Saturday, June 20, 2009

Home, Wet Home

We are finally home again....

Our kids finished up school a week ago with half-days on Thursday and Friday. We took off Friday afternoon for Ohio, stopping to pick up Papa Rooster at work on the way.

We had a nice time in Ohio with my family that was there. Besides Mom, Dad and Grandma, my aunt and uncle from California were there, as well as Pilot Brother, Summer and their girls. I had to spend Sunday afternoon at the Urgent Care Center with Blondechick16, who had tonsillitis, but other than that, it was all good.

Bantam14 enjoyed showing us around the barn where he had helped put in a fuse box and do some of the electrical wiring. He had had a wonderful time for nine days before we arrived, but he was glad to be reunited with his family.

Papa Rooster had to leave Ohio on Monday to fly somewhere for work, so I drove the big white van home alone on Tuesday. Only we stopped short of home, at Key Lime Cove, a waterpark a half hour south of where we live. We had been offered a great deal for homeschoolers, and this was the last week to use it! Papa Rooster joined us after he got back in town from his trip, and we spent one night and called it a mini-vacation.

On Thursday, it was all catch-up for me, until 3:30, when I had to drive to a 4-hour CPR class over an hour away. But now I'm all certified and ready for the drama summer camp that I'm running in July!

On Friday, we had planned to travel into Chicago with friends first thing in the morning for another mini-vacation day at the Museum of Science and Industry, but instead I found myself at the doctor's office with another case of tonsillitis, Bantam14. While I was there, my dad called to say that Grandma had passed away. We have some time before the funeral, he said. Would Bantams 14 and 18 be pallbearers, along with their dad?

On that sober note, we got his prescription, called our friends and traveled forever through heavy rains into Chicago. We made it to the museum just in time for our entry time for the Harry Potter exhibit, which was fascinating--you never think what attention to detail goes into the costumes and props! We beat the rush to Gino's East and got seats and pizza quickly. It has been years since I've eaten there, and oh man, was it good.

Then we piled back into the big white van, planning to visit Milennium Park and Buckingham Fountain, but it had begun to rain and strong winds were kicking up, so we headed for home instead. On the way, a neighbor friend of Blondechick's called to tell her that our driveway was so flooded, he couldn't see the wheels of my car. Then another friend from down the road confirmed that our street was underwater.

All the way home, I was praying! Was everything in our garage wet? Our basement? How about my new Prius--would it ever run again? How could we spend days dealing with a big clean-up project? And with an out-of-state funeral to go to?

By the time we got home, the water had receded already, and our cars and our friends' car were fine. We could see where the water from the street had risen to with a yard or two of our front sidewalk! Apparently so much water fell in such a short time that the drains just couldn't keep up. There had been strong winds too, and our heavy metal-frame gazebo had been lifted, turned over and had snapped in a number of places--unrepairable.

Our power was out though, and so only the back-up sump pump was running. It appeared initially that our basement was fine, but then we discovered places where the carpet was wet. Papa Rooster worked by flashlight to get our generator hooked up to the other sump pump so both were functioning. And then the power came back on, of course.

We called a place to come out on Saturday morning to assess the damage. By then, the carpet was wet all over; the pad had soaked up and spread water like a sponge, and it had begun to come up into the drywall. We wouldn't have to move everything, they said--they could work around our larger furniture items, but we would have to move all our books off the shelves, so they could move the shelves.

I hesitate to guess how many books we own, and over half of them are in that basement.

Well, not any more. All Father Rooster's theology books--a whole roomful--are now lining the walls of our main level. The rest--most children's and adult fiction--is piled high on the home theater seating, which thankfully, we didn't have to tear down; they were able to cut a little hole in the bathroom closet and blow air in underneath the platform.

Right now our basement carpet is "floating" on air blown by industrial-strength blowers, having been suctioned of all water. The basement should be dry as a bone in about three more days. We hope.

In the midst of all the book-moving and salvaging--about half a dozen oversize art books got half wet, since they were resting on the carpet--Chicklet6 complained of a headache and sore throat, and darn, if she didn't have a fever, too! Another case of tonsillitis.

What fun we've been having!

Oh, and Happy Father's Day, Papa Rooster.


Linds said...

What a week you have had, Jeanne - full of highs and lows,and the basement is not what you needed. Thank God the damage wasn't worse though.
My condolences to all your family, after your Grandma's death. I will be praying for you all. Lots of love

Summer said...

Oh Jeanne - you poor thing. I'm sorry to hear about all the sickness and the basement flooding. I had hoped that Blondchick would be your only child with tonsilitis. I'm praying that you all recover and return to Ohio well. I hate the circumstances that we'll be seeing each other under, but I'm glad I'll get to see you all again. Love to you all!