Positive Thoughts after the Flood

John and I are still working on putting the basement back together. We are getting there. I would say we will be done tomorrow, but I’ve said that since Tuesday, so I no longer believe that. It has been a long process. As soon as we think we have cleaned everything we find water hidden in a tote that we thought was dry. Or something that we thought we could save needs to be hauled to the curb.

Tonight there was a meeting at the end of the block with the mayor, city councilman, city engineer, and public works representative. I headed over for ten or fifteen minutes to see if they were going to give us any information. I learned that they are going to make some improvements to our block starting next year. I also learned that most houses got six feet of water, some of it dirty sewer water. I kept my mouth shut about our six inches of clean water and slowly backed away when it was just a bitch at the people from the city fest. I’m not mad at them, they didn’t make it rain or plan the storm sewer that was put in when the neighborhood was developed in the 1940s. I’m not mad at the insurance companies, I am familiar with policy language and knew there would be no coverage. I did manage to bite my tongue when they started describing property coverage as a racket (after working in insurance for 14 years and knowing what a policy actually covers that is VERY hard to do). I’m tired, but not angry about the situation (admittedly, that is probably due to the amount of water I’m cleaning up from).

I’ve started looking for good things that have come out of the flood. It makes me feel better about the whole situation.

A few things that I’ve come up with are:

  • Purging – We have too much stuff. Our basement is used as storage, a laundry room, and John’s office. We have so much stored in the basement that we may never use again. I’m using this chance to go through our basement and donate what we don’t need. I was finally able to let go of Audrey’s baby clothes. I got rid of my old business suits. I’m getting rid of dishes we will never use. I’m even thinking of sneaking more things out when John is back at work next week (he is a collector of things and is not as comfortable with clearing things out of the basement as I am).
  • Supportive Family – I was reminded how lucky we are to have in-laws that babysit. I texted my mother-in-law on Sunday morning and she quickly agreed to take the kids all day. She and my father-in-law had them Sunday and Monday. They would have taken them the rest of the week, but the kids become real jerks if they are off schedule for long.
  • Supportive Friends – I am so lucky. Jess came and picked up laundry. Ivy and her mom took me to Costco to get a new deep freeze. Laura let us put some recycling in her recycle bin. I’ve appreciated all of the calls and texts offering help. It makes me feel loved.
  • Building Community – This time of recovery has brought our neighbors together. We have always been close to our next door neighbor, but we are even closer now. I was able to watch our neighbors/friends girls for them while they cleaned. I love my neighborhood, and the closeness after an event like this is why.
  • Free Entertainment for Truck Obsessed Toddlers – diggers, dump trucks, garbage trucks galore have been up and down our street all week. At one point a digger with a claw bucket ate a couch. It was great entertainment for adults and toddlers. We watched eagerly when they made their first rounds (filling 10 dump trucks for one block!).

    I am looking forward to being done with the basement and getting back to knitting and playing outside. I would like to wallow in self-pity, but I can only do that for so long.

    OK, fine. There is still plenty of self-pity going on. I am allowing myself ice cream or a glass of wine every night after the kids go to bed. If you are going to have a pity-party for yourself, you might as well serve cocktails and snacks.


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