Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ox in the Mire


It's Sunday evening.  Our day of rest.  I'm sitting at my kitchen table working on a birthday present for my sister.  A late evening dusk is falling, slowly and peacefully as it only does in the summer.  My babies are upstairs, all nestled snug in their beds, if you don't mind me borrowing that phrase.  A light rain is falling outside, as it has been for the past day and night.  My parents are visiting, my mom upstairs enjoying her Sabbath rest after a hard week of working in my and my sister's yard and playing with her grandbabies.  My father is watching me work on my sister's present and offering helpful advice.  My husband is itching to be making something in the kitchen.  We discuss some ideas, and settle on chocolate covered peanuts, and chocolate covered walnuts.  He gets out the ingredients.

I need to let the paint dry on my project, so I get up to help.  Now I'm standing next to the stove, spatula in hand, stirring the chocolate while Devin makes little piles of nuts.  This is your cue to think about what a domestic little scene I'm painting for you.

Suddenly, Devin starts to think about how our basement flooded a few weeks ago.  He looks out the window to see how the situation looks this time.  Yes, we're flooding.  My dad, who is now reading on the couch, jumps to attention.  My husband runs outside to begin bailing out our pit before it seeps into the basement like last time.  I am dripping chocolate all over the nuts. They look so yummy.

He comes back in, soaking wet, but victorious over the water.  I tell him to go upstairs and change before he gets sick.  He comes back down in dry clothes, and I work some more on my project, the chocolate covered treats are done.  We go down to the basement to look at the windows.  Oh dear, now that one is flooding.  My dad grabs a bucket and runs up the stairs, dashing out the door to bail us out of that one.

My husband and I wander casually into the other room to check the status on the first window.  It will be flooding in minutes. My husband runs upstairs to put his wet clothes on again to go back out.  I stand there for a minute longer, staring at the window, mesmerized by the sheer amount of water pouring in to the pit.  I am snapped out of my reverie by the steady trickle of water into the room.  The flooding has begun, again.

I run up the stairs, change my clothes, and we all meet outside in the pit.  Dad gets down in the deepest, I'm on the steps, and Devin is in the yard.  We set up a working assembly line, filling buckets, passing them up, tossing them in to the rain drenched yard.  Again and again. Fill and empty. Repeat.  Water is coming at us from all sides.  I am saying approximately two prayers a minute. Please, let us know how to save our house.  I have two ideas that are acknowledged by all to be "great ideas".  We work hard.  We save our house.  The rain slowly lets up.

The next hour is filled with hot chocolate and mopping up the basement.  We set up the dehumidifier that we bought last time this happened to help dry out the basement.  Hanna fusses, I get her up, calm her down, she goes back to bed.

I see lightning flashing.  The thunder rumbles, I feel the house shake a little.  The rain starts coming down again.  We might be up all night.  I'd say we have an ox in our mire.


  1. I slept really well! Thanks guys for bailing quietly!

  2. Oh Amy! How frustrating!!! I really hope you're able to come up with a way to prevent this from happening in the future, and I really hope you aren't up all night.

  3. I know how stressful and exhausting that can be. Don't you have a sump pump? If not, you should definitely put one in it sounds like.

    I remember staying up late one year to help bail the water out of the hole in our basement where a sump pump was supposed to go.

    A couple of years later the same basement filled with 5 feet of water when Hurricane Floyd came through. My parents had recently redone the basement and had just barely finished painting. That was the last straw for my mom, and they moved a couple years later to a house that was at a higher point.

    So, yeah, invest in a sump pump or whatever there is that will mean you don't have to have sleepless nights bailing yourselves out or worrying about having a flooded basement when you wake up. (Otherwise, just store everything you want an excuse to get rid of down there, and once it's wet and ruined you can toss it without any guilt!)

  4. We have a sump pump. It just couldn't keep up with the amount of water drenching into it. We have a sump pump, and a second pit for a second sump pump that we'll probably have to put in at some point... It's mostly just ridiculous.

  5. Boo. :( We definitely know how you feel! Stupid mold in the crawlspace . . .

    I am glad you had two great ideas!! Yay for answered prayers! :)

    And I must admit I'm excited about possibilities of a birthday present that you have painted!!

    Jill just walked in with blue marker on her face. I have no idea where she gained access to blue marker. I can only assume one of the kiddos who was here last week must have left one out. Sigh. It's on her teeth, too. Great.

    I am glad that after all of the bailing, you had chocolate covered nuts to enjoy!!

  6. Wow. Happy Father's Day -- have a bucket. I have my own Father's Day woes post brewing, but it just doesn't compare. I'm interested to know how long you were at it! Hopefully not all night. Sleep is just too precious.

  7. Ames, Sorry i havent been commenting on your posts lately. I always tell myself I am going to go back an post something when i have a minute, although i never do. Dang!

    I guess i didnt realize basements really flooded like that. Crazy! Do you get a lot of rain in NE? Sad day for your basement!

    I had a great Father's day filled with...well, we should talk. :) I'll call you sometime. Did Devin tell you I called the other day? I still wanna chat w/ your Momma!

  8. Dang...

    But on another note. Now I really want some chocolate covered peanuts.

  9. oh, that's terrible! Sorry your basement flooded. We have a walk out basement and sometimes some water filters in and gets our carpet wet (only in my sewing room) and smelling like mold. I hate cleaning that up! So far it hasn't happened but it has been raining a lot lately. I better get me some nuts and chocolate to make when that happens!

  10. aww! :( I hope everything is OK! And, that it stops raining so much at once!

  11. I still don't understand why this happens--maybe you need a bigger sump pump? or another one?

  12. Did you get any kind of insurance for the first year with your home purchase? I'm pretty sure a company can come out and figure out what's going wrong and fix it. Sometimes it is super expensive though, so I'm hoping you have some kind of home warranty. I have a hard time believing that the previous owner was honest when asked on his part of the contract if "there had ever been water in the basement." It is one of the BIG questions, and you should have known this would be a problem. I'm so sorry! Good luck.