The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 10, 2014

LEVINE: Feeling a bit waterlogged

By Scott Levine
Associate Editor

CLINTON — I only had one major concern Tuesday morning — exercising.

A few years back I wrote about how I was getting back into working out and eating healthier and that lasted a decent amount of time. However, with a new baby and a 3-year-old running around the house, I just don’t have much energy to devote time to being healthier.

However, my wife has been putting on the full-court press, saying it would be good for our children to see their parents exercising and eating healthier.

It’s difficult to argue with that.

So when I walked into my house during my lunch hour Tuesday, my grumbling was loud enough that I didn’t hear the odd sound of running water.

“Hmm, maybe someone left the tub on upstairs,” I wondered aloud, before realizing the running water sounded too close to be coming from upstairs.

When I walked into the entryway, I saw something a little different than normal — water gushing from the ceilings. Then, when I looked down at the floor, I was standing in water, an unusual occurrence even for the oddest of days.

Either my wife had caved and bought my daughter that indoor water resort or a pipe had burst.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, I won’t be lacing up swimming trunks each night after work.

We joined the many people around the Midwest who are experiencing the same sort of hopelessness with a busted pipe.

As I surveyed the damage during my lunch hour, I thought maybe we had lucked out and all the water pooled in just the entryway. Then I entered my son’s nursery, and after getting a little shock from turning on the light to his room (don’t ask me why I turned on a light while standing in water), I realized this could be a bit painful.

And since we’re dealing with water and it goes pretty much anyplace you don’t want it, I soon stumbled upon our finished basement, where I stood in water that was about an inch and half above the ground.

This is why I shouldn’t take breaks from work.

Surprisingly I wasn’t angry about the situation. Sure, almost our entire house has damage.

Yes, that same house we bought in the fall.

But there wasn’t anything I could do about it, other than turn off the water to alleviate the heavy flow coming from almost every light fixture.

And we were blessed by the fact my wife had taken initiative a few weeks ago and moved those boxes sitting on our storage room’s floor to shelving units. Some of our personal belongings are ruined, but nothing that can’t be replaced.

As my daughter would say, “there’s no reason to cry about it.” Now, generally she’s referencing the knock, knock joke — Knock, knock; who’s there?; boo; boo who?; there’s no reason to cry about it — but in this instance, it made perfect sense.

We were helpless. I don’t know how to fix pipes, replace floors or remove water damage. But thankfully, through insurance and being in a town big enough where there are skilled people to take care of that stuff for us, we don’t have to worry too much about having a shell of a home for awhile.

I’ve said this countless of times during the past few days, but it boggles my mind how some people go through life without insurance. For a home, we’re required to carry insurance. But for people that don’t have health insurance or some sort of life insurance, I can’t imagine how they pay for the unexpected surprises that life hands us.

We didn’t expect our pipes to burst. But they did. And although it’s not fun, we do have the assurance that we can rebuild what was damaged without fretting too much about how to pay for the repairs.

Now that I’m a little more appreciative of normalcy, I won’t grumble too much when my wife pulls me downstairs to try out the new exercise routine or starts cooking with kale.

Scott Levine is the Associate Editor of the Clinton Herald. He can be reached at