Yesterday I groggily awoke.... late in the mid-afternoon... still hung over with a mystery illness that has dogged me for a week now... and there was a flood in my basement. Nature's run-off of melted snow had somehow burbled and bubbled up from a drain in the floor of our garage... leaving in its heaving... several inches of water.... saturating... and soaking everything... from carved wood walking sticks... to stacks of firewood.... tools... boxes of yard sale items... books... plastic ware... and of course; my studio.
As the rain continued to fall; the hubby and I worked.. at first.. trying to sweep out the waves of water. .. then we went and purchased a shop vac and began the process of sweep.. suck.. empty... repeat. The rain turned to snow... falling just outside our open garage doors... floating downward as if to hush the damage done. Oddly, it actually helped slow the accumulation of water... but was bitter cold on the hands.
At the end of the evening... most all the water was gone from the basement. I had wiped off most everything in sight... re-boxing and stacking things up higher; as I was able. Fortunately, Jim's comic collection was safe and dry... as were all my photos and negatives, slides from Germany... memories of when the kids were little. Our boxes of books from Albuquerque were OK... and most of my studio supplies were fine; as most had been packed and stored in large plastic tubs. Fabric that belonged to my grandmother, quilts tops, fabric from my dad and my sister's shirts (both now passed)... all were dry. Tools and sterling wire.... compulsively stored in ziplock bags... were safe.
In the end... the casualties were few. A box of books for the yard sale .... some magazines and papers for collage... a couple blank notebooks... cardboard boxes (now empty of their contents)... were lost. The only item of note damaged... was one of my journals. It was the one I carried with me for a couple years.... to dr appts.... to dates at Barnes & Noble... basically, everywhere I went. It had sketches, notes, info on books to read, things to look up.... artwork by my daughter and I.... clippings from magazines and newspapers. Somehow, it had been packed with misc studio items in a cardboard box; and was soaked to the core. Carefully, I ripped each delicate page out of the binding... and set them all over the house to dry. And this am.... they are OK.
There are lessons to be learned in all of this.
-Mother Nature is unpredictable, and can strike you down in the blink of an eye
-it's better to not have so much stuff that you
1. can't enjoy it
2. can't find it
3. can't keep track of it
---I have been "downsizing" our stuff since I quit working full time in 2003... this could have been so much more worse.
-you know you are well-matched to your spouse when you can wade in water, work together... and not bicker about "why did you keep that"... or... "why was this here?"... and such. It was all... "take a break"... "go warm up your hands"... "I'll make you tea".... and I am grateful.
My house is sort of a mess now.... art supplies scattered all over... boxes of books and such brought up from the basement in the flurry of activity...but.
This am.... the water is gone.
The sun is shining.
There are sparkling diamonds in the icicles on our porch... and all is well.