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Conquering The Hole

January 23, 2009
By KERRY HOFFMAN

If I've told Him once, I have told Him a thousand times, "Things go wrong when you leave me home alone."

This time was no different.

The water pipes froze and it was going to be up to me to fix the problem. He was going ice fishing with Joey and Russell.

Our new bathroom doesn't have a basement underneath. It does have a crawl space which was previously used as a catch all for all sorts of scary, decrepit stuff - old rubber boots that no longer have stretch, pieces of material that are no longer identifiable. Joey says there are pillowcases down there. What? God forbid someone actually napped down there. It would have been a good place to hide for such tricks, but that totally grosses me out.

I've looked into the opening and shuddered. I mean, who knows what all lives in that space.

Crawling into it is the last thing on my things-I-have-to-do-before-I-die list. Cobwebs, hibernating spiders, centipedes and maybe even a rat could appear out of nowhere.

I was going to try everything before I had to try that last thing.

Only two minor holes in the basement wall, where the heating and water pipes go into the bathroom, allow warm basement air to enter the creepy crawl space.

Our basement is warm; the corn burner heats 24 hours a day. I jacked up the corn burner heating temperature, closed all unnecessary doors and waited.

And waited and waited.

I removed the small door on the outside of the house and peered into the void for several minutes. I really, really didn't want to go in - spiders, cobwebs, mice. (I caught myself grimacing as I typed that - how silly I am.)

I took a deep breath and took the plunge. OK, this body doesn't really plunge through a small, square opening. It was more of a struggle. Once in, I was a bit relieved to find cardboard covering the dirt floor.

My stocking cap, which served for protection more than warmth for me, kept popping off my head. It's new, and didn't want to stay on my head. I had to continually pull it back down over my hair. I absolutely did not want cobwebs in my hair!

After inspection, I determined that I needed to use a space heater to warm the crawl space. I grabbed the heater from my office, an extension cord from the hallway, and lastly, the fire extinguisher from the basement.

Fire; another phobia of mine. Right after spiders, cobwebs and mice.

I wasn't going to sit in the hole to wait for the pipes to thaw - hence, the extinguisher.

It took another half hour or so for the water to start running from the faucet. It started as a drip, drip, drip... I have never been so happy to hear "drip, drip, drip."

After, crawling in and out of the creepy crawl space, one skinned knuckle and six hours later, I am awfully darn proud of myself.

I somewhat conquered the hole and all the things that "live" down there. I was able to, once again, repair a dysfunction in the house all on my own, while He was having a blast ice fishing with Joey and Russell.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at kahoffman@newulmtel.net.

 
 

 

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