Getting Tepid

All homes have character. Even new ones. This is especially true of a warehouse that is over 80 years old.


One of the things that is most “charming” about our loft is the water system.

First, we had no water coming out of the shower. We fussed with it.  We called Eddie to see if the problem was some mysterious valve that needed to be turned on. We fussed with it. Dan came over. We fussed with it. Finally, Dan called the guy that built the place. “Clean out the nozzle!” Wahla! Problem solved.

To get tepid water: Turn on cold tap, get dressed, make the bed, make a smoothie for breakfast, drink smoothie, check on emails, reserve a book online, pay a bill, check water—scalding—get laundry out of hamper, separate darks from whites, treat stains, take vitamins, think about blog ideas, check water-warm now, stare at lake, look at a sailboat, listen to office waking up below, take card out of camera, upload pictures, think about going for a walk, check water—tepid.

Carolyn showing where all that getting tepid can go

You are now ready to take a shower or do laundry.

You see, Cleveland’s water pipes run next to the steam pipes used for heating. Really. And those steam pipes leak. Forget COLD water unless you refrigerate it.

Gifts from above

We live in the top floor. That means the warehouse roof is above us. Although the ceiling of our loft has been removed of old paint, there are still little reminders that buildings change. Sometimes, in the night, we’ll hear a little clink, clack, or splat. We have a 14foot ceiling and plywood floors. The noise a pin makes dropping from that height is big. In the morning, we’ll find a little something mysterious on the floor. Don’t ask questions. We don’t.


We have a fifty-foot wall of windows. You can’t be too picky about clean windows when you live on the fourth floor of a loft. No going outside with a bottle of Windex.  Instead, pull down the light diffusing shades. Lift on a sunny day. Lovely.

Ups & downs

Freight elevators are not covered with mirrors and plush carpeting. Ours is a rather “utilitarian” affair with a spotted wood floor, very greasy folding gates and heavy fireproof clam shell doors. There is an alarm bell and light. These are there to keep me company on a weekend when I was stuck alone in the building in a city-wide black out. But, believe me, when I need to get 18 liters of diet root beer upstairs or my bicycle downstairs; the elevator is a God Send.


It also opens to the front door of that most welcoming place- home.


4 responses to “Getting Tepid”

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  1. Ken Kirchhofer says:

    Hi Karen. I am enjoying reading your daily blog. I am now 65 and sort of retired, i.e. not enough to do. I had lunch with Fran Danoff this summer after Elena and I returned from three weeks in Sicily. Fran looked great. She comes to Maryland to visit her mother and we have seen her twice. Sicily was incredible and I would never have gone, if I had not married Elena. She has relatives there and we visited them at the end of our travels. I hope that you are enjoying being back home in Cleveland. Private schools are like extended families. There was a student at Garriaon Forest who came to us from Old Trail, Mel O’Boyle. She is an equestrian and she graduated in June. A sweet kid. Let’s keep in touch. I am trying to do better with the Internet and Facebook. Alles Gute and all the best to Dave. Ken

  2. Dave says:

    Another way to find tepid water is to keep the heat off on he hot-water tank and use it as a cold-water reservoir.

  3. Carolyn says:

    Wow! Pretty lady!

  4. Kathy says:

    Tim and I had a good chuckle at the “tepid water” story.
    You have such good taste decorating…would love to see more pictures of your loft. Sounds like you’re having a blast in Cleveland. Tell Carolyn she is a pretty lady sitting in a pretty bathroom.