Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March....Keep on Marching Right OUT the Door!

March 2015 will not go down as our favorite.
It has been a back biting, nasty month from the very start.
From throwing bad weather on Sundays to it's most recent insults
and injuries of the stomach bug and a flooded lower level.

This post may sound like a lot of whining and complaining
but I hope not because it is more my intent to document this time
for our family history while clearing the air so that better things can come!

We live on the lowest road in our development.
There is a lot of drainage which normally works wonderfully.
We have this really cool grading in the back yard which funnels the water away from the house and down to a collection grate at the bottom of Georgia's driveway which then whisks it under the road to some unseen drainage under the field across the street.
Under normal circumstances this is perfectly wonderful and we don't think about it at all.
Haven't - since our first winter in the house when we thought that flat area on the hill would be just fine for the kids to build snowmen and forts.  
That was the year we understood first how the whole water excavating worked around here.
That led to a whole host of wall sealing and instructions to the kids that 
apparently that part of the yard was "at work" and should be quite left alone.
That was approximately 12 years ago.

Flash forward to Thursday morning.
Chelsea loves to do her devotions in front of the fireplace downstairs.
First thing in the morning she heads down for the heat, peace and quiet.
This past Thursday morning I heard a squishy noise and a curious
exclamation from her.
Turns out she had stepped off the stair and into about 2 inches of cold
water on and in the carpet.
It was all the way through the lower level.

One of the bad things about living somewhere for a while is the accumulation
of stuff that seems to happen. 
I know few people who are good at keeping this at bay, 
Georgia, Warren's mom, being one of them.
However, we are not that way.
We like to keep things.
Not to hoard them...just, well, they become a part of the landscape.
Part of us.

And so after a quick call to Warren, who was headed out to grab a 
quick breakfast before picking up my mom to take her to work in the biggest
snowstorm we have had yet, we got to work.
Splish. Splash.
It was ugly and messy.
But we got a lot of water out.
It is amazing what a commercial carpet cleaner can do.

(Oh, and were we ever grateful for the four wheel drive vehicle that we purchased for Jonathan to drive while his is being repaired after his accident!  This made it possible for Warren to get back and forth to the rental company for equipment as the snow piled on that day.)

I do feel a bit cheated out of this beautiful storm.  Sigh.

However, it was obvious that we were losing the battle 
as the smell began.
If you have any doubts that water can stink?
Doubt no more.
If you have ever happened to leave laundry in your washing machine
too long and come to find it you'll have a smidge of an idea of which I speak.
Now multiply that by roughly 1,000 square feet.
That's about how much carpet was down there.

Thursday night after working all day we ate at Georgia's.
A sadder version of our usual family dinners.
The food was great...we were beat!
I felt perfectly fine.
Until we walked back into the house and my stomach blew up!
I mean I thought I was going to literally explode.
I'll spare you any more details than that but it is now 
Tuesday and I am finally regaining my energy and as of yesterday
could hold food and fluid.
Seven pounds down in 2 days.
Don't worry, I am a realist. 
I expect to see it again as soon as I re-hydrate.

I really don't understand why in the midst of our flood
I was placed smack in bed.
For days!

But I can tell you, for sure, that there is a reason.
God is like that.

The smell from the carpet kept building and by Saturday morning
Jonathan and I had a heart to heart with my beloved husband who
wanted so desperately to deal with this on his own.
Concerns about the expense and pressures of calling for commercial help
kept him from wanting to get professionals in here.
But it had to happen.
For him.
For the house.
For all of us.

And so I attempted to call the biggest name in residential clean up.
My phone shut itself down after two rings.
I stared at it and wondered.
Perhaps that wasn't who I was supposed to call.
I decided to do a search for a local water cleanup company in the area.
Up popped a photo of a bunch of Orange and White trucks.
For whatever reason I decided to call them.
I got Gina on the line.
She said that the owner of the company was just headed out of town
but that they had a "neighbor" who might be able to help us.
I just went along with it.
Remember, I'm super sick at this point and not getting better.
I didn't want to do anything to make our situation worse but I was 
literally throwing myself on God's mercy.
We were at our end.

The "neighbor" called and set up to be at our home within the hour.
He wasn't.  
Two plus hours later I called his phone and with some lack of 
gentility asked him if he had changed his mind about coming.
There was no energy for spare words.
He assured me that he had simply stopped for a quick bite
to eat at our local Burger King before coming to start the work.
Oh.  o.k.
That made sense.
Actually as the whole thing played out it all made a lot more sense.
The guy wasn't a physical neighbor, he was a neighboring franchise owner
for the company.  He was coming from nearly an hour away
and he was just the right person for God to send to us.
John was calm, laid back, humble and a delight to work with.
Pretty soon we had agreed on a plan of attack, 
which matched the one I would have been working on if my body would 
have been able to bear it.
He called in his two assistants and they got to work.
In about four hours they had the carpets cut and out of all but Warren's workshop.
That is a whole other story...but its coming.
They had fans and dehumidifiers blowing creating a wind tunnel 
that literally vibrated the floor.
The house began to become less toxic right away.

Records and games filled the dining room table to dry.

When John arrived the humidity level was a mere 6 points off of
the start of a major mold problem.
When they removed their equipment yesterday it was down by 20 points,
very well under what we needed to be safe.
Amazing, considering that we still have wet carpet in Warren's shop.

Not only did they arrive just in time but God sent just the right people for the job.

The amount spent was available in my candle account
being saved for our taxes but I know, just know, that God is going to 
provide it again.
In fact orders had dried up for the two weeks prior to this event
and then two days ago they began coming in again.
I have come to recognize that God is my scheduler when it comes to 
my candle business.
You can ask my family, I've said it many times....
He just works like that.
And so the uptick in inquiries and orders brightened my day 
way more than the monetary value...it meant, to me, 
that I was on my way to feeling well again and we were going
to be o.k.

This is a forever long post and doesn't even really scratch the surface
but I'll know when I read back.
I'll fill in the gaps and remember.
What feels like a very, very hard time is also a blessing.
Because His hand is in it.

I'll remember how much our Moms felt our pain
and came and cared even when they didn't know if they 
might end up as sick as I was.
I'll remember our Pastor Mike and Jenny coming and caring.
Helping...bringing me soup and pizza for the guys working so hard.
I'll remember.

 Yesterday the water began again.
I felt panic.
Real panic and despair.
But people prayed and for the moment it is drying again down there.
Now that most of the snow has melted from our roof
we don't think we will see much more come in...it seems that 
there is a complication with frozen ground and our 
gutter drainage system.
A weird set of circumstances that probably couldn't be 
duplicated in another year.

The water off the hill is doing exactly as it should.
A serious praise because that is a LOT of water.

Today we are scheduled to take Jonathan for a pre-surgical 
appointment for his herniated disc.
We'll see how that goes.

I'm so relieved to feel "up to the journey".
Chelsea and I are becoming a bit excited about the prospect 
of refinishing the family room again....
at some point after the drywall is replaced.
But for now, we are going to plan and dream.
Why not?

This is a journey of hope, joy, love of family and 
the tender love of our Heavenly Father who lifts us up 
out of deep despair and provides us just who and what we need.


Mrs.Rabe said...

God's ways are so mysterious sometimes. What looks like disaster to us, is working to bring about His best. I am learning (haven't mastered it yet) to look to Him and ask what He's up too!

I am praying that God provides everything needed. I'm so glad your feeling better, too.


Vee said...

You "whine" all you want. There was a whole lot of praise included. Sometimes, it seems as if God wants to do a new thing or point to a problem needing repair. I am so sorry that you were so ill...it was either coincidence or a signal of what stress does. Saying a prayer that all will be resolved and be better than ever. You take care down there...

JD/ Jill said...

Oh my, what a trying time you have had...glad it seems to be getting better for you. We had our wet basement on Christmas eve, though it wasn't all as bad as yours, I can still relate to the panic, and the bad timing (try and get a plumber to come to your house on Christmas eve!)
Spring is coming, and our snow is melting so I'm pretty sure yours is too.
This year I really hope to see you again. How long have I been saying that? (I think I need to pray harder...smile)