My Welcome Home — by Coco Ihle

On June 13th, I set off on a river cruise to Russia, Estonia and Finland, and returned to Florida on July 4th. My homecoming, however, wasn’t quite what I had planned. After about thirty hours without sleep, I arrived home at approximately 3 AM to find that a pipe had broken behind the wall in my master bathroom. Water had flooded underneath the vanity cabinets into the adjacent carpeted linen closet and traveled through the wall into my foyer, soaking the oriental carpet in the entry to the front door and out into the vestibule. On inspection I noticed black mold and fuzz now covered the back wall of the cabinets, ringed the carpet in the closet and followed the path the water had taken out the front door. Draped over several objects, I found the oriental carpet drying in the garage. I knew immediately there would be no sleep for me anytime soon.

My neighbor across the street had checked on my house the day before I returned and she immediately shut off the water heater and main water valve to my house. She also cleared out the linen closet, not knowing that the leak originated next to the closet. A note citing her observations and actions awaited me on my kitchen counter since she began her own vacation early on the day I got home. Her note expressed her regrets at the problem I had before me and she left me flowers from her garden and fresh water for coffee in the morning. Bless her!

I spent the remainder of the night cleaning out and boxing up the contents of the bathroom cabinets. Of course, naturally, that morning was July 4th. Luckily, my neighbor had left her water on for me to use until my water was restored. Good thing, because my plumber wasn’t able to come until the 5th.  Can you picture me darting like an animated cartoon character across the street in the middle of the night in my nighty to use her bathroom?

Early on the 5th, the plumber came to restore my water and he spent the day trying to find where  the leak originated and to figure out how to fix the problem. When he left, I had water on the guest side of the house, but my master bathroom pipes would have to be rerouted. Today is the 10th and the job is finally completed.

My insurance claims man arrived today as well, and we’ll have to wait and see if and how much of this problem will be covered by my insurance. My brain is picturing mega bucks. Shudder!

I had planned to start writing about my trip in this blog post, but I hope you will tune in again next month, dear reader, when I’ve had time to recover from my harrowing homecoming. By then I will have looked through the myriad photos I took, brochures I gathered and wonderful memories I logged in my brain. I’ll bone up on my adjectives, too. Russia, Estonia and Finland were awesome!


Coco Ihle is the author of She Had to Know, published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC


Filed under life, musings, Travel, writing

15 responses to “My Welcome Home — by Coco Ihle

  1. Suzanne Baginskie

    Glad you made it home safe and had a great time. I had a similar incident several years ago when we left for vacation. My hubby went to New Orleans with men from work and I went with my friend, Beverly to Cancun. A small water pipe under the kitchen sink caused $10,000 worth of water damage. No one was watching the house, so it ran and ran. Hence, we never leave for a trip without turning off the water to the house. Live and learn. Can’t wait to hear about the wonderful trip.

    • Oh, no, Suzanne! Wow! So sorry to hear about your leak! Yes, we certainly live and learn. Say a prayer for me that the insurance company will help me out! Otherwise, I see a diet of beans and water in my future. 🙂

      • Suzanne Baginskie

        We had full coverage and most everything was covered. Except they wanted to dry the carpet and shampoo it. We wanted new and had to foot some of the bill. We also painted the place and it sort of made it like new. We sold the house to our son and we bought the place I live in now. Hope yours works out. I liked your post, it brought back memories for me, too.

  2. Coco, sorry you had such a traumatic homecoming, partly sorry for you, and partly for me. Now I have to wait an entire month to hear about your trip!! I knew you were going to Russia, but Finland and Estonia too? Wow!

    Will keep my fingers crossed that the insurance company comes through for you.

    • Thank you, Pat. Sorry about the wait. There were so many interesting things about my trip, it will be difficult to decide what to share first. Maybe my photos will help. I haven’t had a chance to see them yet.
      I’m crossing my fingers, too! Thanks for yours!

  3. I watched my apartment building burn on the news when I was out of town once. But I didn’t have to clean up that mess… And just this evening, I got bail raw sewage out of my downstairs. Life is messy. Especially when you own a house. Best of luck!

  4. How great to have such a fine neighbor!

    • How right you are, Karin!!! We’ve helped each other on several occasions! Believe me, I treasure her!!!
      I hope you are working on some wonderful creative project!

  5. I do see some blessings in all mess and work behind and in front of you. 1. Good neighbor and friend – you can’t go thru life without them. 2. The damage was repairable. 3. You can still smile. 4. You had a great trip so maybe that was worth all the trouble.
    We did a river cruise last year from Amsterdam – Budapest. Fell in love with some of the smaller towns and villages and all the history!!!! Next year we are going Copenhagen – ??? Forgot the details. Doesn’t matter. It will be fantastic where ever we are! Waiting for details and photos of your adventure.

  6. Hello, Coco! Having travelled abroad and been without sleep for 30+ hours, I shuddered and my heart sank when I read what you had to face in that weary condition! You’re a very brave soul and I’m glad you survived the shock. How lovely to have a good neighbor….let’s hope the Insurance Company will echo her kindness to you. I’m eager to hear all about your trip when you’ve gotten your second wind!

    • Ha, ha, Tess. Thank you for your comment. I’ll tell you, if it’s not one thing it’s another. But, it could have been worse. If I had been without air conditioning, that would have been unbearable. Yes, my neighbor is a gem. I am very grateful for her!
      I think I’m going to have some opposition from the insurance company, but I’ll do the best I can to get estimates and then see what happens.

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