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Old 08-18-2008, 12:06 PM   #1
Wayne and Carolyn Mathews
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Back from Alaska--Not a Nice Homecoming

Monday, August 18th: We returned from Alaska this morning at 2:30 am, not when we had planned to arrive, but our 7:00 am flight out of Sea-Tac was delayed 3 hours yesterday because lightning struck the south section of the airport, knocking out all electronic controls and bringing outbound and inbound flights to a standstill. When the flight finally got off, we were too late to get our connection from Salt Lake to Butte, Montana. So, we had a nine-hour wait in the airport until the next flight to Butte left . . . at 9:45 PM. It's still a 2 hour drive home from that airport; we finally got home about 2:00 am.

We noticed our guard lights were off, and sure enough, we had no power. Vigilante Electric, when working out our way, had cut the power lines while we were gone--apparently the second or third day we were gone, unfortunately, because we've been gone 9 days. When we opened the door, the smell of rotten meat, mold, mildew--you name it--greeted us. And, we had no power (which meant we also had no water from our well). We took a flashlight into the kitchen and discovered a pool of blood and rotten meat juices from the fridge and freezer spreading out into the kitchen over the hardwood floor, and, of course, seeping into the subflooring, too.

The power was fixed at 7:00 AM today, but the problems are far from over. When the line was cut, our phone line was fried. I had my computer unplugged, thankfully, but when I plugged it back in, it was dead anyway--I'm cursed, I think. It's at the computer repair place as I type, but the prognosis isn't good. It doesn't really matter at this point because my DSL line is fried, too. I've called the phone company, but it will be a few days before they can get to us. (Some days I really miss living in Austin.)

So, no internet/computer/phone (except cell phone) until I am back at work this week on Thursday. I'm using my daughter's computer in town at the moment--had to come in to bring my computer, which has all my lesson plans and other info on it. I was supposed to go back to work today, but instead, we're dealing with damaged flooring, a brand-new but stinky fridge and freezer, the phone company, the tile guy, AND with the Kinetico people. Tile guy? Kinetico? Oh, yes--did I mention that the day before we left, the water softener blew up, literally, so I now have 50 pounds of salt and other stuff all over the slate floor of the mud room and into the service closets there. The water also leaked into the bedroom closet and saturated the carpet on that wall. The tile guy is coming to assess the water/salt damage to the subflooring in that area.

I wanna go back to the ship!!! But no, I have to go back and wait for workmen at the house . . . our BRAND NEW house that we moved into just 3 weeks ago. In Montana, when you live 45 miles from any town, getting people out to fix things can take weeks, not days, so if someone says he'll try to get by soon, you can't afford to decide if soon means "quickly" or means "when I get to your area." For example, the lower oven of my new range won't stay closed, so "The Appliance Doctor" was assigned the warranty work on it. He called and said, "Well, I don't have any other calls out your way, so it will be a month or so before I get to you." I don't want to miss anyone who might show up, so I'm headed back to Horse Prairie.

Could anything else go wrong? Why, yes, it could. We'd gotten earnest money and a contract on my mother-in-law's house in Texas, but while we were gone, the buyers backed out and want their earnest money refunded. No reason--just got cold feet. Aargh!

By the way, the cruise was great. We've done it before, so this time we just took it easy and enjoyed the scenery and the people. Good thing we got a lot of rest . . .

Carolyn
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:31 PM   #2
D and M On The Road
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...*whew*... if it weren't for bad luck, you'd have no luck at all.
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:36 PM   #3
jackandh2o
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Wayne/Carolyn, I can't even think of any words to help console you.
What a nightmare. If, there is a bright side, it is all things that are replaceable. Please keep us posted on your saga.

I'm pretty confident when everything is repaired, you will be ready for the vacation you just had.

Ray
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:44 PM   #4
brenkco
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Wayne & Carol.
As if the trip home wasn't bad enough! Hope that all gets fixed soon!

Ken
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:44 PM   #5
Mrs. CountryGuy
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YIKES

Ditto what Ray said.

Whewie!

Total bummer.

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Old 08-18-2008, 01:33 PM   #6
Imp
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Your attitude is to be commended. I can't believe all that went wrong. Hang in there as the silver lining has to be somewhere....
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:56 PM   #7
HamRad
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Wayne and Carolyn,

I'm so sorry to hear of all your misfortunes. Hopefully you've gotten all that kind of stuff out of the way. From now on nothing but clear sailing!

Good luck.

HamRad
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:36 PM   #8
Bill-N-Donna
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Wow! What a story, my complaints are dwarfed in comparison to what you guys went through. Hope you get everything back to normal soon.

Good story to pass along to your grand-children and everyone else when you have campfire out camping sometime.

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Old 08-18-2008, 03:46 PM   #9
stiles watson
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I wouldn't wish that on my enemies. Hope you can normalize soon. You sound as if you have enough internal reserve to overcome.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:31 PM   #10
Waynem
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Carolyn,
Well, one thing for sure, your writing skills are excellent. Maybe you can write that book one day and laugh back at all of it. Whew! And I thought we had problems. Mine are so insignificant to what has happened at your new home. I do hope that you have good insurance and that everything is covered by insurance, or the electric company.

Now! Run on down to the electric company and pay that bill!!!

Edited: Decaying meat is the most repulsive smell in the world. Once you have had the unfortunate opportunity to sample that smell, you will never forget it.
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:06 PM   #11
Icehouse
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I just have one thing to say honey - you should have stayed up here with us!
Love ya!
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:36 PM   #12
VanMan
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Sorry to hear about all your troubles, but:

You stated, "We'd gotten earnest money and a contract on my mother-in-law's house in Texas, but while we were gone, the buyers backed out and want their earnest money refunded. No reason--just got cold feet. Aargh! "

That could really be a GOOD thing! They are NOT entitled to a refund of the ernest money because they backed out. The only way is if they didn't qualify for the loan for which they had applied. You can use that $$ to get a new water softener and sell her house again!!
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:49 PM   #13
Wayne and Carolyn Mathews
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Couldn't get worse? Ha, ha. I stopped by my classroom today but couldn't even get down the hall because . . . of the smell. The town sewers backed up after a heavy downpour last week and flooded the school basement with about 5" of sewage (I was gone and didn't know that). It gets worse. In the basement, along with several classrooms and the general eating area, was a fridge . . . with food in the freezer. . . specifically, my frozen turkey that was a school Santa gift in December. (We were living in our Monty and had no room for it there.) So, when the school basement flooded with sewage, the power went off. The temporary help that came in to clean up the mess didn't check the faculty fridge or the lunch storage fridge, which would have saved items in both. Instead, they unplugged both units, turned them on their backs, and shoved them into a dry corner. You guessed it. Phew!!!! I heard from a friend today that the big guys were looking for the owner of that turkey.

About the earnest money contract: The realtor says to get it back, we have to hire a lawyer, and we would end up spending a fortune to get the small amount of earnest money back. I always thought that an earnest money contract was set in stone, but in Texas, at least, it's not. When we sold our home in Austin in 2002, the buyer put up $30,000 earnest money. Literally at closing, he walked in and said he didn't want the house because he'd found another one he liked better. We did take him to court. When the dust settled, we recovered only $12,000 once everyone else took a piece of the pie. If the current broken contract would bring even that much, we'd fight it. Unfortunately, the buyers put up only $1000; of course, this house is small peanuts compared to what we sold in Austin. This one is old, unkept, needs repairs, and is in a bad neighborhood. We were glad to get the $1000 contract. But if we decide to fight over it, we stand to lose a lot more than that amount. Also, we'd have to get a lawyer in Texas to handle it, and we'd have to be in Texas for the court dates. We are STILL fuming over the earnest money screwing we got in 2002, so this new one is doubly aggravating.

I didn't do it! You didn't see me do it! Don't blame me!

Carolyn




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Old 08-19-2008, 05:09 PM   #14
Waynem
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Please provide us a list of CG's you will be staying at for the next year! 2008 does not seem to be a good one for you, and although I would love to meet y'all, i'm concerned that my bad luck would two-fold. JUST KIDDING!
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:16 AM   #15
Wayne and Carolyn Mathews
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Waynem, don't let our luck deter you from the 7 Feathers rally next June, although you might want to get as far away from us as possible! Seriously, surely our luck has to change at some point.

I'm still on borrowed computers and internet connections, but I am ordering a new computer today, and the phone company has promised to get our DSL fixed "soon." In Mexico, the phrase is "manana." In Montana, it's "soon." Same thing.


Carolyn
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:19 PM   #16
ole dude
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Well doggonnit all--some times it's, HOOKUM HORNS and some times it's hooked by the horn.
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Old 08-24-2008, 01:10 PM   #17
Wayne and Carolyn Mathews
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You have that right! I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings (the first day of school for the kids). I bet they are no more ready to end the summer than we teachers are. What happened? Where did it go? Oh, I forgot. I spent my summer moving, cleaning, moving, repairing things . . .

Well, maybe getting away from the turmoil going on at our house will be a good thing. At least at work, I am organized and ready to go! Wayne is getting away, too. The down side is that he has to continue working in the Texas heat to get his mother's house sold. The up side is that he'll get to go to two LONGHORN games in Austin before he returns. Hook 'Em!


Carolyn
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