Friday, September 17, 2010

Ten Easy Steps to Leaving Town for Vacation

Step 1: Diligently pack van the night before, and wake up on time for an early departure.

Step 2: Excited children announce the water is all over the floor in the family room. Discover that the hot water heater has decided to die.

Step 3: Call husband who is driving home from work to let him know the "good news" and listen to his near-hysterical cackle in response to the excitement. Turn off water to house. Have children assist in mopping up water and picking up wet items from all over the family room. Bonus: There are now at least two new loads of laundry to deal with before your trip!

Step 4: Husband arrives home. Dovetail efforts to A.) drain hot water heater, B.) keep cats out of the house (we do NOT want a stowaway cat left in the house while we are gone!), C.) finish packing, D.) answer the "how much longer?!" questions from every child under the age of 20, and E.) keep people gainfully occupied and burning off their pre-trip excitement.

Step 5: Husband and oldest son drive to fetch new hot water heater. They return in about an hour. Proceed to wrestle gargantuan 80 gallon dead hot water heater out of the house, and wrestle the new one in. Children are instructed to get some bricks from the back yard to achieve desired height for new hot water heater, but they are very slow because of their fear of the spiders living near the bricks. (sigh)

Step 6: Desired height of hot water heater achieved. Husband succeeds in hooking it up to the water, water to house turned on again. Let the filling begin!

Step 7: Complete filling almost achieved when a leak (a leak!!) is revealed. Resist desire to say bad words. Call Whirlpool to find out what next. Good news! They will replace the unit. Bad news: You have to drain the *new* unit, wrestle it back *out* of the house, return to store, get a new one, and start all over again. (the first time was only a drill! Second time is the real deal!)

Step 8: Get new unit and return home. Field constant questions from children like, "What time will we be leaving?!" Feed children at fast food restaurants since all the food on hand was eaten in preparation for being gone away for a week. Husband-wife pow-pow to discuss relative merits of leaving today (12 hour drive) and arriving in the middle of the night, vs. waiting until the next morning to leave. Husband and son install yet another hot water heater. Let the filling begin again!

Step 9: Oh-so-very-bravely decide to do one of those loads of laundry plus run the dishwasher and get to (finally!) flush the toilets, to get things going and see how the new system holds up. So far, so good.

Step 10: Husband declares himself fit to travel after this already strenuous day. Family departs at 3:15pm. Studly husband drives the entire way, arriving safely at destination around 3am. What a man!

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