men had fallen off the board and down the staircase.  I went flying into the kitchen and stopped abruptly when I saw what appeared to be a torrent of water coming from the ceiling over the stairwell and shooting full blast into our family room.  It just didn’t compute for a moment.  And then someone yelled, “The hot gun got too close to the sprinkler head and set it off!”

The next 20 minutes was a chaotic jumble.  The guy (who somehow didn’t fall off that board when the sprinkler head went off) climbed BACK ON THE BOARD – even though it was soaking wet and slippery – and tried to divert the water away from the family room and down the stairs.  He stood there under that torrent a good 6-8 minutes until we located the turn off for the sprinkler system.

When it was over, both our recliners were soaked, and the couch, coffee table, dining room table, fireplace, bookshelves and end tables were wet.  The area rug in the family room was soaked, and the dining room area rug was damp.  The fact that he jumped up and diverted the water as long as he did saved our furniture.

Downstairs all that water soaked the carpet on the stairs, then ran under the downstairs tile and into the first floor bedroom closet and on into the bedroom, soaking all that carpet.

With the water off, Ted and I, the two warranty workers, and the construction site supervisor (who immediately came over) went to work.  We used every towel in the house to soak up the water upstairs, rolled up area rugs, dried off tables and bookshelves and the fireplace.  The warranty guys torn up the carpet on the stairs, cut a hole in the back of our downstairs bedroom closet to get to the water soaking that bedroom carpet, moved furniture out of rooms, and stuff from under beds.  A shop vac was brought in to vacuum more water upstairs.

Family room carpet rolled up - ready to go outside.

Soaked amily room carpet rolled up – ready to go outside.  The couch was splashed, but not soaked.

Because water was soaking the carpet in the downstairs bedroom, we had to pull everything out from under the bed and move the bed away from the wall.

Because water was soaking the carpet in the downstairs bedroom, we had to pull everything out from under the bed and move the bed away from the wall.

The closet carpet was soaked.  There's now a huge hole in that back wall so they could soak water up that was coming in from the foyer.

The closet carpet was soaked. There’s now a huge hole in that back wall so they could soak water up that was coming in under the tile from the foyer.

The flex room also was used for furniture and other things that had to be moved.

The flex room also was used for furniture and other things that had to be moved.

Carpet being taken up from downstairs bedroom.

Carpet being torn up from downstairs bedroom . . .

. . . and from the stairway.

. . . and from the stairway.

Upstairs, things had to be moved and surfaces dried.

Upstairs, things had to be moved and surfaces dried.

A couple of hours later a restoration crew our builder had called arrived on the scene.  They took measurements and scans and readings of everything, then set up about 15 of those fans that sound like jet engines and said, “It will take 3-4 days to dry out, and nothing can be fixed until it is bone dry.”

Ted and I used a lot of sign language to be heard over all this!

Ted and I used a lot of sign language to be heard over all this!


The restoration team came back this afternoon and took all their readings again.  They declared the house BONE DRY and praised everyone for getting the water up so quickly.  The fans are gone, and upstairs we have returned to normal, except our area rugs are out being professionally cleaned.

On Monday the warranty team will come back to complete their work and fix what little was damaged by the water (mostly painting that same stairwell).  Hopefully the carpet will go in next week also. We leave for Michigan in a little over three weeks, so it all definitely has to be done by then.


We are so happy no one was hurt yesterday.  The young man who set off the sprinkler system could have easily fallen down two flights of stairs – either when the water came on or when he jumped back up on that ledge to try and divert the water.

Our warranty team and our builders have been on top of the whole situation practically from the moment it happened.  They are working diligently to make sure everything is repaired and replaced to our satisfaction, as quickly as possible. They even offered to replace all our towels . . . now THAT was tempting.  In my mind I was thinking, “blank check to Bed, Bath, and Beyond”!

So – a morning that started off with a peaceful cup of coffee on the deck changed in an instant to complete chaos, dismay, and thinking it would be weeks before we had things back to normal.  I have to admit I sat down in the middle of the floor and had a good cry somewhere during the morning, and I think I was actually in shock for a little while.  But – it is turning out much better than we could have possibly imagined.

The Horton house is quiet once again tonight.  And we will rest better tonight and every other night, knowing – beyond a shadow of a doubt – our sprinkler system works very well!

Have a great 4th of July, stay safe, and I’ll see you back here on Sunday – good Lord willing.

God bless.


13 thoughts on “The Bad, the Good, and the Really Good 7/2/15

  1. Oh my! How terrible! And just when you are settled in your beautiful new home. But, as you said, there was lots of good along with the bad. I hope that someday this will be a story that you can tell and laugh about. It is a blessing that you have such a positive attitude and look for the good in all things. We should all be that way!


    • I had my “not so positive” moments yesterday, Debra. But it’s just stuff, and stuff can be replaced. Aggravating, yes. Worth losing sleep over, no. 😉



  2. Oh Brenda, I am so sorry to read about this disaster, I realize it is just (as you said) “stuff” but you and Ted put your heart into your new home. It had to be painful on Wednesday, I can not imagine! I admire you both that now you are able to come out of this with a positive attude, like you say Thank God no one was hurt.
    Miss you, enjoy your time on the Island🎉


  3. Brenda, I might have joked with you about the situation but I truly am sorry you had to go through all that. 😦 But like Debra said, your attitude about the whole thing is amazing. (I would have cried a lot longer 🙂 ) On the other hand, island time is getting a lot closer. Woohoo. Now it’s time to finish my coffee, and head out for a five hour drive south. We’re going to a 4th of July wedding! 🙂


  4. Oh, my what a saga! Glad it worked out so well thanks to everyones’ quick actions! Love reading about your adventures. Still thinking about that alligator in the canal!
    Linda and Spirit
    Surfside Estates and Pittsburgh


  5. Thanks, Linda!! How’s that sweet Spirit doing? Consider yourself lucky to be back up north! We will follow you in about three weeks. Hugs!


  6. Wow, what a nightmare! Is that code down there to have sprinklers inside the house? I’ve seen them a lot in public places, but never in a private house.

    Are you going to Mackinac in 3 wks? I thought you guys were going in August and September. Good luck with the cleanup!


    • Hi Dave! Going to Black Lake outside Cheboygan for three weeks at friends’ cabin before we go to Mackinac the middle of August for six weeks.
      The four houses at the end of our street were required to have sprinkler systems because there’s no turnaround for a fire truck. We didn’t have to pay for it – our builder did.



  7. So glad everyone was ok number one..
    So glad the stuff, is regarded as just that stuff.
    Hope things are back to normal sooner than later..
    Hugs and Prayers


  8. OMG! Sounds like something that would happen to me but so glad it came out OK in the end.
    Our trip to the island went by super fast as usual but had a great time. Now we are back home and back to reality.


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