The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
Moving in.

Moving out of our old house was smooth and relatively stress free. I spent the majority of the morning with the girls up at the shopping centre having coffee and the rest of the morning at the library choosing books with the girls while Ron helped the guys move all our furniture and belongings into a container.

Moving in on the other hand was the most stressful event of my recent life. I honestly can’t think of another day like it. We were booked to move in on the Wednesday and on Monday they started predicting an extreme weather event in Sydney that week. Our removal company told us that they were planning to go ahead with the move, rain be damned and so I borrowed as many old towels as I could from my mother-in-law and prepared for the worst.

What we got was worse than any worst-case-scenario in my mind. We had pushed back the move in order to push back the carpet fitting in order to give the skirtings one more night to dry after the painters ran over. Standard issues when renovating I am lead to believe. So the carpets were going in that morning and the rain was coming down. But by 11am when the carpet guy was finishing up, the rain got heavier and heavier and heavier.

The girls were still at the house playing while Ron and his Dad tried to set up a system of tarpaulins outside the front door in a desperate attempt to stop our stuff from getting wet when the removals guys brought it in. They were due at the house at lunchtime. This was when Amy came upstairs to tell us that there was a puddle downstairs in the rumpus room.

At the same time we realised the back shed was flooded and this was where we had been planning on storing a lot of the stuff that had been living in the garage room at our old house. The amount of water coming down from the sky was completely unbelievable and it was at this point that we started to think there was no way ever we would be moving into our new house that day. Ron’s dad took the girls back to their house and we waited for our removal guys to turn up.

When they parked the truck on the street it was raining so heavily that we actually couldn’t see the truck from the front doorstep. By this point it was clear that the storm-water drain under the deck was blocked because the water was about a foot deep and all the gutters that lead to the drain were overflowing. Water was spilling out everywhere, flowing off our neighbour’s carport and pouring down our driveway. The leak downstairs was actually groundwater seeping through the bottom layer of bricks in the wall. Its an exposed brick wall with a tile floor and a drain in the corner, thank goodness for small mercies, if you are going to have a leak in any room, that is the kind of room you want it in!

The lovely owner of the removal company was standing on the front doorstep with us as we tried to talk over the sound of the thunderous rain. He told us his company had only cancelled four jobs in over 16 years due to extreme weather but to our relief he said there was no way we could go ahead with the move today. Thank goodness we had paid for a professional company and all our stuff was neatly packed into two containers that could be turned around and driven straight back to their warehouse.

The move was cancelled. The trucks went back, Ron and I called our plumber and mopped up the water in the rumpus room. I went round the corner to our neighbours across the fence, my dear friend comforted me with cups of tea and hugs and words of support and somehow that dreadful day slowly drew to a close.

Our magical plumber took a good look around and made some immediate suggestions, Ron dug a drainage ditch along the far side of the house and a lot of ground water started to drain away quite quickly. He also said he would be back on the weekend with a mate and a jet blaster to clear the storm water drains. He was endlessly reassuring and said that all the issues were fixable which went a long way to relieving my fears. However that said there was still water leaking out of the bottom of the wall downstairs and we had to leave the house and go back to Ron’s parents place for the night with the rain still pouring down, wondering what we were going to go back and find the following morning.

It was a sleepless night. The good news was that the puddle of water was no more than it had been the day before and having a few extra days before we moved back in helped us work on the electrics and the cleaning and the plumbing problems. Ron’s parents were amazing and welcomed us back for an extra week without blinking. The girls were disappointed but endlessly adaptable, its been such a lesson for me this year, how remarkably resilient children can be when faced with huge changes!

When the following Tuesday came around the paint was dry, the carpets were hoovered, the new ceiling fans installed and the bathroom heat lamps and extractor fan all connected. The electrician had replaced the old electrics box with a new board and fuses and the drains were cleared and working. The puddle downstairs had dried up and we were ready to go!

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