Something was wrong.
I could tell by the rapid Ukrainian my husband was speaking to someone on the phone. I understood words like electricity, mud, and water.
My husband hung up and showed me some pictures a friend sent him. There was stuff floating in six inches of muddy water.
In our basement.
The vacation didn’t feel much like a getaway anymore.
We felt trapped.
We felt trapped by circumstances and indecision.
It had taken us four hours of driving with our little boy and baby girl just to get to our much-need vacation spot.
The company who we worked for is amazing. The were preparing to start the clean-up process. We wanted to help. My husband was ready to drive back that night.
But I wouldn’t let him.
He needed the vacation. Plus, what could he do there at 5am anyway?
We thought about ending the trip short heading home in the morning to start cleaning.
But the kids.
They did so well in the car. They were so excited.There are times when you need to realize what you can and can't do. Times you need to live in… Click To Tweet
So we stayed, played poker and drank wine.
Things Are Just Things
We tried to enjoy each nostalgic moment but our thoughts and conversations kept returning to the flood.
What stuff was destroyed?
The pictures our friend sent only gave us a few ideas, like the floating vacuum.
I kept picturing our basement and the way we left it. I could see our bedroom, the white bed sheet made crisp and neat.
I had washed a bunch of clothes in preparation for the trip but hadn’t had the time to put them away.
They were in a basket in the basement. On the floor.
But what about my husband’s new guitar he got for his birthday?
Or some of our kids toys?
My wedding dress?
I kept going over in my mind what was down there. It made it hard to pay attention to Devil’s Tower or Rushmore, but we did our best and ended up having some fun.
Especially each time we saw a smile on our son’s face.
Was Home Still Home?
We decided later we could not wait any longer; we needed to help and see the damage. We cut our trip short by a day. Our brave, sweet kid agreed.
The drive used for much needed family time: I spy, giggles, and sleep.
What would the house look like? Would we even have a home?
We finally arrived, hearts beating hard. The house stunk like clay. The top floor pretty much looked the same.
But it didn’t feel like home.
It was hot, humid and the main level hardwood floor had tracks from the helpers hauling our things and equipment up and down the stairs. Our home felt foreign. It made me wonder how we could stay there with kids, or even if we should.
We tip-toed downstairs. It felt empty.
There was a white fan blowing and mopped up traces of mud. Our bedroom looked tiny. The longest wall in our rectangular wall was curved.
The water was in the walls and under the floors.
Our basement was ruined.
Things We Lost in the Flood
It is a very humbling moment knowing your material things were packed by other people, placed in garbage bags and stored away.
Our boss said something that stuck with me. Fires are quick. Floods are messy and yet you have hope you can save a few things. Click To Tweet
We couldn’t save most of our things.
I stood with my little girl bouncing on my hip sifting through the black plastic. My son walked around saying things like, “Oh man, my puzzles!” or, “Look, MacQueen is dirty.”
Yet he had a smile on his face.
After days spent wondering, we finally had an idea what was lost. My wedding dress was fine. My husband’s guitar was not.
Moving On and Out
It was obvious we could not stay at the house. It stunk, there wasn’t any running water, or air conditioning. We offered to sleep there anyway but our boss refused (See what I mean about this company?) We stayed in a nice room and the next day moved to a temporary, beautiful house. Maybe we will move back our old place once it has floors again. Or maybe somewhere else. It’s a waiting game, and that’s ok.
We were very lucky. No one was hurt. We have an awesome company who truly cares for its employees. We had many people who gave their sympathy, helped us move, or offered help. We thank you very much for everything everyone has done for us.
We must also thank God for reminding us that things are just things, and teaching us to be thankful even when something difficult happens.
Have you ever been in a flood? How did you survive the aftermath? Tell us about it the comment section below.