Thursday, September 16, 2010

And Then the Rains Came

Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Michel de Montaigne

Be Prepared. The scout motto, yes? Here in Central Texas, we prepare for weather. Any inkling of an ice storm, snow flurry, or hurricane in any sea, our weathermen get excited and tell us how to prepare. We follow like good scouts and invade the grocery store for water, flashlight batteries, and any other necessity to make it through the harrowing days ahead. I, of course, include the wine aisle.

Normally, our preparations are for naught. The ice storm stays in North Texas and the remainders from the hurricane skirt us and head into Mexico. I drink the wine anyway.

Last week, the rains arrived unexpectedly, adorned with the title of Hermine. I'd heard of tropical depression/hurricanes Alex, Earl, and Igor, but where did Hermine come from. No days of fore warning by our weatherman. A hint that rain might come, but no clue that three days of pouring skies might produce new rivers.

I can't tell you where she came from, but I can tell you where she ended up.

In my living room.
There I was, minding my own business. Reading a book while the rain poured outside. Hours of steady rain and then I heard a different sound. A dripping. I looked up from my book to see my fireplace weeping. Sobbing, in fact. Not just from that spot above, but through the rocks.

I rushed to remove all the photos, diplomas and the summer's collection of tidbits from the mantle.

I grabbed pots and pans from the kitchen only to notice water there also - above the oven, coming out of the register.

So glad we got that new roof last year.

Until three in the morning I wandered the house, pulling out more pans and towels, my evil eye tracing the ceiling and rocks on the fireplace for the next spring of a leak. The kitchen ceiling for even more brown spots popping up.

Outside the rain continued to drench, inch after inch. The radar on the television displayed a solid line of red right up our alley with no hint of drying up. Reports of cars under water in an intersection only a few blocks away.

Unprepared, I had no wine in the house. I wept right along with my fireplace.

My husband slept through the whole damn thing. My middle son, Jordan, currently living at home awaiting a new wildlife position, huddled with the computer in the study, playing some game online with his little brother in Alabama.

I stood in the study door, my hands on my hips. "Your dad's asleep and you're playing a game. I'm in here freaking out while the house crumbles before my eyes."

He shrugged and went back to his game. "Calm down, Mom."

Don't you hate that.

He told his little brother to give me a call and Ian called on cue. I was passed off, but I welcomed the call.

Twelve inches of rain, total, for our area. Our damage truly minimal compared to the loss of life and property experienced by many others.

But, my house in a shambles, I did what every self-respecting homeowner should do. I abandoned the property and went to the lake. Needed to check out the damage there, right?

Only 3-4 inches of rain unleashed, but oh, how my flowers loved it.

And look who came to visit.

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.... People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.
Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982


  1. oh no! I hope the water damage isn't too much and can be repaired without too much $$ involved.

    I'm glad you have a beautiful place to retreat to, though.

  2. Oh, no!! Hope the roofing contractor is going to pay for this one!
    My favorite line: "Unprepared, I had no wine in the house." Bet that won't happen again. Your flowers look beautiful...

  3. Oh ugh.. I hope there's a decent long term warranty on that roof. I'm sorry you have to deal with this. It's raining hard here today and I'm listening for drips...

  4. That's awful! Sorry to hear about your house. Hope it's not in too bad of shape.

  5. Sorry about your house springing leaks. That is awful! And that you had no wine?? Oh my!! Disaster for sure.
    And where the heck is that roofer??

  6. New roof? Shouldn't insurance or the contractor's insurance cover any damage? My motto is to always have wine on hand.

  7. It makes our one inch of rain here seem very puny!!
    I have been twice to your part of the world - Houston Dallas, San Antonio, Alberquerque etc . and never seen a single drop of rain. Hope you have dried out by now.

  8. We had 3 inches one day about a month ago...can't imagine 12 inches!

  9. Arrghh! Hope it gets sorted. We moved from our last house because of a leaky roof the landlord wouldn't sort. It used to drip in onto the electrics in the garage! Scary!

  10. You just can't prepare for everything. Better stock up on extra wine, for such days. Your boy, though, and his father, typical!

  11. Wow, 12 inches is a lot of of rain! I would have to call those roofers and insist on free repairs! At least your home didn't flood and your flowers are beautiful! Moral of the story, always have wine on hand! lol

  12. Oh no! Isn't a new roof supposed to prevent this type of catastrophe? Retreating to the lake was absolutely the only sensible thing you could do in this situation. I hope the damage is minimal and that the roofer takes full responsibilty.

  13. Geeze the state of Nevada gets 7 inches per year! I've not seen a drop all summer. But I don't envy you those brown spots, or the weeping fireplace. Wow - new roof, you say?

  14. What a blessing to have the lakehouse for an escape from those pesky household issues!
    Beautiful, beautiful photos of the swans.

  15. How horrible! People do the same thing here in preparation of a big snow blizzard...I too make sure to hit the wine store before hand...yes, "calm down mom" doesn't go over well with me yes they pass me off to another sibling too...darn kids...hope that you have no more leaks anytime soon. XX

  16. Morning glories! That is my favorite flower - especially the blue ones with the yellow center. Gorgeous.

    But twelve inches of rain? Yikes!

  17. Ohhh sorry to see the pics..Hope you will find a good repairman..

  18. good grief, no wonder you left the comment at my place wondering why things can't just even out!

    hope your roof came with a guarantee...

  19. Pretty flowers! Good luck--maybe a flashing problem? Maybe need a cricket? See, I have heard it all with out tricky roof. Hubs was ready to tear off the fireplace and just put on new walls.

  20. Oh my goodness! I've had lots of basement flooding in heavy rains, but never though the roof. I'm sorry to hear about that.

    But I have to tell you, I never don't have wine in the house, though.

  21. I think maybe God is saying you should stay at the lake. Like maybe a really long time.

    Hope you got a good warrantee on that roof. Yikes!

    Have you gone to the store to stock up for the next surprise emergency yet? :-)

  22. Wait! You got a new roof only last year! Oh I am so sorry about the damage..I wish you speedy repairs.

  23. I'm soo sorry to hear this!!! I hope it doesn't turn out to be a nightmare to get everything fixed!!! So awful!!!

    On a cheerier note...your flowers are gorgeous!! Fantastic photos!! ~Janine XO

  24. So sorry for these watery troubles, but damn .. that's a cleverly written post about them! You witty thang!

  25. What everyone else said about the roofer and insurance! I am glad it was just water damage and that you managed to weave an amusing tale out of it.

  26. A wonderful piece of writing...your humor is so objective! As if you can really stand back from a situation and see it for what it really is...thanks!

  27. how are you writing this with a sense of humour.
    I'd still be crying into my wine.

    the purple is glorious.

  28. Oh Dear Lord. My heart dropped for you; we went through this Christmas before last and it lasted for months. Until warm weather and we could begin renovations...again.
    I'm glad you had that new roof put on too; makes ya want to call the guys up and thank them...all over again.
    Or, maybe not.

  29. Okay, so love your happy flowers; those little white things make 'em look like eyes looking right backatcha! I loved how you wept over winelessness right along with your fireplace; that was inspired. And that you got that new roof last year. But I did not like that you lost a night's sleep, wineless in Texas...

  30. Now that's some weeping! I lived in New Braunfels for five years. The flowers do love the weather. Here now in East Texas, I find they like it here too. Especially the humidity. Which I don't!

  31. Sorry to hear about your late night water catching and the damages.

    My father said that he got loads of rain as well--living on the sand does have one advantage as it disappears quickly.

  32. We had some rain, but nothing like ya'll. You have to let us know what came of the roof? You know you're going to get more rain.

    I would have done the same thing. Just left the whole mess. You are so smart. Be sure and stock up on the wine.

    Funny... when we lived in Round Rock, I kept my pantry stocked up year round. Cause you're right... you never know what is going t happen.

    It's good to hear from you.

  33. Just checking in to see how you are doing...and if everything is getting cleared up!!! You've been in my thoughts! ~Janine XO

  34. Wow...hope it's all dried up in the sunshine and the roofing contractor is up there replacing your roof! The flowers are so lovely. ....and I LOVE the Alice Walker quote...


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