The second flood was the hot water heater expansion tank, the third the hot water heater itself. And because my hot water heater is in a closet in the center of the house, the water damage extended into the living room, hallway, my closet and my vanity area. This time, the fourth, was the water pressure regulator. It was 15 years old and died, causing the water pressure to skyrocket. The pressure was too much for a water line under my vanity sink (the line probably original to the house), and a small pin hole spewed water likely all night. I got out of bed in the morning because I heard water running and knew Harleigh wasn't up yet. Took three steps, and was standing on wet carpet.
As Harleigh and I hauled and sopped, she simply grabbed my wrist, looked me straight in the eye, and said “Mom, we got this.” And we got through it. The last of the shoe molding goes in today.
We twisted through zippered doorways for days on end.
Endured the 24/7 deafening whir of giant fans and dehumidifiers.
Gideon ate and drank from bowls on a shoe shelf from the foyer closet.
With most of the furniture temporarily stored in the garage,
we jockeyed for seating on any surface that wasn't piled with our lives.
And the silver linings, once again as they always do in our make-the-most-of-a bad-situation little household, proved themselves too numerous to count.
- Got gorgeous 5”-plank hardwoods . . .
- . . . and as everything was moved back into the living spaces I cleaned like a crazy woman, a long overdue deep clean.
- All the windows got washed inside and out.
- I got to work with a water damage restoration company that I have built a good relationship with over the many floods — good people, always positive.
- Harleigh and I practiced and succeeded at taking things in stride, accepting what was, being OK with living conditions not being perfect.
- We purged a lot; there’s nothing like having to move your personal belongings to make you question what is worth keeping and what just isn’t. My efforts at simplifying got a little kickstart with the great flood of 2015.
- Harleigh and I also spent a lot of time together, holed up wherever there was space for two women and a giant dog. Her room, with the full bed gone and two twins in its place, was sort of our headquarters. And with this picture above Harleigh’s bed, it seemed the perfect room to escape to for chilling out and counting our blessings amidst the shambles right outside her bedroom door.
Gideon fared the best of all through it. With our house filled with work crews and machines for days on end, he was relegated to Harleigh’s room, where I made up his bed on hers, with the blinds up so he could watch all the goings-on in the driveway. He was in heaven, like a little boy watching a construction site.
A day into the mess, Harleigh came home with flowers for me. It meant a lot. She knows that little gestures like this are part of my love language.
The one project I got done before my craft room became filled with closet contents, lamps and home decor from the damaged rooms was to cover my new Bible. I’ve always wanted a journaling Bible, and I found one at a good price, but the cover was anything but pretty. I took the dust jacket off and used that as the base, covering it in some calico fabric, adhering it with Mod Podge. Then I glued a metal scrapbooking embellishment on the cover along with a mustard seed charm. A reminder that "with faith nothing is impossible" seemed a fitting mantra for the challenging time we’ve just lived through.
And on a final note, this book! What a page turner. Highly recommend.
Stay tuned for a post I hope to get up next week of the adoption baby shower I designed.
Lee Ann, who had hired me to design the nautical baby shower, asked me to do all the decor for an adoption shower (the adopting parents also happen to be dear friends, so that made it super special!).