01 January 2014

Before the Dawn

Photo from freeimages.co.uk
First I'd like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and generally fantastic 2014!

Now on to the less pleasant side of life...

For those of you who know me or have been following my posts, you know we've been trying to sell our house. Well, we did it. On 20 December, with much happiness, we accepted an offer. On 21 December, Toronto was hit by an ice storm. And then we were hit by official incompetence and apathy. I won't get into details but I will say that if proper and sensible measures had been taken by those in charge, a lot of suffering across the city would have been avoided.

After several days of freezing temperatures and no heat or power in our house, and despite the SO's valiant efforts, the inevitable happened. A water pipe on the top floor of our house burst. The SO had checked on things at midnight and did what he could to warm things up. We stayed at his dad's place, since he at least had heat. When the SO returned to the house at 6 am he found our house had been destroyed.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. The cats, the SO, and I are healthy, safe, and coping. But two floors of our century home need to be completely gutted, which leaves me gutted emotionally. The top floor will also need repairs. Miraculously, damage to our belongings could have been much worse. The bookcases took the brunt of the water and nearly all the books remained dry. On the other hand, the piano my now-deceased father gave me when I was eight was right under the main gush of spewing water and most likely can't be saved. It's just stuff, but some stuff means more than others.

The insurance company has been fantastic--moving lightning fast and being so supportive. Workers were in there almost immediately drying things out and beginning demolition. They're packing and storing what wasn't affected and doing their best to salvage whatever can be saved/refinished/restored. They've also put us up in a nearby condo, so we have a place to call home in our own neighbourhood while repairs proceed. I'd also like to add that if your insurance company offers you the option of paying a little more yearly in order to restore a historic house to historic standards should something devastating happen, take it! I'm so glad we did. The original details might be gone but something just as good (or as close as possible) will be returned to us. That will make all the difference.

Our sale is now up in the air. The buyers are debating whether to cancel the whole deal or to take advantage of the mess and have the house renovated to their liking. If they cancel we'll just have to try again as soon as the house is ready. If they decide to go ahead with the sale then we need to figure out where we're going to go (the deal closes 24 January). Unfortunately, when this happened my excitement at going to Nova Scotia evaporated in a haze of panic. The thought of something like this happening while I'm alone in an unfamiliar place (the SO would be staying behind to work and tie up loose ends) horrifies me. Yet my dream of living by the ocean hasn't died. Clearly we still have a lot to figure out.

Right now life is about staying positive and hopeful while looking forward to the future, which really isn't a bad way to start off a new year.