Jen’s Friday Night Insights: The Flood of 2013

It was Mother’s Day 2013. I wasn’t a mother yet, but it’ll go down in history as the most epicly horrible Mother’s Day ever. 

The day started out like any other. Our plan was to spend the morning with my husband’s family, then the afternoon with my family. For one reason or another, plans didn’t pan out as we would have liked. Regardless, it was an extremely long, stressful and exhausting day. 

When we got home that night, the only thing we wanted to do was sit in the hot tub, have a drink and relax. It isn’t particularly hot in Denver in May, but that specific day was toasty, so we fired up the evaporative cooler for the first time that season. Quick note for those who are not familiar with an evaporative cooler:  At its most basic description, it’s a cooling system that uses a pump that sprays cold water over giant pads and fans that blow the cooled air through vents. Back to it. We’ll forever regret getting in the hot tub that night after turning the water pump on. 

We sat in the hot tub for over an hour, and when we came inside, there was water dripping from our lights, coming through the ceiling and down our walls. I quickly ran upstairs and found even more disaster. There was water coming down the stairs and through all the light fixtures in the bedrooms. I turned the pump off and stood in several inches of water in absolute dismay. Apparently, when we winterized the system the winter prior, all of the water wasn’t blown out of the water lines, and turning on the pump was basically like turning on a hose in our attic and walking away for an hour. 

I called an emergency remediation company to get the water extracted from the floors. When they showed up, they got up into the attic and found five freeze breaks in the water line. Like I said, it was like turning a hose on in our attic and walking away for an hour. 

The water made its way all the way down into our basement, and the remediation company was worried about asbestos in our ceilings and walls because our house was built in 1972. However, as long as nothing was disturbed during remediation, there was nothing to worry about. Enter, the guy who fell through our bedroom ceiling. 

By this time, it was probably 2 a.m. We were sitting on the couch and heard a thud above us. We ran up the stairs and found a gaping hole in our ceiling and a remediation employee on the floor. He was OK, but now the asbestos had been disturbed. They hadn’t confirmed the existence of asbestos yet, but out of an abundance of caution, they sealed up our room and all our belongings.  

We finally fell asleep in the guest bedroom around 5 a.m. and woke up a few hours later to the phone ringing. It was the insurance company calling with next steps. First, test for asbestos. Second, schedule repairs. 

The remediation company came back a few days later and took core samples from our ceilings and walls. Yet another few days later, it was confirmed that we had asbestos throughout our house. That changed the entire scope of repairs. 

The insurance company allowed us to stay in a hotel, but with our four cats (story for another time), it wasn’t possible for us to stay there. Our entire house, minus the living room and the garage were closed off to us, and we needed somewhere to stay. We decided we would rent an RV, to which the insurance company agreed to for six days. We basically used it for the bathroom and kitchen, and I used my contacts in the apartment industry to help us out. 

Because the scope of the job was so huge, my husband decided to quit his job and stay home with the contractors to oversee the project. Our house was torn down to the studs, and all the asbestos was removed. We had a 40-yard roll-off dumpster in our driveway and watched as our house was dismantled, one piece at a time. 

Remember that the initial place of disruption was in our bedroom? That meant that every piece of clothing, shoes, purses, bedding, towels, electronics and hats were all thrown in the trash. It had all been exposed to asbestos, so it needed to be incinerated. All we had left was one load of dirty laundry and the clothes we were wearing at the time of the ceiling debacle. 

My sister’s wedding was at the end of May that year, and we were expecting to fill all five of our bedrooms with out-of-town family. That clearly wasn’t going to happen anymore, but after two weeks, we had access to our house again and the two of our five bedrooms that hadn’t been exposed to asbestos. 

We made a make-shift kitchen where our old kitchen had been, and we turned our garage into our temporary living quarters. My carpet guys from the apartments brought over two rolls of scrap carpet, and we covered the windows with blankets, ran extension cords and set up our new home. 

We had our living room, dining room and bedroom all together and nicknamed it the “Belirage.” Think, bedroom, living room and garage all as one word. Belirage! We lived there for 13 weeks as we rebuilt our kitchen, part of our living room, three bedrooms and basement. It was rough at times, but we actually loved living in the garage. It was simple and easy, and we were able to be 100 percent hands-on with the project. Plus, we didn’t have to move the cats. Huge bonus there. 

We rebuilt our wardrobes and our lives and looked at the experience as a blessing. Renovations that were necessary were now financially possible, and we have a dream kitchen, hardwoods throughout and the peace of mind that the asbestos is gone. Turning lemons into lemonade, right? 

And isn’t that just like fantasy football? No matter what situation you’re thrown into – injuries, suspensions or COVID-19 – we as managers continue to make the best out of a bad situation.

Now, let’s talk some football. 

Jen’s Week 14 Friday Night Insights

Week 14 confronts us with yet another round of COVID-19 designations and teams that are riddled with injuries. By now, most leagues are in their first round of the playoffs. If you’re one of those people, congratulations! If not and you’re in a dynasty league (or six like me), here are some guys to look at for next year. 

Michael Pittman Jr. (WR, Indianapolis Colts) 

Michael Pittman is a talented route runner who creates separation and has good hands. T.Y. Hilton is in the last year of his contract, and I would be shocked if Indianapolis were to re-sign him, which makes Pittman the WR1 in Indianapolis. Whether it’s Philip Rivers, another veteran free agent signing at quarterback or someone teh Colts take in the draft, I like Pittman to finish as a potential top-10 wide receiver next year. He’s already proven himself this year in Weeks 10, 11 and 13, putting up a combined 213 yards receiving, a touchdown and had an average snap share of 82 percent. And that’s with Hilton as the WR1. 

Ty Johnson (RB, New York Jets)

Ty Johnson showed up big time last week when Frank Gore went out with a possible concussion. He rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown. The Jets almost pulled off a win against the Raiders in a disappointing loss.

The alternate win was watching Johnson explode in a team that desperately needs more wins. And next year, if head coach Adam Gase gives the ball to Johnson, he’ll prove his worth and can easily step into the RB1 position when Gore inevitably retires. 

I always end my columns with a game day drink, and this week is no different. 

I’m here to join the conversation, drink in hand and watch this crazy COVID-19 year unfold. Cheers! 


Game Day Drink Recipe for the Week:

1-Minute Vodka Lemonade 

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 6 oz lemonade
  • Lemon slices and mint for garnish 
  • Combine vodka and lemonade in a glass with ice 
  • stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and mint.

Thanks for reading and follow me on Twitter for more motherly and fantasy sports advice @JenPolvogt.