There are days when the universe looks you straight in the face and says, "HA HA HA HA HA!!!"
Coincidentally, those are often the same days that you've been reduced to running around like one of the three stooges.
Thursday night we had HUGE thunderstorm cells roll through our area. MANY many homes near mine experienced flooding. Miller Park, just a few miles from me, is hurrying this morning to get its clubhouses ready for tonight's home game. (Twinkies -- I mean -- Twins, you may just want to pack your galoshes.)
We were lucky. For the most part, the basement of our almost 100-year-old house is still dry. Other parts, though? Not so lucky.
The biggest of the storms came through at about 11:30 pm, right about the time I was laying in bed in that state half-way between awakefulness and dreaming. You know...when you hear the thunder and can't quite determine so easily that it is not part of your dream. When car alarms began to go off from the rattle of the thunder, I decided I should probably get up and check things out.
It was a good thing I did.
I had closed the porch windows earlier, but I headed out into the enclosed room as its the best place to get a view of almost the entire street and the rivers that run down the gutter line when it storms. I walked from one end to the other to check out the volume of water emptying out of our gutters when I nearly slipped and fell.
Odd, I thought, that there'd be water on the porch. Better turn on that light and check it out.
Remember how my brother fell off the roof? (Really...go read that. He's OK and its funny as hell.) Well, when he came sliding off the roof that's over our front porch, he grabbed the gutter to break his fall. When he did, it bent a bit. Not much...not enough to need repair.
But enough to let water flow over the side, in mass volumes, to hit the stoop just in front of our front door.
Which wouldn't be a problem, except that we took the storm door off for painting.
And when we realized that the paint we'd used wouldn't "stick" in the long run (maybe we should have primed it first? or sanded it more?) we decided to just buy a new door. You know...curb appeal. Only the damned door is an obscenely tall height - 86" to be exact - and even special order doors don't come in that size. The 84" tall door we did order (that will have to be jeri-rigged with some ornate piece of woodwork at the top to make up for the 2" in difference) won't be in for another three weeks.
Thusly, on the day of the great flash flood of aught-nine we had a river a-flowin' under the front door of our home, pooling on our freshly remodeled, freshly painted furnished front porch.
So I did what any good wife would do.
I grabbed towels. Lots and lots of towels.
But I couldn't stop there. You see, water was still flowing in (that front door is a freakin' antique - very pretty but not so hot at, obviously, functional things like keeping snow or water out), soaking the towels as fast as I could lay them down.
And my hubby was working an overnight shift. I couldn't just go nudge him and tell him to deal with it. (Though trust me, I reeeeely wanted to.)
So, putting my thinking cap on tight, I thought, hmmm...maybe I could get a cookie sheet and prop it up somehow...divert the water away from the front door.
[Here's where you imagine me, in my jammies, with a freakin' COOKIE SHEET, hanging half-way out my front door getting POURED ON, trying to balance the damned thing on a 3" ledge in front of my front door. At 12:15 am. I'll wait while you laugh. Go ahead - its OK.]
After 10 minutes of that I figured, screw it - it wasn't going to work. I left the towels in place and decided I had to be the wife that sops up huge puddles of water by leaving towels lay on top of them for the night and ended up going back to bed. After soothing a small boy who woke up to crazy-loud thunder who then decided he had to come sleep with me. Of course.
But that's not all. What I didn't mention already was that at the opposite end of the house, water was running in through my ceiling in the pantry that is just below the upstairs porch. So all the while I'm running back and forth getting more towels for the flood in the front, I'm also putting bowls and pots and pans under the steady stream of water coming in through the pantry ceiling and mopping up water in the back of the house.
Comical now? Yes. Comical then? Notsomuch.
The rest of the night was spent listening to water drip into a large pot, praying silently that the entire ceiling wouldn't fall, or worse (or not worse?) damage the electrical wiring in the ceiling.
Almost needless to say, I called in to work on Friday. There are only so many clues I need before I "get" that the Universe is trying to tell me something.