Flood, Fire & Locusts, Part Four

The story continues…

We healed slowly and finally put the basement together.

We created a space for the teenagers to gather and have friends over.

Bsmt 1

Side note: There are no couches – just chairs – on purpose.

We have a “no walloring” rule.

Does anyone know what that means? Or how to spell walloring?

A guest room that really shows the dyed floor and how unique each room can be.

bedroom 2

I have suggested I can live comfortably in this room.

bedroom 1

A fresh new bathroom.


A converted closet that probably doesn’t qualify as a kitchenette but does have a sink, small refrigerator and microwave. Think in-law suite. Not apartment-like living space for a teen.

bar closet

We have enjoyed the updated living space. The kids have played cards and had parties. They have watched movies and we had that quality time making Daddy’s birthday album.

Imagine my surprise when, two weeks ago on Thursday, Scary Baby called me when she got off the school bus and I was ten minutes from my front door and this is what she said:

Insert hysterical shrieking here (she comes by it naturally):


I am at the longest red light of my life and trying to process what she just said as she cries in the phone. I’ve been gone from the house for just 2 hours. There was no water spraying when I left.

But what if it started right after I left?

Remember, we have wiener dogs. THEY ARE ONLY SIX INCHES HIGH.

What if they are drowning? She has to go save them.

But I shouldn’t tell her the dogs might be drowning. Our next-door neighbors of seventeen years moved in June. I don’t even know the new neighbors’ names.

As I try to calm her down and gently ask if she could go down the stairs to see if she could just get the dogs outside, she continues to shriek that she is TOO SCARED TO GO DOWN THERE. PLEASE HURRY AND GET HOME.

I tell her I will be there in minutes and she can go to the other neighbor’s house and see if they are home. I hang up and call PhilBillPaul and tell him I’m not sure what has happened, our 9 year-old is hysterical and he needs to come home RIGHT NOW.

I pull up to see my neighbor in the front yard with a wrench looking into the ground where the water cut-off pipe is. PhilBillPaul called her and asked if she can try to turn it off there and her son is in the house where he has brought the dogs in their crates upstairs to the main level and…

A pipe burst.

Yes, she confirms that there is a fair amount of the water in the basement. It was shooting from the ceiling in the workroom.

Meanwhile another neighbor drove by and asked what was going on. He parked and got the main water line shut off. He came inside to assess the damage with me. He helped me shut off the breakers since there is a freezer and furnace and water heater down there.

Great neighbors who came to our rescue again.

Before he left, he asked if I thought we might have built the house on an ancient burial ground.

I need to check into that.

My hero arrived. I went upstairs to breathe hide.

My cell phone buzzed. The text message from a friend in California said…


I laughed out loud.

I called her and said “No I’m not busy at all.”

Gave her the quick rundown and asked her if she thought I should take a Xanax.

Her advice?


That’s the Xanax story which is really the basement story which is really the story of why I want to live in an apartment.

After the Xanax, I got busy texting and calling the teenagers to tell them to stop and go to the bathroom before they got home. The girls were coming from Cross Country practice and one of them needed to go to work. I called the neighbor and asked if my daughter could take a shower at their house.

The things we take for granted until we have no water…

Well, except for the two inches of water sloshing on my basement floor.

new flood

And once again, the hardest working (and only one present) laborer is our very own Roger Leroy.

new flood 2

Let’s hear it for Roger Leroy!

Let’s hear it for area rugs and dyed concrete!

Let’s hear it for Xanax!

Let’s hear it for keeping life in perspective!

The locusts are coming but I try not to think about their arrival.

I promise, I really do try…