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10:06 a.m. - 2011-08-29
Emptying the ocean with a teaspoon.

Like millions of others we got 'caned' this weekend.

(I mean 'hurricane', of course, not 'caned' as in a spanking at a British boarding school.)

Saturday night I went to bed very late and already the rain was sheeting down. Yesterday morning Mick woke me in a swither, the cellar had water in it. A LOT of water and more was pouring in. Not the news you want to hear. Especially at 7:00am. Mick was furious and scared, also something I don't want to deal with at 7:00am, but if nothing else Mick's panic always forces me to be the calm one. Also, after 30 years with Aspies I've learned to stifle. Any open show of emotion and they take it personal. The house could be on fire and they'll still take any yelling or upset as an indictment of them and turn nasty and mean. So I calmly got up, went down and inspected the damage, and then trudged out back in the pouring rain to borrow a sump pump from the ex. Calling him is futile, no cell reception back there.

My sturdy little house rode out the earthquake just fine, but sturdy didn't mean doodly when it came to that much water. The ground was already soaked from the overly wet summer and dumping almost a foot of rain on top of that…well. The floor drain certainly couldn't keep up with the deluge, though I got another good soaking making sure it was clear of debris. The water was almost shin-deep and random things were floating around, a pair of jeans cruised by and tried to wrap around my arm as I checked the drain hole. Which, btw, is conveniently located in the very back corner of the cellar behind the washing machine.

The sump up and running, the drain clear, and most of the floating stuff caught and dumped into the slop sink I figured it was safe to relax and wait out the storm. Wrong!

The power went off. And stayed off for the next 6 hours.

No power, no pump. No pump and the water was going to turn my cellar into a swimming pool.

This is where Mick gives over his panicky flapping around and completely redeems himself by putting on his hero's cape.

All my guy needs is a clear adversary, it's ambiguity that makes him crazy. This water was something he could DO something about! And do it he did. Mick spent the next 4 hours bailing out the cellar by hand. Scooping water with an old plastic trash can and dumping it out the bulkhead door. He worked like a demon. It was Mick or the water, baby, and he wasn't about to let the water win.

He didn't. Not only did he keep pace with the stuff gushing in, he actually outran it. A couple hours into the battle the rain started tapering off. The gushing slowed to trickles and Mick sped up. By the time he was finished the cellar floor was barely damp. The can held about 8 gallons a scoop, the cellar is 20' x30', at its worst the water was at least 7" deep, Mick worked non-stop for 4 hours, you do the math about just how much water my guy bailed.

Me? I did what I do best- I stayed out of the way and kept my guys fed. A piffle compared to bailing the cellar with a trash can, but tricky enough. After the snow-pocalypse in 2010 the power was off for 4 days and yesterday I had no expectation we'd get power back any sooner than that, so I was racing against food spoilage and keeping the residual cold in the fridge and the big freezer downstairs. At least with the snow storm I had snow to pack the coolers with and to melt for water. If the power stays off for days in August we're talking a whole different ballgame. Mick thought of that too and had cleverly filled all my big pots with water before he went to bed on Saturday night. Whatever else happened we'd be able to brush and flush. Thankfully it didn't come to that, but I did use one pot to give Mick a makeshift shower after he'd finished scooping.

"What did you do during the hurricane of 2011, Grandma?"
"Why, I made sandwiches and gave your Grandpa Mick a geisha bath."

Yup, to mangle Milton and quote Herman Raucher in 'Class of 44'


'They also serve who sit and type.' ~LA

7 Wanna talk about it!

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