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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours

I left John with the kids last night while I went to that most wondrous world of shopping oblivion known as Ikea.

I was purposefully armed with a very focused list, but not my cell phone -- that, I forgot in the car. My subconscious knew I couldn't be bothered.

I returned to my car shortly before 9:00 and found two missed calls from John. I found it puzzling that the first thing he asked me was, Where are you? and before I could answer, Let me call you back. But I didn't think much of it. I just hoped the kids were in bed.

I couldn't talk when he called back because I had a guy helping me load two very big and very heavy boxes that contained Conner's dresser, my main motivation for the trip. We connected again once I was back on the highway. It was sprinkling lightly.

"You won't be able to come the usual way on our street, it's totally flooded, so just go around." Um, okay. John can tend toward hyperbole, especially when it comes to meteorology (he missed that calling) so I really didn't think a whole lot about it. But before he could say more the radio came on with that annoying bellowing air horn sound that is usually followed by, "This is a test by the emergency broadcasting system." Only this time it was followed by a flash flood warning and a list of counties, ours one of them. Hmmm.

It was raining in earnest by the time I reached the edge of Dayton. I headed toward our street and decided to try the normal route anyway. Hmmm. A bit of water about halfway in where it dips down, but still a go.

Conner greeted me at the door with barely concealed relief. John's trying to tell me about the street flooding and almost pouring into the neighbor's basement. He is incredulous that I just drove home the usual way. Borderline indignant. Sorry to burst your bubble, Pops, but the street was not that bad.

Then he showed me the pictures.

This was why he wanted me to go around.

Because this isn't actually a cul-de-sac.

Here I asked if someone popped out their little raft, but it was just some random kid's toy the floods pulled out of someone's yard.

Floods like this river. Only it isn't actually a river. At least it's not supposed to be.
Here's a view of it targeting the neighbor's house, where everyone began to congregate. John didn't mention there being any buckets on hand, so I guess they were just all there to observe the possible calamity first-hand, ready to offer condolences. Because it came this close to seeping into their basement.
John couldn't believe how many teenage girls came pouring out of that house. He said it was like watching bees from a hive. I'm sure their teenage chattering and panicked theatrics helped matters brilliantly.The whole neighborhood was out, actually. Ready to start bailing, I'm sure. When they weren't frolicking in sewage flood water. Like the guy up above, see? Up to his thighs in the cesspool that is our street? I guess he was in too much of a hurry to go around. Too bad he forgot his bucket.

So I was quite impressed. Apparently I missed a bit of excitement. But I couldn't help but comment about the little ones still being up, it being almost 10:00 and all. Hubs was unapologetic. Gee, I guess it was a little hard to put them to bed what with the sirens wailing and us hiding out in the basement and all.


I'm really not sure if and where any funnels touched down around Dayton, but the clouds looked pretty ominous over our house.And over our neighbor's.Those two peaks hanging down? What you can't see in this photo is the whirly-swirliness of it all. Kansas, eat your heart out.

And to think, about the time he took these photos, I was shopping my little heart away, probably inquiring about some curtains I have picked out for Olivia's room.

Aren't they fabulous?

Unfortunately a few hundred other people think so, too. And they've been "temporarily oversold" for quite some time. With "no shipments scheduled". But I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Good things come to those who wait.

Even though the waters receded and the worst seemed to be over, the storm continued unabated throughout the night. Made for a good night's sleep, I tell you what. And it kept on in the morning. We had a little deja vu when our street became unpassable again -- only for about 10 minutes, but long enough to give Sean-Peter's bus driver a bit of trouble.

I would have taken pictures of that sweet lady maneuvering that bus around close enough so Sean-Peter wouldn't have to wade into a river to climb into it, but I was too busy clutching the little guy's hand while we watched. And did I mention it was raining? What a way to end the school year.

I was surprised when John came back to the house this morning, before he was supposed to show up for this interview for this position that he was put in for that he doesn't really want but it's supposed to be an honor to be considered for it so he really can't just say, "No thanks, I really don't want to do that." So we talked a bit about how maybe he could just flub the interview so they wouldn't want him. Har-har and all that.

Then the power went out. And did I mention it was still raining? The whole morning long. Storming, really. Like God's stomach was growling.

It eventually came back on, and John left for his appointment/interview. I was totally in the mood to get on and blog about yesterday's excitement, but I couldn't figure out how to turn the computer back on -- when the power went out it started making this annoying beeping sound because of this generator/backup system it's plugged into, and since John was still there he went ahead and disconnected it. My mad skillz with all things technical tend toward the lacking side to say the least.

I was highly annoyed -- blogging wasn't the only thing I wanted needed to do on the computer. I called his cell phone, thinking I might still catch him in the car. I was annoyed again when it started ringing from inside the drawer in the kitchen.

So imagine my surprise when John calls shortly thereafter, stranded on the side of the road where his car had broken down and he'd been waiting the whole time for someone to stop and offer help. I guess I wasn't the only one who thought he should have his cell phone with him.

So the engine clenched? Turns out that it kind of caught on fire? Um, yea. I guess that's one way to get out of an interview.

So I pack up the little ones to go rescue him, whisking Sean-Peter off the bus and immediately plopping him in the van, fielding calls on John's cell phone that I brought with me from people wondering why he's not at this interview. We have to hurry because Sean-Peter has a therapy session, and ultimately John had to go back to the car to wait for the tow truck to arrive.

On the way to Sean-Peter's appointment we encounter more flooding. Incredulously, some trucks are making their way through. Big trucks. I was bummed I didn't have my camera. But we don't need another car out of commission so I turned around and found another way. I do have mad skillz in the finding my way around department. (Lots and lots and lots of experience in getting lost in many, many different places will give you that.)

Miraculously we still make his session on time, though I honestly could not have cared less at that point. More driving to go pick John up at the Toyota dealer where he has been waiting, and starving -- it's after lunch by this point. Right at the end of the 30-minute drive the van's dash emits a resounding BEEEEEP! and a suspicious light shows up in front of me, which John later identifies as the brake light. So the brakes are going out in our van? In our one remaining vehicle that is taking us on a road trip in a few short weeks? It's telling me this at the precise moment that we are dropping off our other vehicle with charred internal regions that threatened to set the whole engine on fire for an as-of-yet completely unidentified reason?

So tomorrow's going to be a juggling act, what with (yes, more) therapy appointments and dance recital rehearsals and oh, we're out of milk making it necessary for me to have a car tomorrow, in this typical midwestern American city with no ready public transportation to fall back on, broken down cars and rising gas prices or no.

I'm thankful -- I really, really am. Because things could have been so much worse, could have taken such a different turn at so many points. The flooding receded. The clouds swirled away. The power came back on. The car didn't spontaneously combust. We still have one car. So I'm just praying. You know? For just a little break. Because I actually like rain. I love rain. But maybe, just for a day, a little sunshine could be in order? It'd go really well with those curtains I still hope to get for Olivia.


the dragonfly said...

Oh my, talk about insanity! I'm glad everyone is okay and all, but sorry about the car. Yuck. And of course it would die when he didn't have his cell phone...


I hope tomorrow is sunshine and rainbows for you, either real or just figurative (if it's still raining). :)

Carmen said...

Your writing is so wonderful to read, Jolyn! I really enjoyed this. I also love your neighborhood. It looks so big and spread out...yet somehow quaint.
We have the same weather hear! Lots of water in people's basements! Jake and I were the only ones home the other night when a storm came through. We were upstairs listening to the radio because the satelite was out and when we returned downstairs after the storm we found the laundry room door had been blown open with the hard rain pouring on in the whole time! *sigh* But all is fine. The weather looks to be quite ominous today also...

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

RDC CCC Mom said...

S-P's cup is on the train table! We'll bring it tomorrow!

I don't think my comment made it on...WOW! You weren't kidding! That could have done some serious water damage to that house! Glad you're up on the hill!

OHmommy said...

WOWzers..... I am glad everyone is ok.

Anonymous said...

That was some rain storm! Glad the rain went away and the waters receded.

Sounds like a higher power also did not want JP to make that interview. Hope the brakes on your vehicle are now in good repair.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that through all that you all remained safe!
I hear you on the rain/storms---I am sorry that we've sent them your way. I'll have to talk to our weatherman about that.

BTW, I LOVE those curtains!