“Don’t get excited mom,” said my son D last Thursday afternoon when he called on April 1st, “but there are two inches of water in our basement.” First, I thought perhaps my son D was playing an April Fools joke on me. Unfortunately, my flooded basement was not a joke.
Ready for Battle
I didn’t cry. I didn’t scream. I didn’t jump up and down. Nope, instead I called the contractor who did the work on my foundation. He wasn’t in the office. Next, I called the contractor who installed my original sump pump. He wasn’t in the office either. Then, I tried the electrician. He told me to go home and check the circuit breaker to see if the sump pump was working and if it wasn’t working to call him back and he would give me the name of a plumber. (I was so proud of myself for being so resourceful.)
After stopping at Home Depot to purchase a Utility Pump ( in case I had to pump out the water myself) I arrived home to see what damage had been done. I put on my red rain boots and tiptoed down the steps. I felt like a big kid slushing around in a big puddle of water. Uh oh, time to call the plumber.
Thankfully, the nice plumber R arrived an hour later and installed a new sump pump. So did the fire department, who was also ready and willing to pump out my basement (my son’s hairdresser had suggested we call the fire department…who would have thought the local fire department would do such a job and who would have thought my son would have been so resourceful to ask his hairdresser for flood advice?)
Away We Go
Within a few minutes, the new sump pump had pumped gallons of water out of the basement, leaving about an inch left for wet vac work as well as a whole lot of damaged goods. I always knew I eventually was going to clean out my basement, but I never thought I would be doing it after a flood. Since almost everything was wet, it made it easy to decide what would stay and what would go.
I threw out the VCR tapes that I had been saving for my future grandchildren…tapes of “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid” that I had watched over and over and over again when my kids were young. It’s likely my future grandchildren will have their own iPad to watch these Disney Classics. (I also threw out my “Abs of Steel” tape…don’t think I’ll need abs of steel during the second half of my life.)
I threw out my son’s bar mitzvah poster that all the guests had signed almost seven years ago. The signatures were all smudged.
I threw out copies of my first public relations campaigns that I had created when I started my career. No need to keep these hard copies anymore. It’s likely I have everything I need for my future career on my computer.
Distressing Not Dangerous
I thought about what my former therapist C would have said to me if she were in this situation. She likely would have told me that it was ‘distressing but not dangerous’…and she would have been correct. It definitely had been a very distressing afternoon, but luckily, it had not been dangerous. I had managed with the help of my son D and boyfriend L, to empty out my basement of all the damaged goods. Tomorrow evening I will put the damaged goods out for garbage collection.
Today, the Gutter Guys arrived early to install new gutters on the back of my house. I also went to the mall to do some heavy duty retail therapy to get over my distressing April Fools afternoon. My house is all ready for the April showers that are sure to come this month. And so am I. I bought a new trendy trench coat. As for those April showers…let it rain, let it rain, let it rain. Hopefully this time, April showers will bring May flowers. If not, I think I’m going to do more retail therapy and get a new pair of rain boots.
So impressed that you remembered the magic phrase "distressing, not dangerous"! It is such a great tool to have in your "getting through life challenges" toolbox.