Having spent the day thoroughly thrashing the bunny hill we were happy to call it quits around 5 pm and head for home. The drive was pleasant. It was warm in the van (outside it had warmed up to 11), the conversation was animated as the kids rehashed every run and fall and planned the festivities for the next two days. I was exhausted, happy, and looking forward to a nice hot shower and bed. The only thing that would have made it better is if the dreamed of hot tub was actually installed on the back deck (also existing only in dreamland). A nice hot soak would be heaven.
We got home at 7:15. I ran in to get the fire started while C and the kids gathered bits from the van. When I opened the door I heard water running, like someone had left the shower on full blast. The distinct smell of wet plaster and wallpaper hit me like a brick. I rushed through the house looking for the source and was greeted by a giant hole in the living room ceiling, water pouring down over everything. I stood there in shock for a few moments, watching it rain in the room we had just finished. C and the kids came in and jarred me out of my stupor. Turn the water off my brain screamed, and my body finally responded. The basement was filled with about 6 inches water (apparently the sump pump failed too)which I had to wade through to get to the main shut off. At that point I felt like sinking down into the muddy cold water and just crying. Instead I trudged back upstairs to assess the damage.
It seems that one of the water lines in to the upstairs bathroom had frozen the night before and thawed while we were gone. When we put in the upstairs bathroom I ran a 1 inch feeder line so we would have plenty of water pressure up there. When the pipe thawed it blew a hole through the wall of J's bedroom and sprayed water across her room and into the newly created closet (which just happens to be above the living room.) Water then ran through the old floorboards, spreading out over the plaster ceiling below. Eventually the plaster collapsed. The living room was soaked, so was the laundry room (situated directly below J's bedroom) and the downstairs bathroom.
Our lovely living room
We tucked the kids into our bed, called the insurance company to start the claim process, and started mucking out. By 1 AM we had shifted the bulk of the plaster off things and out the door, hauled out the rugs from the living room and bedroom, vacuumed up as much water as we could, installed high powered heater-fans in the bedroom and living room (sometimes having a 24 hour super Walmart is a good thing), and dried off the kids school computers and books. At that point we collapsed from exhaustion.