February 22, 2015 by Julia
You might think that frozen pipes bursting inside your living room ceiling shouldn’t be categorized under “Winter Fun!” …but I am here to tell you that if you stay positive and get just a tiny bit creative, you could be pleasantly surprised by the infinite possibilities that await.
Savor the natural shot of adrenaline. Last Tuesday afternoon, I thought that sledding on the steep neighborhood hill with the kids would provide my thrill of the day.
Oh, how little I understood back then, before “the incident!” Nothing could compare to the jolt I got upon our return home. My seven-year-old daughter Fiona declared that our house was flooding, which I believed to be a joke! Aha! Dear daughter, always making me laugh. But our front door was dripping, and I opened the door to find that our floor held an inch or two of water, because our ceiling was raining. Above our big-screen TV and electronics, it was closer to a waterfall.
To vocalize my sudden rush, I let loose with an “AHHHH!”
You can’t buy this kind of experience in stores. Well, maybe you can, if you have the right prescription. I only wish that I’d taken a moment to observe my physical reaction and jot down a few notes: the taste of that experience, what such an image did to my nervous system, the electricity coursing through my veins. I mean, it doesn’t get more poetic than a raining living room ceiling! So my advice if you ever encounter such a thing is to savor it. Also, I hear adrenaline unclogs your pores and possibly even shrinks them.
Introduce the kids to firemen. We’ve all taken our kids to events at fire stations, like, thousands of times. But how many kids can say they’ve had real live firemen in their very own home? My three-and-a-half year old son Jack directed them to our front door like a badass, which earns him bragging rights for the rest of his preschool career, which admittedly has stalled lately due to CONSTANT CANCELLATIONS including both days this week. And bonus: I cried in front of firemen! Finally, I can cross that one off my bucket list. (When I composed my bucket list, I really made an effort to cover the smorgasbord of human emotion and experience, in an attempt to live a whole life, as well as eat whole foods.)
Make ice sculptures with everyday objects, such as bath towels. Don’t let those soaked bath towels go to waste – it’s freezing outside, why not get creative with it, for once? Throw those babies outside and give them a good hour or two. In our case, we let them set overnight. You can imagine my delight when I went out to collect our belongings from the front yard the next day, and found that the haphazard piles of soaked board games, mittens and shoes had congealed to all of the towels and throw blankets from our house and now resembled crappy modern art! Twisted, writhing, rock hard, with a Polly Pocket shoe attached or an odd broken coat hanger – these weren’t your average towels. No, sir. (Please note that after such creative bursts, towels must thaw in the bathtub before they will fit into your washer.)
Throw away your television! I believe there is a Red Hot Chili Peppers song with this title – which, despite being a fan, I always hated them for. Until now. It’s time to get back to the simple life. No need to panic. You know you’ve always wanted to do this anyway, and a waterfall over your big-screen TV is the sign from God that you knew would come eventually. Your kids might throw a little fit, but in twenty years they will bow down and thank you because they’re brilliant and emotionally fulfilled and financially secure, all due to their lack of TV and increased quality family time. Wait, our board games are still drying out? Aw, fuck it. DVDs on the laptop it is.
Pretend the insulation behind your ripped-out drywall is cotton candy! Do not do this.
Feel young again when your plumber informs you that you should turn off your hose bib pipe before winter hits! Just when I start to feel like a true adult, something in my car or house breaks, and I get to feel like an impostor all over again. What is a little humiliation, though, if you get to dip your toes in the fountain of youth? I have never before heard of “hose bibs,” and that means I’m just a kid trying to make it in this here life. Can someone explain to me please what deductible means, again?
Play “find the loose nails” on your ripped-up floor!
Create a maze to the front door with piles of your crap!
Listen to the the industrial fans drying everything out in your living room. No, really listen to them. You can’t hear anything or anyone else, anyway. Sounds like…wind in pine trees on a remote mountain. Or willows in a romantic lagoon. You don’t hear that? Try using your freaking imagination, you soul-less imbecile! Just kidding. Please try a little bit harder to stay positive, though. Please. Please. Oh gosh.