Where Mold & Rust Doth Corrupt

When the rains of life come, and the roof of your world starts to sag and look like this:

It’s probably time to kick yourself for not dealing with it sooner [because of busyness or budget] and just call in the repairman…

That is, unless you’re renting…

If the latter is your misfortune, then you contact the owner, inform them of the danger to their property and let them deal with it as every good owner would, since this is pretty serious.

Unless you don’t have any contact info, have never meet the person and have been working through a manager… then you opt for just contacting them. Once you’ve done that, hopefully they’ll jump on it… or you’ll be stuck waiting. Maybe three months have passed or more like five and if they haven’t done anything, your floor might look like this:

In that case, most people would be probably be promptly exiting their contract and the premises.

But not us… not us. I don’t want to move. I confess, it’s partly because we just have too much stuff. Maybe God is using this to help encourage us to let go of some stuff. And maybe He wants us to move, but we felt guided to this house and we have been helping people in the area. The house is older, but we’ve put up with a lot and like the four bedrooms. Legally we can’t do anything about this and particularly with the kids it is a health issue too. So, shut the door and don’t go in that room … tried that. Honest. That may have just made it worse. You see, three or so months ago we noticed the damage was getting worse and I found that a bunch of my belongs had gotten ruined from it. The ceiling is in what we call the “craftroom” but it’s as much a storage room as anything. Or it was before the damage spread.

Then, it has been raining a lot lately, but we assumed that the damage was contained. Take another look at that floor picture. The craftroom is upstairs. That floor is downstairs, in what some might call the familyroom. I use it for my office and homeschooling. We didn’t realize the damage until yesterday. The marks on the floor are from bookcases, where we had been keeping more than a hundred books – paperbacks, hardbacks, novels, cookbooks, parenting, classics … the list goes on. Last night we moved all those books into plastic bins and are stacking them in the living room. Not all of them have found a temporary home yet – they’re still on the couch. One of the bookshelves is already out at the curb for trash pickup – or scroungers. Two more are out on the porch until we can evaluate and see if we can clean them up. Fortunately, the books were alright. I did lose a few books upstairs in the craftroom – sewing and craft books where the pages are glued together now. I lost one zip-up binder. It was totaled with mold throughout. That binder had been with me since jr. high school. I had my sorrow session of flipping through it. It had old class handouts and bunches of story notes that I had held onto. Then I closed it and threw it all in the garbage.

That corner of the downstairs had a persistent latent odor when we moved in so it makes me wonder if the water damage started before we moved in. Now that the area is exposed, the smell is pretty bad. We are combating the mold and odor with air purifiers. They are top of the line and good machines from Vollara. That should keep us from getting sick, otherwise we would be moving out ASAP.

Meanwhile, on the other side of that wall is a garage where the water has also seeped down to and pooled on the concrete. *Sigh* More damage control.

In trying to get the managers to deal with it, we photographed everything and e-mailed them to the managers. We hope that they will understand the urgency of this. Otherwise moving is probably inevitable.

I keep thinking of the scripture:

19 ¶ Lay not up for yourselves atreasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves bbreak through and steal:

20 But lay up for yourselves atreasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor bsteal:

I know that we need to dejunk. I’m a rather sentimental packrat and information gatherer. My Husband is the last child in his family so we have stocked a fair amount of hand-me-downs that have helped us through the lean years of college. Add to that that both of our Mothers horded things… and, well, we’re trying to kick a habit that was well trained into us.

It’s funny really. Most of our ancestors had very little stuff – it could be fitted into perhaps one truck. Now, the average person I know has far more. It’s so easy to collect stuff. Some I know horde stuff because they fear not having it later – whether because it’s out of fashion or because of calamities. Other people stash all their sentimental memorabilia – I know I have lots – and it all seems to add up.

Then we spend so much time on the stuff – moving it around, storing it, sorting through it, cleaning it. Then when things like this happen, we spend a ton more time trying to salvage and protect it. But in the end, things do happen, and stuff is not only vulnerable, but temporal. We cannot safeguard them. Nor can they safeguard us. But they can sure ground us if we’re not careful. With all the best of reasons and justifications, we keep ourselves from flying (can you tell I’m on FlyLady’s mailing list? Lol). But I think the saddest is when we hold on in fear – fear of an uncertain future or fear of losing/repeating the past. Preparing is one thing but it should be done with faith and hope, trusting your future to God. Yet, if God said today “Leave your house straight away and go up into the mountains”, how many of us would fear? How many of us would not want to leave the safeties and securities we surround ourselves with? How many of us would go, but look back, sorrowing at what we feel we have lost?

In all honesty, I’m not sure if I would. I want to believe that I would follow in faith, but … do I know for sure?

Meanwhile, the rain keeps coming… scattered storms tonight and who knows what tomorrow will bring. Somehow though, I can manage a smile and perhaps view it as a trial run for that test and even if I struggle now, I know I can grow and learn to let go. I can learn each day to sharpen my focus on things of eternal value. Things far beyond rust and thieves. So that when that call truly does come, I will not hesitate.


About Ren Black

Part-time novelist. Weekend artist. Full-time Mother. Ex-poet. Perfectionist by training. Compulsive researcher sporadically. Prone to fits of linguistic commentary Unorthodox Renegade occasionally. Sarcastic by habit... Dreamer Always... Consider Yourself Warned

3 comments on “Where Mold & Rust Doth Corrupt

  1. We have a similar problem in our own rental home but, luckily for us, it’s only in the garage. It’s amazing how much damage water can do. A slow leak in the roof has caused a twenty inch wide hole of rotting plaster board in the ceiling and a two inch deep crater in the cement floor. We’ve mentioned it to the landlord three times and he’s “fixed” it twice..

  2. […] to be fixed – the one I checked today and found damp (if you missed that escapade, check out -here-). Add to those a child’s painful toothache and Johnathan accidentally hitting Eleanor with a hoe […]

  3. […] Water, mold and broken glass – ceiling, water heater and tub all developed major leaks. Then the incident where Lydia put her foot through […]

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