For all of you reading this from Toronto, you know we’ve had incessant rain. I think we had 3 days of sun in April and May isn’t shaping up much better. Other places suffer worse than here: Manitoba, the Maritimes, the entire Mississippi River Valley…So much rain has fallen that my neighbour a few doors down appears to have a suspicious amount of lumber in his backyard – surely for an ark – but not sure if it’s due to the rain or the coming of Judgment Day…However, I was just out and there is a strange unfamiliar light in the sky. Again, is it just the return of the sun or something more sinister? I’m going with SUN.
Just in the nick of time too, because I fear my little casa could not take much more moisture. Every time a cloud crosses paths with the sun, I cringe. I have a fan running at my feet to drown out the sound of the drips.
Our little semi-detached house, although cute as a button, has issues. I’ve never lived in a house that hasn’t had issues and I’m about willing to give it a try, frankly. I’m not one who deals with disasters well so why I’ve never gravitated towards a brand-new, shiny house in a brand-new shiny subdivision with brand new everything is beyond me.
Almost two weeks ago, I smelled something hinky in my daughter’s room. She’s a soccer player so at first I figured it was the usual: something unwashed from her soccer bag. Yet after laundry day, the smell remained. A week and a bit ago, I looked up at the ceiling over her window and saw a dark stain. I knew the eavestrough outside her window had a peculiar kink in it. I knew this because whenever it rained, it sounded like the house was under Niagara Falls. Water would cascade down from the useless eavestrough and onto the sidewalk below. Now I guessed the water was tired of going that way and was trying a new route.
I called several eavestrough repair companies. One guy promptly responded and a couple of days later stood in front of my house, a $1,500 estimate in his hand. I screamed and ran inside. The next day, another company arrived and said it would cost me $80 to re-nail the eavestroughs and clean all of them. Sounded better than $1,500; he assured me we had no critter holes and our roof was just fine. Not 24 hours later, during yet another downpour, the heavens opened inside. Water streamed from the ceiling, down the wall. It pooled atop the window trim and ran in brown rivulets down the blinds (hmmm…guess they needed dusting). Paint hung in ribbons from the ceiling.
I called the $80 guys. They didn’t call back. Providentially, one of the other companies I had contacted showed up at my front door that afternoon. “We were in the neighbourhood,” he said. I grabbed him and dragged him down the alley and pointed up. While he and his crew struggled with their enormous ladder, I sang my sad song. Once up there, the first thing he said was, “Well, you’ve got a squirrel hole up here.” Really. He went further up the ladder and onto the flat roof. “Ma’am, the water is pooling up here. Whoever did your roof didn’t flash it properly.” He told me to back up and swept about a gallon of water down into the alley.
Were the $80 guys vision-impaired? It doesn’t matter. It won’t stop raining so I can’t do a thing. With every raindrop, I hear the clink of change going down the toilet. We’ve rearranged my daughter’s room so now if the ceiling gives way, it will miss her head although she might end up with a squirrel or two in her bed. We wait as my house weeps softly, gently. Sometimes it sobs- in loud wails that can be heard up and down the street. Oh wait. That’s me.