It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn

Which is a nice enough phrase but leaves out some details.

Specifically, What time is it now? and What time is dawn?

Because I am guessing it’s close on midnight around here right now. Or possibly 3am on the Winter Solstice.

Either way dawn seems a long long way off at the moment.

The plan this morning was to empty out the spare shelves & move what furniture I could into the boys’ room to make it easier for DH & I to move what’s left & pull up the carpet tomorrow. I don’t care that it’s supposed to rain all weekend, there is no other time DH & I can both do this. The rolled up carpet can sit back there until it’s sunny. I’m over it. I want that carpet aired out.

And it would give me a chance to go through those toys & sort out the broken ones & the ones they have outgrown and get rid of all of them.

So at about 10am I went to work. One big bag of trash & one small bag of donateables later I had the two 6’ bookshelves empty & I had pushed the dresser into the boys’ room. I’d planned to stop at this point & wait until tomorrow for DH  & I to move the bookshelves & the futon together.

But as I said – I’m over it. It was supposed to rain yesterday & we had 10 seconds of sprinkles. It’s supposed to rain today & is sunny. I’m not waiting for DH. I set those bookshelves up myself, I can move them myself. The futon is awkward & heavy but I can & have moved that too by myself. I decided I’m clearing this room & pulling up the carpet myself. I’m beyond annoyed breathing in this funky musty pee smelling air & the physical labor would be good.

So I did.


I tipped the shelves over on their sides & slid them into the hallway, thus trapping myself in the back bedroom. I took the door off its hinges so I could pull up the carpet around it when I reached that point. I was going to rip up that half of the carpet, roll it up, move the futon over to that side & roll up the rest of it, then  slide one bookshelf back in the bedroom & slide the carpet roll into the hall, climb over it, drag it outside & then go back & repeat the process for the padding.

It took me awhile to work out the logistics. Fortunately I am good at those games where you have to move a marble from one side of the board to another through a maze of long & short blocks that have to be moved around to allow the marble to get anywhere.

I got as far as ‘pull the carpet up on that side’.

When I pulled it up I realized it was wet, well, dampishly wet. The padding was wet & the carpet tack boards were soaked & gross. The trim behind the bookshelves was so rotted that a pencil poked a hole in it.

The back atrium drains must have clogged during the heavy rain last weekend & flooded the bedroom (there are sliding glass doors in the rooms). This has happened a couple times in the past, but the last time I remember it happening was before we had kids.

But it has been ages since anyone cleaned out that atrium (anyone being me) and there was a bunch of random stuff that fell in back there when DH did some work on the roof a couple months ago. So no real surprise the drains clogged & no one to blame but myself I guess.

Then I remembered the carpet in front of Mayhem’s dresser felt damp yesterday when I was folding clothes.

Oh hell.

That room doesn’t usually get damp from heavy rain, but it does smell musty in there. I pulled up a small piece of their carpet & discovered the same situation just not quite as wet.

So I moved his dresser & pulled up that corner of the carpet. The carpet tack boards & trim are in better condition, just damp from recent water. Not long term dampness like the spare room.

So here we are now. Damp carpet pulled back & box fans running.

The spare room


and the boys room


On the bright side the carpets themselves are just damp. Not moldy or full of mildew. Also, the whole flooding thing was possibly why the pee smell lingers so badly. The boys’ room has no water damage anywhere, though probably the carpet tack strips could do with replacing. Not sure about the spare room. The damage to the trim worries me about the walls. And it means this flooding thing happens more often that we realized (we don’t use the room that much) So maybe carpet is not the best idea & neither is wood flooring. Maybe I need to put vinyl flooring down back there & some throw rugs. Orr maybe carpet squares, something that can be taken up easily & replaced as needed.

Someone wake me when it’s morning please.

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3 comments to It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn

  • Oh Stacey! You are really having a run of bad luck…it can’t last!
    Alison xx

  • –Horrible. Mr. L. and I have had this mess and flooding in our basement a few times. Doesn’t it make you utterly crabby? & I haaaate the smell. Damp. Pee. Soil. Ohhhhhh.
    Go have a nice glass of wine and some chocolate :)

  • SFD

    We got a couple of small leaky cracks fixed in our basement two or three years ago.

    I still have my stomach in knots every time it rains.