Today’s random rant will be about the polar vortex and how it ravaged my kitchen in my absence (Texas).

This despite our having turned off the water and kept the heat on.

Now comes the part where the insurance company tries to tell us that they aren’t responsible, despite the many plumbers saying that we did everything “right” in preparing for an absence: shut off the water, kept heat on, etc. I have not had very good luck with insurance ever wanting to cover anything, despite having insurance and paying my premiums on time. I remember a space heater setting fire to a carpeted area and the insurance saying it was not covered and another time when flooding ruined some carpeting in my basement, and that, too, was deemed uncoverable. And it’s happening again, at the moment.

The insurance agent suggested that we could never leave our house, that we had to be in it to have our insurance cover this major league damage. Does that mean that, if you are here in town but go out for the evening and have a water main break, your insurance will not kick in? The two plumbers who have come and gone say that they had numerous calls this winter for broken pipes on interior walls of homes with people in them when it occurred. But nevermind.

Now come the delays: interminable “estimates” of what fixing the damage is going to take and waiting through weekends and holidays and waiting for the insurance adjustor people to respond. Snail-like progress.

It appears that a new sub floor is going to need to be put in. The people who removed some of the cabinetry want us to buy all new cabinets, even though the cabinets that currently are in place do not appear to have been harmed much or at all and the bottom parts would never match the top parts (and the Wood Mode cabinets were exorbitantly expensive when put in in 1993). One laborer, who had said he would intercede with the insurance company on our behalf, seemed quite put out that we don’t want to invest huge sums of money in all new cabinetry when the current cabinets appear to be largely okay. One went so far as to say, “They could collapse,” which seems highly improbable. There is talk of signing some sort of waiver that would protect from something like the recent collapse of the Davenport on Main building in Davenport, Iowa.

Currently, many of my removed cabinets are in my garage, as are several boxes of new wood boards that need to be laid to fix the “floating” floor, which floated into oblivion. (Apparently, the entire idea of a wood floor “floating” is passe. That floor had been laid 9 years ago.) I can’t put my car in the garage and, last night, a large black dog that apparently belongs to the neighbors on the corner got loose and was so vicious as our car entered our driveway that I was afraid to get out. (Sheesh!)

From May 13 until the end of May we had no water in our kitchen, and it was nearly impossible to open the door to the refrigerator because of the various cabinets that have been pulled hither and yon. Large fans (5 or 6 of them) ran around the clock to dry out the floorboards and the area under the sink where the pipes burst. You had to unzip a zipper on a plastic door to enter the kitchen. (We chose to go outside the house and enter through the deck door). The fans were noisy (difficult to hear TV over them) and a heater was employed for a while, which drove the temperature in the room up to 87 degrees. The fans were loud. My spouse told the workmen that I would not have had to run my “wind machine” at night, because the fans were that loud. That would be funny, but not if you’re living in the middle of it 24/7.

Meanwhile, I headed to Chicago to review “Relative” on May 22nd and, upon learning of the lack of water in our kitchen (and, for a day or so, in our bathrooms!) said, “No water, no me.” I remained in Chicago until this past Thursday, 2 days ago, an absence of 2 weeks. This seemed like the kind thing to do, since me whining about all this was not going to hurry things along.

So, here are some pictures of what was once my lovely kitchen, which I am quite sad to say has been ruined by the pipes breaking during the polar vortex. I hope we can speed up the process of replacing the old cabinetry and laying a new sub floor and a new wood floor, because there are various kitchen items all over my house, including the small couch that is now in my family room. If I can find pictures pre-flood, I’ll put some up. Otherwise, check back in a month or so to see if Humpty can be put back together again.

Wish us luck!