Thursday, November 11, 2010
a house on the lake
It's going down now - thank goodness - but it's been a scary week. Down the road each way are small* bridges, which were both closed when the water began to lick at their foundations. The big bridge across the river here was slated to be closed (leaving us unable to leave the house) so I did a flying trip to rustle the children out of school and buy a few jugs of spring water in the village, and then we hunkered down. We had water in the basement, yes, but we had power and lights and heat and a couple of sump pumps. And if you didn't look outside at the way the back and side yards were disappearing under water, it was fine. We would be on an island! It would be an adventure.
It was a lot easier to maintain the cheery wartime spirit during the daylight hours. And when it wasn't pissing-down raining.
Monday and Tuesday, we were using our old pump, which decided to sputter and die at about three in the morning. Wednesday morning we flew like the hounds of hell were behind us and rented a big gas pump. When we returned, the basement lake was deepening. This was rapidly becoming not-fun. And it was raining. Again.
Last night, though, was crisp and cold and clear and if you pretended the flashing yellow lights of the Ground Search and Rescue truck were stars it was a lovely night.
This morning the water had dropped an inch. And the sun came out. This afternoon, the kids and I watched the side yard began to reappear and the driveway to heave itself out of the muck. We found pieces of wood that had washed downstream - heavy, waterlogged things - and Cass and Rosey lugged them around, enjoying the squelch under their boots, the sun lighting up their faces and lifting the stress and worry of the flood away from their small shoulders.
Bear has been awesome through all this - watching the water levels, manning the pumps, pumping out the neighbor's basement, checking and rechecking and positioning and calling neighbors and keeping the house warm...and by Wednesday, he was exhausted. Today, he finally had four straight hours of sleep and stopped listing gently into doorways and walls. Tonight, he'll watch the water levels and adjust the pump as it needs it so I can sleep (I work tomorrow) and then it'll be my turn Friday night. (he works Saturday.) It's not an exaggeration to say that without everything he's done, we would not have been able to stay in our house.Yes, I married a rock star.
So while the back yard is still gone (see photo above - the edge of the watershed is on the other SIDE of the foreground trees) we....are....relieved.
And enjoying, sort of, the memory of the week we owned a house on the lake.
*last three pictures, this post. The bridge at the other end of the road is much the same.