Friday, June 02, 2006

Disorder in house

This realy cool digital photo of lightning was taken 9:30 at night

I am driving home from Scouts on Thursday and am thinking 'I am not gonna make it home before this huge thunderstorm'.

I want to unfasten the cover on the cabana so it doesn't "fold like a cheap card table" in the wind, but by time I get home the lightning is bad and the rain had started pattering on the pool cover.

It turns out that wind is not going to be my problem tonight.

Since we are just getting back from scouts, I am in the mood to get prepared. I find my flashlight, power down computers and hunker down.

It's now I decide that it might be fun to take time exposures digital photos of the lightning with a tripod. This is because I am an idiot. I open the back door of the family room and am taking pictures in the middle of a hurricane. Mrs F is watching the outside of the house where the spill over area with a sump pump is. She is swelling with pride. These are going to be really cool photographs and that is a really cool tripod, she must be thinking.

It's raining, and hard.

And then all hell breaks loose. Alarms are going off as the secondary battery operated pump kicks in. Water is coming into the house over the slab concrete. Rugs are coming up, padding is flying and the shop vac is back. My wife is yelling orders out like we are on the deck of the Pequod: Move this, help me with this, empty that. The kids, in a rush of adrenaline, clean and jerk the 200 lb foosball table like it was a car with a baby trapped under it. My wife is changing attachments on the shop vac like Edward Scissors hands.

This water was a constant problem before we got it fixed. After the pool changed the topology of the yard and our "certified" EP Henry guy put our patio too high, water got trapped on the side of the house with no where to go but inside. It turns out he was "certifiable" which is different.

We had a drain and pump put in last year but it wasn't working tonight. More likely it wasn't keeping up.

OK, so we get through that episode. Carpets are up but everything is stable again. I turn on the TV and am chilling. I turn the computers back on.

Then it starts again. Now the rain is coming down like I should have an ark in the backyard. Animals are lining up in twos. Water is coming in the house and the shop vac, the trusty shop vac, can't keep up with it. It's a valiant effort but it stops running when it's tank is full of water. I take a moment to dump the nasty sucked up water/basement bilge on the patio but the damage is done. The break in the action is enough to let the water to just come pouring in.

I give Captain Ahab the now empty shop vac back and I run to the shed in the rain. I am stumbling around in the dark looking for the double-secret emergency pump, wondering what sharp rusty object might be laying in wait for me. I am on my hands and knees in the shed at night in the rain. I am an idiot but I have really cool digital photos of the lightning.

Somehow I find part of the 20 foot hose on the pump. I tug on it and reel in the pump. I run back with my prize and throw it in a deep puddle on the side of the house.

So now I have lightning, water and electricity but I DON'T CARE. I plug in the pump and it starts bailing us out. My wife is muttering something about a white whale and is nailing a doubloon to the wall.

We know now what the people of New Orleans know: when you are under a deluge, no pump is gonna to keep up. I shoulda realized this when I looked up into the pool like it was Lake Pontchartrain from the family room.

I am not making this up.

In the family room, you are below the pool level and you look up into the pool. I am the Lousianna of New Jersey.

It turns out that we got over 3 and 1/4 inches of rain in a little over one and half hours. I know this because I have a weather station. The only reason I have a weather station is so that I can say things like "we got over 3 and 1/4 inches of rain in a little over one and half hours". It sounds impressive. This does not make my carpets any dryer.


So the cabana? Nothing happened to it. Sometimes we worry about the stupidest things.

So now we have carpet on chairs again, have to buy new padding again and have a smelly room again. Luckily, we have over 8 lbs of baking soda still around from when the water heater broke 19 days ago.

So it's thundering again. My wife is upstairs sharpening a harpoon and I am setting up my tripod as we get ready for round two.

1 comment:

Your favorite sailor said...

You make us very glad that we listened to a wise old Italian carpenter who advised us to buy and build on property on very high ground. His only caution was that "you're going to have rocks!" At least they only attack me when I try to dig holes ... the rest of the time, they just sit there quietly. Viva le shop vac!