In September, I decided to take a bunch of time off around Christmas with the intent to work on many of the gaming projects that keep getting bumped by work. I lined up materials, photos, plans etc. Projects were to include making molds for my Humvee Tow vehicles, finishing a couple of M113 Variants, maybe finish the M60A1 master, build some more houses for my modern African games, and a presidential palace and an airport inspired by the one in Malindi, Kenya, and lastly to paint my "space bubble" from earlier this year. Got my work table organized and everything was ready to go. As it turned out, I lost the first couple of vacation days to projects at work, working 14 hour days to save as many vacation days as possible. I ended up with twelve days off over the holidays. Here is how things went:
The "first day of Christmas" revealed a new problem with one of the cars, we band-aided it to delay the big repair until after Christmas. No time for gaming projects.
The second day of Christmas brought a flood in the basement after a couple of days of pretty heavy rain. The flooding was minor in scope, but ruined a bunch of game terrain and a few other things.
The third day of Christmas was spent sorting out the basement and picking up anything else on the basement floor that might be damaged by more flooding. Most of the stuff ended up on my main work table and shelves around it.
The fourth day of Christmas brought the breakdown of car number two. So much for the last minute Christmas shopping.
The fifth day of Christmas (Christmas Day itself) brought flood number two, while we were opening gifts on Christmas morning. This was unrelated to the first flood, and was caused by a problem with our sewer line. Curiously, in our old house (by American standards anyway) there is no sewer drain in the basement floor. The lowest point in the system is an unused drain (from a previous owners washing machine) located behind my work table about five and a half feet off of the basement floor. This sprayed like a fountain, covering my work table, shelves, supplies, molds, vehicle masters in progress, and most of the stuff picked up off of the floor a couple of days earlier.
From a house standpoint, the damage was minimal, but my hobby took a major hit. Truly a memorable Christmas, largely spent in a hotel room, watching Big Bang Theory, snacking on Munchos.
The sixth day of Christmas brought the plumber and a repair to the sewer problem. Or so we thought. Flood number three occurred about twelve hours after he left. Lost a little more of my hobby, but not too much.
The Seventh day of Christmas brought the return of the plumber, discovery of a major problem that will result in digging up and replacing part of the sewer line, and a temporary fix in the mean time.
The eighth day of Christmas was spent fixing car problem number two. I really need a heated garage. And a new car. And a new house. With better plumbing. And a lot of new game terrain.
The ninth day of Christmas was to be one of cleaning up the basement, and hopefully arranging to work on something hobby related. It went well, until shortly after I got up, when I got my shower and broke my toe. The bathroom doorway dodged me, seriously.
The tenth day of Christmas brought the realization that the replacement part that I installed in my car on day eight was defective. Starting to loose my sense of humor at this point. Used my wife's band-aided car to do a thing for work, and discovered that one of her co-worker's thought that it would be funny to put sticky stuff on the door handles the night before. Wife didn't notice it as she had gloves on and didn't really grasp the handle to open the door. Two things came to mind; blow torch, pliers.
The eleventh day of Christmas brought a forecast that indicated that I was going to have to take my second car somewhere to get defective fix fixed. It is just too cold to lay under the car all day. Otherwise, my new found paranoia about the sewer consumed me for the day.
The twelth day of Christmas (New Years day) brought a desperate desire to get back to working 14 hour days before anything else went wrong.
I sit here a few days after the last round of chaos, the ghost of Christmas floods past at my side. The basement is clean, but a confusion of displaced shelves, bins, boxes, etc. I don't have a work table any more, and my game table is covered with much of the recovered and displaced materials. Only a single miniature was damaged, but I am missing a bunch of small parts to various masters that I was working on. A 20mm M151 Jeep master is simply MIA. Some portion of my scratch-built terrain for just about every period I play has been discarded, a collection dating from the 1980s. I simply won't live long enough to replace it all, so some gaming periods/armies/subjects will be abandoned as a result. I'm really not sure of what will stay and what will go, and mostly just feel kind of numb about it all. Tired. I guess the most important thing is to keep it in perspective. After all, they are just toys.
Maybe tomorrow I'll paint something ...