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28 January 2016 @ 11:14 pm
Happy New Year! Oh, And Your Basement Flooded.  
The beginning of December we took off on a trip, planning to be gone 6 to 8 weeks. Our son would keep an eye on the house. All was fine until January 2nd when our son called to inform us that there had been 2 feet of water in the basement and most of the stuff he and we had stored down there was now junked.

We packed up the motorhome and started out for home the next day. 1,700 miles. We made it in 3 long and tiring days.

When I walked into the house the smell about knocked me out. The flood water was creek overflow. Smelly, slimy, silty water.

While we were gone there'd been a LOT of rain in a short time and that means the creek comes up close to the house. Only this time, our neighbor told us, it came up way higher than usual. And the ice storm had knocked out power for about 14 hours. We've come up with a couple of possible scenarios of how it could have happened but we'll never know. It doesn't matter anyway.

All summer long I'd kept saying and thinking that I wanted to get downstairs and go through the stuff, maybe get rid of some of it, at least bring my vinyl records up to the living room. So we committed to making it our number one winter chore. Boy oh boy!

These past three weeks have been a blur. Our first task was to bring everything out of the basement. Me, hubby, his brother and his wife worked all day. The guys did the heavy lifting and dragging things up. They got drenched doing it. We gals took over from there and sorted things as undamaged, possibly okay or trash. We had a lot of trash. The high temperature for the day was about 37°F so we and the soggy stuff were freezing!

My biggest heartbreak is my vinyls. I have over a hundred LPs, several of them older than me, given to me when my folks retired and downsized. Most of the album covers were ruined. The slimy water glued the covers and liners together but I had to get the records out of that muck. I was crying and swearing, my fingers were freezing. All summer long I'd kept saying I needed to bring them up but I didn't and now this.

Hubby's big loss was a series of about a thousand paperbacks. He'd just bought them from his son in 2014 and was almost 300 books through it.

At least my grandmother's 1930 china and mother's 1950 crystal glassware survived. We'll be taking it to my daughter our next visit. I'll bring along the few surviving VHS tapes I'd been saving for her. I'm sure they're all available on DVD now but it's not the same as the tape she watched and loved as a little kid.

It's how I feel about the albums I played on my little red box record player with the crappy needle chewing up the vinyl. But I didn't know and I played my favorite Dean Martin album, Welcome to My World, a million times on it. All the while gazing dreamily at his picture on the album cover. The record survived, except the last song on side B but it was worn out and scratched long before the flood.

Been doing a LOT of laundry. All of those clothes that I've been keeping for when I get back down to that size? Washed and packed for a trip to the Salvation Army.

Another upside is we have a brand new furnace, water heater and sump pump. Oh, and the walls will be finished finally. We're debating if we should risk carpeting again or maybe do tile instead. I vote for carpet. The cost of tiling is so high, we'd have to replace the carpet four times to break even.

I'm exhausted and tomorrow will be another day of the same.