Ulmer: Don't take routine interruptions too lightly

Ulmer: Don't take routine interruptions too lightly


A lot of stuff has interrupted our usually quiet routines. First off let me say thank goodness I have homeowners insurance. I’d mention the company but Terry is better at getting his name out there than I am and for the record his adjuster Brian was great to work with.

Back to where I started here. As I recall, the first thing to interrupt our routine was when Ben the carpenter slipped on ice and broke a couple of ribs when he hit the trailer hitch on his tool trailer. This is not a good thing for a self-employed carpenter’s business but after a significant amount of agony his parents hope he’s on the mend.

Then his sister’s vehicle had mechanical problems to the tune of $700 and while waiting for repairs and a willing creditor we ended up in a musical car routine. Grandma Renee loaned her car until the son-in-law came home with his truck so Melissa could get to work. At this point Brock had to get to school so Grandma Renee let them have her car until she had to get it to the doctor for new tires. Doesn’t sound like much but as you know routine interruptions is not something that’s taken lightly.

To add to this circus my truck needed some doctoring so I left that at Barney’s and we were down to the carpenter’s truck with the upside that he was in no mood to move more than he had to.

But given the cold weather that both my loyal readers know I’ve been consistently complaining about we decided it was time to shut the water off at our lake cabin. We’ve done this every year for the last 53 years and it has become routine. The process involves climbing into our well-hole and attaching a compressor to blow out the lines.

So we arrived and I opened our bathroom door and my face was immediately hit with a blast of cold water. A pipe had burst and it had been running for a while as evidenced by the water-blasted hole in the ceiling and over an inch of water that covered not only the bathroom floor but the kitchen, living room and master bedroom floors. Once we got the water shut off I slowly waded into the rest of the cabin. I now know why they call those laminate floors floating floors because as I stepped into the kitchen the floor sunk and the water came over the top of my shoes.

I am now the proud owner of two dehumidifiers, two floor fans, and thanks to my insurer, am once again in the process of remodeling our cabin (and of course I’m still working on completing the hail claim our house in town got last summer).

We’ve now removed all the flooring, the kitchen sink, shower, toilet, pot-belly stove, hot water heater, bathroom vanity, and are in the process of drying the place out and it looks like my fear of not having anything to do this winter has been assuaged.

My normal morning routine of coffee klatching, trips to the gym, and home in time for a nap has now been interrupted by daily back and forth treks to repair our cabin. The upside is that we’ve pretty much built the place ourselves so we know how to take it apart and put it back together. The downside is that we’ve been here before and wouldn’t you know we’re here again.

Anyway, we’re in the process of handling another case of routine interruptions, so here’s hoping that you can handle whatever intrudes into your routines.

Dan Ulmer is a parent, grandparent, as well as a retired teacher, counselor, politician, lobbyist, public employee, nonprofit executive and opinionated citizen who believes that we need to do what we can to leave the world better off than we found it.


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