Saturday, May 4, 2013

Last Minute Disasters

It is May 3. Our escrow has supposedly closed although as near as I can tell no large influx of money has hit our bank account so far. Regardless of that fact, we hit the road this morning and are spending the night in Tehachapi. The last few weeks have been pretty hectic but now we have some time to kick back and relax (sort of). Towards the end, it seemed like the world was conspiring against us as we tried to get on the road.

A few weeks ago we were informed that the condominium below Christopher's (which we purchased when he started at UC San Diego) had water coming out of the light fixture in the bathroom. The presumption is that it came from our unit and it could cost a small fortune to repair the water damage. In order to confirm this theory, it is necessary to cut through the ceiling in the downstairs bathroom so that they can identify and fix the leak. We had a plumber come in and evaluate our bathroom, but he could not actually demonstrate any leak from our condo. So for the past three weeks we have been trying to get the manager/owner of the downstairs unit to have the ceiling opened so we can get a look at it. The representative for the building Homeowners Association set a 30 day deadline for repairs and is threatening to fine us $100 a day if it's not fixed by May 9th. I'm not sure he can really do that, since I don't have any legal authority to open their ceiling but he is apparently a lawyer wannabe and enjoys making threats. So now finally, this coming Monday, with 27 days elapsed in our 30 day repair window, they are finally going to get someone to come in and cut out the ceiling. Terrific. So we have basically told Christopher he's a big boy now and is going to have to deal with this since we are gone. We'll see how that turns out.

In the meantime, while the movers were removing everything we own from our house in Redlands, we discovered water seeping up between the tiles in our back bathroom. This with five days until the close of escrow. So we scrambled to get a plumber out to look at it ASAP. Fortunately, it did not appear to be a slab leak, just a leak around the wax gasket at the base of the toilet. They re-seated the toilet and that seems to have fixed it. Hopefully when the padding under the composite tiles dries out they can just be glued back down. Otherwise, we may have to pay for someone to come in and do some tile repair.

On April 30 we had a full day of running around getting last-minute chores and errands run. When we finally headed back to the motorhome park in Cherry Valley there was a huge plume of smoke coming up from behind the hills a few miles away. You may have read about the "Summit Fire" in Banning (although it has now been largely overshadowed by the much larger fire in Camarillo). The first night we were a little concerned that we might actually get evacuated. According to the news, the wind was going to blow the fire north, towards the mountains. But as we stared at the column of smoke, all of the wind we could feel was blowing straight in our faces and the smell of smoke was pretty heavy in the air. Overnight, the fire burned about 3000 acres, but not the ones we were sitting on. By the next afternoon, most of the smoke smell had gone away and we didn't notice any as we packed up to leave this morning, but the fire is still burning even now.

Everyone thinks it's going to be a horrible year for fires in California. We're happy that we will be a long ways off by August and September.

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