In September of 2004 I had been working for two years
with a few other women in our small river town
of Yardley, Pennsylvania
to design and build a children's playground.
September 19th was to be our GRAND OPENING!
We had a beautiful reception on Saturday the 18th
for all the "Major Sponsors" that donated $1,000, or more.
It was held at the lovely historic Library at Lake Afton.
Many of our corporate sponsors were local Realtors.
One of the Realtors,
knowing how the home prices were still rising,
told me that if I ever wanted to sell,
she would be glad to handle the house.
I told her that I intended to "grow old" in my house.
(I think I actually said that I would die in that house.)
I LOVED where I was living...
one block in from the Delaware River,
one block over from the
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park.
I could walk up town to the store, post office, playgound...
We canoed on the canal with the girls in the summertime,
bicycled and walked on the Canal Path...
The weather was yucky that weekend
and we had to postpone the Grand Opening.
Predictions were for rain and chill,
due to the remnants of Hurricane Ivan
passing through Pennsylvania and upstate New York.
By the time I got home from the little "party",
My husband had gotten word that we should move
our cars out of the neighborhood.
Often, when the river rose, it would block off our
little area of Yardley by flooding Delaware Avenue
and make it impossible to get around.
The "back" of the neighborhood was dry,
but you couldn't get to town from there by car
because of the canal.
We emptied the minivan of all the Homeschool Co-op stuff
I had in the back and loaded up the "mural"
that I had painted to be hung on the back wall
of the playground.
We moved the cars uptown to a municipal parking lot,
and decided to grab some dinner at a local restaurant
overlooking the river.
We learned some things...including that NOAA
was predicting major flooding...
we didn't know what that meant really...
but when we got home, we started bringing things
up from the basement "just in case".
Our house was only 20 years old, so it had been built to newer
code requirements and was elevated above the road somewhat.
Our home was a 1,000 square foot rancher
with a 1,000 square foot basement
(multiplied by the 7 foot ceilings,
made 7,000 CUBIC feet of storage).
We had a VERY FULL basement.
We joked that this would help us get the basement
cleaned up once and for all....LOL.
We worked all evening trudging stuff up,
I left BOTH of my sewing machines,
too many art materials and art works to count,
all the scrapbooking stuff/photos that were already organized,
all of our old vinyl records, lots of decorator items...UGH.
We realize at about midnight that we were going to have to
At around 1:00am, we woke the girls
(who were 3.5 & 5.5 years old at the time)
We gathered clothes for Sunday Mass,
one toy for each of the girls,
and hiking out the back of the neighborhood,
each of us carrying a sleepy daughter,
got to our car and rented a hotel room for the night.
we were still chuckling...singing"Climb Every Mountain"
and debating whether we should have
turned off the power to the sump pump,
we thought it might only be a little water in the basement...
We were WRONG, Very Very WRONG.
...to be continued.
Hopefully Blogger will let me upload some photos next time...