Live and Learn

sooty handA year ago to the day, I wrote a poignant post entitled “Old Doors“.  I suggest you read that first before reading this one as it will add a lot of context to what I write about today.

Done?  Okay, let’s move on…

A week ago, we awakened to the realization that there was no heat in the house.  Having a boiler system, and in floor heating throughout our main floor, my husband quickly checked our boiler and deduced it needed a bit more work than he was capable of fixing.  So we called our plumber who sent a young apprentice to do the job, which involved cleaning out the boiler.  All was going well until this young man started using a compressor to blow out all the years of “goop” that the boiler had accumulated.  Our boiler room is small and is located just below our kitchen nook in what we kindly refer to as “The Pit”.  There’s no ventilation per se, and soon what was blowing out of that pit was all the goop our boiler once contained.  Unfortunately, from there it spread like a sooty cloud throughout the house, settling on the inside and outside of every surface, linen, nik-nak…you name it, it was covered!

After the plumber got the boiler working and then left, my husband, bless his heart, said cheerily to me that the house merely required a “wipe down” and he went off to work leaving me with the clean up.  I took one look at the gargantuan task before me and immediately had a melt down of seismic proportions.  When my hand came away black, just in touching my kitchen counters, I knew that Super Woman herself would not be able to tackle this mess without considerable help.  The cleaning service I called agreed with me saying, they would consider it like a “fire restoration” project that would require EVERY nook and cranny be cleaned and the air “scraped” to get rid of the soot particulates that were contaminating my home.  He didn’t give me a cost for this clean up but suggested I contact our insurance company pronto.

Okay, jump ahead to today.  My husband and I were told by our insurance company that it was probably not a good thing to live in our home, breathing in that sooty air, so we’ve been living in a hotel only five minutes from our house for the past week.  Our meals, hotel and cleaning expenses are all being covered, and for that we are incredibly thankful. My entire home, from top to bottom, is being thoroughly cleaned like it’s never in the 24 years of living there EVER been cleaned before!

I told the team today, when we went to check on how things were progressing, that I will have a hard time living up to this standard of cleaning my home in the future!  They laughed, but I was serious!  They were in the process of shampooing all rugs and upholstery today.  Yesterday all my bedding was carted away to be dry-cleaned, as well as all throw pillows, quilts, doilies, linens and curtains.  All walls, floors and ceilings were in the process of being wiped down.  The air was being “scraped” by two large machines that trap and filter the air.  My daughter’s collector porcelain dolls were being cleaned by hand off site.  All our other “stuff” had been cleaned to rid our home of the black soot that danced about our house in wild abandon when our plumber fixed one problem but without realizing it, created a bigger, more devastating one.

And so, I am sitting here in this hotel room, tapping out this post, not knowing when I can return to my home, and wondering how I should respond to this little “glitch” in my life circumstances.


To be sure, I think about how we have been inconvenienced by this, but if we focus on that, we will be complaining and whining about something that is really out of our control.  There is really no point in dwelling on the inconvenience of this.  “Go with the flow”, is one of my husband’s favourite expressions and that’s what we’re doing.


Thank goodness for insurance companies, ours and our plumber’s.  It’s a costly “live and learn” lesson for that young apprentice, and the plumbing company he works for. I am hopeful that lessons have been learned and steps will be taken so a soot-containment-field will be in place the next time a boiler is cleaned out.  Not sure what that might entail but I’m sure our plumber is already working on it.


You know the quip, “It could have been worse”?  Well, it could have been worse!  I don’t like to think about it much because it’s already tough to sleep here at this hotel without letting my mind run away with those “what if” scenarios running around in my head.  I am concentrating on being thankful, especially for those who are working so hard to get our house back in order and the air safe to breathe again.

Lastly, I am praising God, that no matter what my circumstances, He comforts me with His Word and calms my anxious heart.

…and today, as I was skimming through some Scripture verses this one just jumped off the page at me:

“My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”  Isaiah 32:18

One needs to read the entire chapter for the context here, but how precious is God’s Words of comfort to me today!



This entry was posted in Proverbs 16:9 - Journey Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Live and Learn

  1. Pingback: Cleaning Lessons | Lynn Dove's Journey Thoughts

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