Monday, May 12, 2008

The Great Mother's Day Debacle

Debacle. (noun) The American Heritage dictionary defines it as both a total, often ludicrous defeat and also a violent flood. Both shall apply.

If you've seen the Weather Channel recently, you may know that the Washington DC region has been a bit soggy. Waterlogged, even. People, it has been damn wet. Now, I'm perfectly aware that as far as unfortunate weather goes, we're getting off a lot easier than an awful lot of people.

But its still not a treat to find out that your basement is going to try and moonlight as a fishpond, especially if a good portion of your treasured gazillion and one books happen to be down there. We noticed a puddle seeping across the floor last thursday, but it was easily contained and besides, we were sort of having a possible tornado about 2 miles down the road.

Yesterday, however, we got six inches of rain in a single day. Short Stuff was visiting my husband's parent while my poor husband was trying to finish up the work on his rental property, which decided he wasn't overworked enough and sprang a big leak in the skylight. I told him not to worry about doing a Mother's Day dinner with me, that leak had to be dealt with before it ruined the drywall. Besides, my parents, youngest sister and my older son were coming over so I'd have a good time anyway.

We had just finished up supper and my son went downstairs to check the basement. Unfortunately, it was leaking again, much worse than last week. I ran to get some towels and he got a pushbroom to sweep water into the sump pump. (because 30 years of settling house has resulted in the side of the basement with the pump being ever so slightly UPhill from the leaking side) I see that the window well is full of water, which points to a problem with the gutter.

I grab a hoodie and go outside to survey the problem. Apparently, last week's storm blew a bunch of stuff onto the roof and it has now clogged the gutter, which is sending cascades of water down into and around the window well and contributing significantly to Lake Basement. I can't do anything about the gutter at the moment but I grabbed Jacob's plastic wading pool and used it to cover the window well, hoping to divert the water. Feeling clever in the face of a problem, I turned to go back to the house.

You know how sometimes when you fall, it seems like slow motion? And you have time to consider how badly the impact is going to hurt? Well, that did not happen. The very next thing I was aware of was the back of my skull bouncing off of the ground. I guess both feet slid out from under me in a spectacular failure of bipedal action and I had to have gotten some impressive lift because it was my head that struck the ground first, followed by the rest of ragdoll me.

son of a... OUCH. I? left a dent in the water-soaked ground. Not a big one but still.. And then I had to roll onto my stomach and push myself up since I'd knocked myself damn silly. Utterly soaked and covered in mud, I made it back into the house and staggered into a wall as an encore. And it was raining hard anough that no one even heard me yell.

So now I have a whopping headache, a mild concussion, a bruised arm and a bruised butt. But my books are dry and by golly, tonight I'm going to bed with a glass of wine and look into what I might need to do to change my name to Grace and get it over with.


a Tonggu Momma said...

I'm so, so sorry. We've dealt with a Basement Flood before. No fun! I can't even imagine it on Mother's Day. It's been darn wet here. Hugs to you -- and possibly some towels, buckets and mops as well.

Reluctant Housewife said...

Ouch! I hope you're okay & your books stayed dry.

frannie said...

holy cow! that sounds really painful!!!

at least the books are okay!

Tamsyn said...

The books. The BOOKS. I'm so glad that they're okay. I hope you get there too!

Magi said...

All I can say is


But I'm glad the books are safe.

Anonymous said...

Ouch. Glad you survived that fall with only "minor" injuries. Reminds me of the time I walked right into a 2x4 and bruised my head, only I didn't get a glass of wine, it was too early in the morning!