Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Morning After

It was Sunday morning, September 19, 2004.
We awoke after a rather short night and much worry,
showered, dressed and took the girls down to the
hotel breakfast room. We discovered that we were among
many in our neighborhood that wound up
at that particular "Macintosh" hotel.
We also discovered that we were National News!
Watching our town engulfed in water on TV was
We checked out, not knowing what to do next...
except that we had to get to Mass.
Our Pastor spoke about the need to postpone our
Annual Parish Picnic that afternoon due to the
"difficulties of our neighbors in the flooded areas of town"...
He went on and on... making me wonder
if we would have water above the roof line...
My Darling Husband tried to track down a youth group volunteer
to give them a donation and ran into an aquaintance from the
Knight of Columbus. They exchanged pleasantries and then
Lovey blurted out that we really had NO IDEA where we would
live for the forseeable future. That wonderful guy immediately
invited the four of us home with he and his wife. WHEW!
They fed us and helped us to get some info and then we ran to
Walmart because we had NO CLOTHING AT ALL !!!
Our daughters fell "In Love" with the man of the house...
he is a big, cuddly, teddybear of a man who loves children.
(let DH and I get out to do some stuff and when
we came back, both girls were sitting with him
on his BIG chair watching Sleeping Beauty!)
We tried not to watch too much coverage while the girls
were awake, but at night, we couldn't help ourselves.
I began to pray that the water would stop rising
below the 4 foot mark. I had a picture on the wall
in the girls room that my mother had made in school
when she was about ten years old.
I thought that if only that picture was spared,
I would be OK.
DH and "teddybear" got a look at the house from
the back of the neighborhood on Monday afternoon...
Blessedly, the water had stopped rising and began to receed
as of Sunday night...We got into the house onTuesday.
Because of the elevation of the house,
we had 8-10 inches of water in the "upstairs"
(remember, it is a ranch house so everything was
on the first floor) of the house.
The basement had filled completely.
We stayed with the Teddybear & his wife for a week.
The mess was incredible. The only visual description
I can give is of a local pond where everyone is encouraged
to dump unwanted stuff... for 20 years...then drain the pond...
THAT'S what my basement looked like.
We threw out lots of wet stuff from upstairs that I
later realized could have been washed...
but there was little looking back...
what can you do about it now?
We spent the first day
(when we still had running- cold-water)
salvaging what we could from the basement.
One wrench in the works was that I was
5 months pregnant with Snorkie at the time
and really had to be careful about the (semi-treated) sewage
and propane oil that had contaminated the flood waters...
(and made EVERYTHING smell awful for months).
We wore masks and gloves and grungy clothing and used
Gallons and Gallons of BLEACH.
I spent a good deal of time at the house,
thanks to Grammy watching the girls
& even taking them overnight one night.
That first week was a revelation.
It is amazing what the power of friendship,
volunteerism and hard work acn do for the spirit.
I will never forget
the effort and help of relatives, friends & strangers.
To be continued...some more.


  1. Oh, my goodness, what an ordeal! So thankful you folks had people to stay with until the floods receded, and then that you had plenty of help in the cleanup efforts.

    Did you have to replace drywall and all carpeting? Sounds almost like the Katrina clean-up!

    God is indeed Good. You were spared your lives and still had a home to return to. It's always an added blessing when He sends folks along to help us in our difficulties, too.

  2. Oh my goodness! 8-10 INCHES????
    I bet you had to replace absolutely everything! And you were 5 months pregnant too! What an experience!
    Looking forward to the rest....

  3. wat de wereld niet weet,dat het zo erg was,verschrikkelijk moet het geweest zijn.gelukkig zijn jullie allemaal gespaard gebleven,en de kracht van je geloof help je erdoor heen .liefs van oma nijn

  4. Oh my Elizabeth...I stopped by for a visit because it's been a find THIS story! I am so thankful that God provided for and sustained your family through this terrible ordeal! I can't fathom enduring such an experience; and at five months pregnant! God bless you all! I look forward to the "happy ending" story!


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