Sunday, September 4, 2011

How Irene Kicked My Trash...

This is Irene:

This is Irene at my house:


Yup.  That's Jason.  In the kayak.  In the basement.  With 10 inches of water.

Not the best way to wake up in the morning!

But the great thing is that as soon as we posted that photo on Facebook the phone started ringing, and all our friends turned up at our doorstep with buckets, smiles, and some really good ideas.  Like this one:



This is a siphon.  It was the coolest science trick EVER.  (For those of you without scientist/engineer friends, may I strongly suggest that you get some...)

Unfortunately, the siphons didn't work as quickly as we needed, so when we got enough people we also made a bucket brigade:


That was HARD WORK!!!!!!!  I didn't have fun at it.  But I think we managed to lower the overall water in the basement by 2-3 inches (including the new water that was still coming in).

Eventually we got a generator from the neighbors across the street.  That was good.  Then even more friends came to help, and they had an RV with a generator in in that we used to finish it all off.  Believe it or not, by the time we finished that afternoon, there were only puddles of water left in the basement, and the carpet was entirely gone.

Yup.  We have some awesome friends.  AWESOME friends.

The aftermath hasn't been much fun either.

This is my kitchen the next day:


I feel like I should be on one of those hoarder shows...  But if you'll notice the screens they have a real purpose.  Laid out on them are photos, letters, kindergarten report cards, and you-name-it -- and all of that stuff is actually drying out!  What could have been emotional disaster was saved by those screens! (Thank you, thank you, Jennifer!)

Not everything was so lucky.  My art history books are/were very wet and eventually very smelly.


I was told that even the books that *didn't* get wet but were down in the flooded area needed to get aired out to prevent mold and so...


I hung load after load of my academic library on my little garden fence and the outdoor dog kennel.  For days.

But after all is said and done, we are left with this:


The trash collectors are not going to be happy.

But it's just stuff, right?  It could have been so much worse.  I learned the value of good friends, a sense of humor, and a feel for the big picture.

After all, when Yale comes home in a few months, we were going to have to redo the lower level rooms anyway.  Now we get a head start.

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