Time to Rebuild, Part I
When I walked into my house, after shoving in the door, I knew we would have to rebuild. The entire inside of the house. It was destroyed. It was such a shock that I was shaking and felt I had to sit down, but there was nowhere to sit. The furniture was knocked over and wet. I couldn’t even sit on the floor. It was wet but not only that. The hardwood was raised up. The water had caused it to move and stack itself up in piles. It was the most unbelievable thing I had ever seen. The power of water. The power of a flood. The necessity to rebuild the entire interior of a house due to a flood.
This is what happened to me and my family last summer, the summer of 2015. We had been on vacation. Traveling around New England in our RV. We were planning to be gone for six weeks and had gotten as far as Cape Cod. We were planning to go as far as northern Maine before heading south again. We had so enjoyed the southern coast of Connecticut on Long Island Sound. We had actually enjoyed the entire state of Connecticut. The beautiful Cape Cod houses in their traditional New England colors. The campus of Yale. The mansions along the Rhode Island coast. The Mystic harbor and the old ships. On the way north, we had seen so much in Maryland and Pennsylvania — become familiar with those two states beautiful states. America is really a wonderful, gorgeous place.
When we got the call about the flood in our home, we were, of all places, on a large boat off the shore of Plymouth, Massachusetts on a whale-watching tour. My cell phone rang. I wish now I had not answered it but finished the tour instead. But answer it I did and heard what no one on vacation ever wants to hear. My neighbor said, “Rosemary, I have bad news.”
A pipe had burst under a sink in my kitchen. My neighbor had noticed water running out of my house — a sure sign of something being wrong. He had a key and walked in to check. He didn’t really walk in. He shoved his way in as he couldn’t open the door because the floor being pushed up blocked it. Water was everywhere. Even standing in the drawers of the cabinetry in the kitchen. He and another neighbor looked through the house. The water had knocked over furniture, ruined the floors, and they actually couldn’t tell all the damage that had been wrought. They just knew it was bad. Very bad. So, my neighbor made that phone call.
The eighteen hour trip home in an RV over the Allegheny Mountains was the longest trip of my life. We hardly talked. We hardly stopped — only for gas and to eat. Neither of us could really eat. We just snacked. When we got home and pulled the RV into the driveway, we just sat there for a few minutes. We knew there wasn’t much use to hurry. We didn’t know when the water pipe had burst, but we got the call about the flood 3.5 weeks into our trip. Later, much later, the insurance adjuster told us that it probably burst quite soon after we left based on our water bill and the damage done to our home.
So we took a deep breath, got out of the RV, and started toward the house. I had the house built myself, at that time it had been 17 years. I had put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into my home. I couldn’t imagine that the inside was destroyed. We opened the door. #flooding #amwriting #writing #blogging
Stay turned for Time to Rebuild, Part 2.
I have neve seen such mass destruction in a home. It took such a tremendous toll on you and your husband. I will always wonder why your neighbor never took time to check on your house. Everything you treasured was lost. You can rebuild, but nothing will ever be the same.