At about 6:45am on Thursday, September 20, I walked into our basement to grab an umbrella.
Gus, excited as usual for a trip downstairs, ran ahead of me down the stairs. As I got to the bottom, I head the splish-splash of little paws.
When I rounded the corner I saw this:
I was already wearing wellies, so I carefully stepped toward the sub-pump pit. The water was up past my ankle, at about five inches. The night before at 9pm, I had made a quick jaunt downstairs to grab some gloves for the cooler morning weather. It had been bone dry.
I called Tyler, as he sat in front of the marching band, about to start rehearsal. We switched places (I hurried out to the school to take over rehearsal and he drove back home to hook up a pump and cyphon? with a garden hose out the window).
After the band rehearsal, I headed back into the pond to see what had been ruined.
I was a bit emotional about the whole thing. Frames, family heirlooms, pictures, baby clothes….all the best items were wet. Some were drenched. Entire books were trashed. Some old letters and notebooks.
The rest of the upstairs was turned into a makeshift antique hospital, where I had fans blowing on everything and important papers, crinkled and warped, drying on tables and chairs.
My mom’s wedding dress was thrown over a rack, the bottom, fortunately, being the only part that was soaked.
Family photos (and this old newspaper found in my childhood home in Sioux Falls) had water lines all along the bottom to show how far the water came up. Okay parents, I know you think these photos are silly, but I LOVE these oversized portraits of both of you.
My great-grandmother’s trunk and the baby clothes inside (many of them knitted) were sitting in the deepest part of the flood. Somehow, the baby clothes were mostly unscathed. The trunk, was not, and spent a whole day with a fan on it, hoping it would dry without too much rust and damage.
Important papers and photos…good gosh…I can only say it’s a good thing I knew where all of these items were and didn’t have to hunt around for them! The baby photo is of my father. And the good looking young people circa the 1930s are Tyler’s paternal grandparents, drying out on the glass table.
It could’ve been worse. Could’ve been much worse. My mother-in-Law came over during the day to help move and clean things out. We had another large storm that very evening and the water table rose again in the basement.
Gus rolled around and splashed in the very exciting, large indoor swimming pool.
And within a day and a half, I had dried out all that I could, and put the house back together. Well, at least as much back together as a house under construction can be put back together.
It felt like Mother Nature has beaten us for the first time. But, I think perhaps she just gave us a not so gentle reminder. I’m not entirely sure what she was trying to remind us of….but we certainly got off with a warning. Well, that, and a new supply of plastic totes and a new place to store important documents and geological history.