Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Waterlogged

Friday night Blake and I made our plans for Saturday.

I was feeling the need to get out alone for a while so I planned to go to the thrift store (one of my fav activities) in the morning. Maybe stop for a coffee along the way.
And then in the afternoon Blake had a friend coming over with a truck and they were gonna clear out some more brush from our yard.
We were feeling good about our plans.

Saturday morning my iPhone (which a a relatively new item in my existence) was laying next to me on the couch (actually I hadn’t realized it was and I was half sitting on it) started vibrating and making a really loud never heard before sound. I reached under my leg surprised and pulled it out to see it telling me we had a flash flood warning. It was raining at the time. But I didn’t think much of it. We’ve lived in this area and seen plenty of flash flood warnings before. In my experience it had only meant you can’t get through the streets that dip down under railroad tracks. It had never done anything at all to our old house’s yard or even the streets there.
So Blake and I waited a while, talked about it and decided,  “Yeah, you can still run to the thrift store, there are no deep roads on the way.” I was READY to get some alone time, so I didn’t argue much about the storm.
Hoped in the van. Drove down my street fine. Turned down the next, enjoying the radio, got close to the end of this very very flat street and saw a car driving through a puddle that was half way up it’s doors. And with that, I threw away my day’s plans. Stopped, did a three point turn, and went home.

So I’m back, just disappointed I couldn’t shop. Feeling overly closed in. I start to come to terms with it and then we realize our family room has water coming into it from underneath the back door.

(Our family room is an addition our our house. So while most our house is up above the ground with  crawl space under it, this room is resting right on the ground.) Outside our window was a 3inch deep river flowing by, and out past our deck, our entire yard is at least 2 inches deep of water.

It’s a feeling I’ve never had before. I mean I knew it’ wasn’t going to wash our house away, and that we weren't going to drowned or anything, but it was an awful feeling knowing I am incapable of fixing this, and knowing the water was in charge now. Knowing that the water was gonna do whatever it wanted to, and I was just gonna have to watch it, all the while wishing it wasn’t doing that!

Blake ran outside with a shovel trying to swish the water away from the door. But the water was too far gone -- it was everywhere.



We started moving all our stuff to the other side of the room, away from the door.
And Blake ran to the store to buy sand bags and a pump, as soon as the rain let up. I was nervous for him to drive anywhere after I saw the streets, but I knew he’d be safe and that we needed the stuff.

After that the day just kinda tumbled by slowly.
The room was basically half wet. The carpet feeling like a waterbed in places, it’d bounce buoyantly on the water hiding beneath.


Blake set the sand bags in place. I paced in complete disarray.

The water cleared away from the door so we didn’t think we needed the pump now.

I was an emotional ball of total upset.
The floor under the carpet (I discovered while white-washing our fireplace -- getting curious and yanking a corner of the carpet back) is a brick floor. This made my brain say “ooohhhh!” because the floor in here feels lumpy and uneven in a way that made me think the concrete must have been insane -- brick, now brick makes sense.
Part of me got excited to think about how it could be aesthetically cool. Another part of me wondered how scary that could be -- lumpy brick floor with small ones running (potential future ones crawling) around. I don’t know if there are toe-stubbers in there or what we’d see. BUT…ok the last people to live here were bad pet owner renters, and this room apparently smelled like cat urine so bad they replaced the carpet (despite the whole house reeking of pets -- so it had to have been HORRIBLE!) I’m sure that no one cleaned the floor under the old carpet before putting in new. So on warm days were we hadn’t turned on the A/C I could smell a bit of cat. I’ve wanted to clean under the carpet.
BUT…I did not want to do it now. And I did not want to be forced into it by rain.

SO all that to say, I didn’t know what we were supposed to do, try to dry out the carpet. Or tear out the carpet.
If we tear out the carpet, I have no idea if this room would be able to house anything by lumpy brick floor or new carpet -- as is there is NO WAY you’d be able to lay a hard floor on top of it. I don’t know how plausible leveling it is.
My kids have allergies and Jasmine wheezes at times. So we surely don’t want to risk mold and mildew.

Blake told me to just go to the thrift store at this point -- he wanted me to chill out -- and we couldn’t do much yet.

Good old thrift store did help a bit. I did find 3 pairs of jeans (one I cut into shorts, one that fits awesome, and one to use as soft cozy boyfriend jeans), an H&M army green adirondack jacket and another sweatshirt-jacket-cardigan all for $17 -- so that did cheer me up a bit.



(P.S. I also had to try this on! 

AWESOMELY horrible. Honestly -- I had been hoping it would be retro chic -- I’ve suddenly fallen in love with rompers and jumpsuits because if it’s good it’s awesome -- but ,like in this case, if it’s bad, it’s very,very bad!)

When I got home I went back into panic.

Then we looked in the crawlspace. There was 6 inches of water in there! Good thing we got a pump!

Blake got that set up and going. It took about two days to pump it out.

That night Blake ran to the store to get a dehumidifier -- got there 2 mins before close and bought the last one on the shelf! Phew!!

Saturday night I was losing it. I literally almost hyperventilated before we put the girls to bed. (I’ve never had that experience before -- I got myself back just before I lost it --but it was very very real  -- I was very overwhelmed.) Bedtime this week has been SO stressful in and of itself. Add in the stress of the day I was just not up for it. Blake was great and got the girls to bed, while I went into our bedroom and just laid down. I tried to get up to go help him once I calmed down but once I stood up, I literally almost threw up. I had to lay back down.
Even I was surprised at how upset I was. But I’ve never had my house full of water. I kept thinking of people who’s home actually flood and how horrible that is. (It does nothing to improve my situation, and it makes me feel guilty for getting so stressed, but I can’t stop thinking of the news scenes I’ve seen of houses half underwater.)


So far we’ve been vacuuming up water over and over again. 
Our friend who was gonna help with the yard, came instead to help with the water!

And non stop running the dehumidifier. (That thing can gather a shocking amount of water -- I’m VERY impressed!) And have a box fan and ceiling fan going nonstop. (The room is VERY loud!)


The carpet is feeling pretty much dry.
The room smells weird.
Next we need to shampoo the carpet and go from there.

We have our insurance coming out soon to see if we are covered, but likely we aren’t -- this isn’t a flood plain/zone.

After Saturday I’ve calmed down a lot.
I’m no where near as stressed out.

It’s rained more since then, but nothing crazy. Our house has been fine.
A women at church told us that in 24 years of living here this is the first time they’ve had to pump out their crawlspace -- so that’s been a comforting thought -- I wasn’t sure what kinda of house we bought! But it seems like a crazy freak thing that’s not normal -- I hope!

SO that’s our current now.

In other news, I’m feeling really apathetic towards doing any more painting in our house -- or more accurately doing the prep work to get to painting -- the wall washing (get rid of wallpaper paste) and the mudding and sanding. I’m just feeling BURNT OUT on it.
What I want to do right now is organize and decorate. Like it was a normal place to live. I want to hang pictures and shelves, and set closets up just so.
I can’t tell if I should indulge that now, or just force myself to prep and paint (which would be what this house needs more.) But I often try to do the things that will keep my soul afloat instead of the predictable thing in life.

So we’ll see what this week holds -- I’ve learned it’s not always what we plan!




3 comments:

  1. Ugh, that sounds awful. Sorry you guys had to deal with that. We just bought a home, and I can definitely see that the major plus of renting is you just call the landlord when this kind of stuff happens. Still worth it to own, but yeah, the complete lack of control in that situation would be really stressful.

    The Joni Journey

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