Sunday, October 15, 2006

Herculean Strength - One Day Only

Recently I wrote about the brook that was doing its babbling on two sides of our house and mentioned that in addition to being toxic to our lawn, it also went amok at one time. The rest of the story -- I was at work one summer day when I got a phone call from my wife who was at our shore house. She said she had just received a call from a neighbor who knew her number, but not mine at work. The neighbor wanted us to know that the creek was rising and water was well up in our back yard and approaching the house. I knew it had been raining all day, but I found out soon how hard a rain it was. I left quickly, but ran into road flooding and had to take a circuitous route to get home. It took a while and by the time I got there the water was getting very close to the house.

This to me is the part of that story of that day that I can’t believe even though I know it is true because I was there. With no one to help, I carried all of the furniture out of the room on the ground floor across a hall and up the four steps to the second level of our split-level house. There was a large sofa, two large easy chairs, two large bookcases full of books (I can’t remember how the books got up), our TV (a big old tube type) and the old phonograph-piece of furniture the TV sat on. Also assorted lighter stuff like end tables, floor lamps, a box of children’s toys, etc.

By then the water was coming into the utility room between the wall and the foundation. All my tools were in danger of a drowning, but I had only gotten most of them up to the top of the workbench when I decided there had to be a better way. I slammed the door to the utility room and the rec room and stuffed towels along the door bottoms. (This latter did no good at all.) Then I open the front door and finally the back door. Quickly, water was flowing straight through the house and back to the creek bed out front. However, at least six inches of dirty water did take up residence in the utility room and the rec room even after the storm abated. I hadn’t thought to try to save the rugs and they were a total loss. The next morning I carried them out to the curb for the trash men. I broomed and squee-geed muddy water out of the ground floor all day. Along the way I figured out that it was safe to turn on the furnace fans (no heat). These stayed on for a couple weeks until things dried out.

The downstairs furniture didn’t all get back where it belonged until my wife and kids came home at the end of the summer and helped. I found it too heavy and awkward to handle alone. Our day will never even be a footnote in the history of storms, but it gave me a mystery I never have resolved.

PS. I will not be able to blog for the next week or more. See you soon, I hope.


Archana said...

Wow! So, all this talk about people finding super human strength in a crisis is true then? Flooding like that must have been scary though!

Come back soon - we will miss you!

Oestre-Bunny said...

adrenalin is a wonderful thing

east village idiot said...

That is a day to remember. I've never owned a home but I can imagine the stress of having to think fast and make the right decisions in order to save what you have. What you did was valiant!

Marilyn said...

Wow, superhuman strength indeed! You worried me a little with that ending..."I hope." Hope all is'll keep us POSTED, right? :)

Bharathis said...

I came here through my daughter's blog and have enjoyed reading the nostalgic reminiscences in your blog. In fact, those have been the inspiration for me to write my own reminicences. Thank you and welcome back soon!