Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Scare of the Year...

A few days ago we discovered a problem in our house – a bad smell. I kept randomly checking our bathroom to see if the toilet was flushed because I smelled such an offensive odor. In addition to this every time the toilet was flushed the tub drain made unique noises. This all culminated on Monday night as we prepared for bed. He thought it was me and I thought it was him but it was that anonymous smell again. It became so bad in our bedroom that we didn’t quite dare to go to sleep because of the fumes. So at 12:00 am we needed a solution so we could get sleep. Our plan was to close both bathroom doors, open the bathroom window and put some water in the tub drain so (foul smelling air) could come back up the pipe. This seemed to work and we finally fell asleep.
Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon. My husband called our water guy and they decided that probably the problem was that the air pipe (not sure what’s it’s called) on the roof was frozen inside. This had happened once before when we first moved here. The solution would be to go up on the roof with a bucket of hot water and pour it down the pipe to unfreeze the water that had gotten into it.
Now my husband (the Mr. Fixit man that he is) had his dress pants and shirt on and I implored him to put on  junky pants because it was raining outside and he wouldn’t want to risk ripping his pants on something. After several pleadings he gave in and changed his pants. He then put on his old, thick brown coat, filled a bucket with hot water which he brought out to the deck, put on his CROCS (of all things) and grabbed our 12ft ladder. He put the ladder on the pool deck and leaned it against the roof. After everything was in place he called to me to hold the ladder so he could get up on the roof. Since the deck was wet I held the bottom for all that I was worth.
He proceeded up the ladder, across the roof and over to the pipe with his big bucket of hot water. After a moment or two he came back with the empty bucket, hanging it off the side of the roof and asked me to fill it up again with very hot water. I did this and handed it back up to him. Once again he walked across the roof to the pipe and poured the water in. He came back to the ladder telling me that it just wasn’t working…he could still see that it was frozen in the pipe. As he was telling me this I started walking toward the door thinking he wanted another bucket of water. He on the other hand had said to hold the ladder.
Yes the rest is history. He stepped on the ladder and instantly it slid across the deck and he was hanging onto the gutter while tangling in the ladder and as I turned around all I could see was ladder and man crashing to the ground. I thought between his yell, my screams and the sound of the ladder against the deck the whole neighborhood would have come running. It was so scary to see it all happen and not be able to do anything but watch as he crumpled onto the deck.
I got the ladder away and got him into a chair and then into the house. We started looking for injuries as he had a lot of pain on his back by his ribs. Thankfully, he could take really deep breaths so we figured no broken ribs but he had an ugly scrape and bruise coming on his back. After more looking we found more scrapes and bruises but thankfully no broken bones.
We both just sat in shock and thankfulness as to the goodness of the Lord in not allowing anything serious to happen. So many thoughts instantly went through my mind in those few seconds. What if he went off the side of the pool deck and hit the stairs?? What if his leg(s) became tangled in the ladder rungs? What if he had broken ribs or his arm which he landed on?? These thoughts and more went through our minds gave us much reason to be thankful.
Today he’s limping around a little,feeling sore and has an ugly sore and bruise on his back but other than that and his ripped shirt (which ripped through his heavy coat) he is doing quite well.
And the lesson?? Always make sure someone is actually holding the ladder before you go down especially when it is standing on a wet wooden deck.


  1. Oh, Donna! That could have been so much worse. Yes, so much to be thankful for, but, like you, I can't but replay the 'what ifs' in my mind... does no good.
    Praising God for 'just' bruises and aches and pains.
    Oh, and did you get the smell sorted?? That is now the burning question!

    1. PS To all who are wondering the "smell" came from the air vent pipe that went through the attic which broke off the bracket and was sagging so it filled up with water preventing the sewer gasses from escaping and therefore they were coming back into the house. We did have someone fix it.