Sunday, June 14, 2015

Shock and Awe

My friend from Philadelphia called on May 21, wondering about the flooding in Texas and asking if I was all right.  I called back and left a message.  "I'm fine.  There's been a lot of rain, but my street never floods." That was Before. 

On the night of May 25, I watched a basketball game on TV and went to sleep to the sound of thunder.  I woke at 2:00; it was still raining.  I had a snack and went back to sleep.  At 5:30 my doorbell rang and I stepped out of bed into ankle deep water.  That was After.

"Oh, my God," I screamed.  Surely I was dreaming.  We'd lived through floods and hurricanes with never a drop of water in our house.  But now every room was like a wading pool.  The street was like a river.

I called my son.  "Maybe you should call 911," my daughter-in-law suggested.  I did and they forwarded my call to the fire department.  "If you're not having a medical emergency and you're not in danger, just stay in place.  The water will drain out.  We've had a significant rain event."  Significant?  No kidding.  By the next day our neighborhood was a disaster area, with furniture, clothing, floorboards and carpet lining every sidewalk.  Neighbors milled about, discussing what to do, who to call, how to get through this.  Some people lost everything--house, furniture, keepsakes, clothing, cars. 

I was lucky.  I lost only one piece of furniture...a loveseat.  I lost some speech therapy materials, but they can be replaced.  I had my Oriental rugs picked up to be cleaned and fumigated the next day.  Of course I was isolated:  Comcast is my TV, Internet and phone carrier and it was out for days.  I got most of my news from telephone calls from friends near and far.  One morning a lady came to my door, introduced herself, said her mother used to teach with a friend of mine in Dallas.  My friend couldn't reach me and she was worried.  Would I please call her?

People were incredibly kind.  Neighbors offered help.  When I packed up to stay at my daughter's, a friend kept my cat.  A friend of my son's sanded down my front door because it had become so swollen from the rain, I couldn't lock it.  Another friend invited me to stay at her house the night and other nights if I wanted to after the flood.  I am touched by the kindness of everyone around me.

I stayed at my daughter's for a week. I'm back at home now.  Of course, the sheet rock has been removed up to the standard 2 feet, most of my furniture is in the middle of the rooms, covered with plastic, my dishwasher was ruined by flood water...and darn it, I can't find my salt and pepper shakers.

I had planned to put my house on the market this week.  Can't do that now.  I don't know if I will even get lot value for it.  It's probably worth half of what it was two weeks ago.  I'm just sitting around, waiting to see what the insurance company will pay.  Oh yes, I almost missed the deadline to renew my flood insurance... but thank goodness, I didn't. 

My cat is home, my TV is working, so I can watch the NBA finals, I can make phone calls, I'm back at work...and I still wake up every morning wondering if I dreamed the flood.  Then I look at the missing sheetrock and know it was real.



Template by: Bright Sunshine Designs by Mary - Affordable Custom Blog Design © 2011