All or Nothing

Is That Water Down There?

Is That Water Down There?

“Now I have to go home and face my husband,” the aquafit instructor said with a grin.  She collected floats and weights much slower than usual.

“Oh oh…what did you do?”

“I was at my car, ready to come to my 8:00 a.m. class.  Something told me to look in the basement.  I went back into the house and looked down there.  Stuff was floating all over the place. I shut the door and went to our bedroom. I woke my husband to say he had to deal with it .  He was not pleased.  I haven’t talked to him since.”  It was now 2:15 p.m.

Driving home, I thought about the two huge rainfalls we just experienced.  Islands are not threatened by flooding.  Yet, water ran in strange places while it pooled in others.  For the first time, I had to bail out my woodpile.

That night, just before retiring, I decided to check my crawl space for water.  Claustrophobia stops me from descending into that part of my home unless someone is with me.  I wouldn’t trust a cell phone reception.  It was too late to call someone to say I was going down into the “horrors of homedom”.

I decided to just take a peek through the opening.  It’s located in the floor of the closet of the spare bedroom.

It’s like a scene written by C.S. Lewis or Lewis Carroll.

I opened the closet doors and lifted the hatch cover.  As usual, a faint mustiness rose that made me want to slam down the lid and leave.  Instead, I flicked on the light switch.  Now on my tummy, I slithered over to the gaping hole, grasped the first step of the ladder and, upside down, took a peek.


Dang it!

Being upside down, I couldn’t determine the depth of water.   Before all the blood rushed to my head, I lifted my torso out of the opening.  There was nothing better to do than go to bed and have a good night’s sleep. The rain had stopped so the situation wouldn’t get worse.  Certainly worrying all night was not an option.

The only problem would be how to get water out of the crawlspace.  There’s no drain and only raised vents to the outside.  It would mean lugging it out, bucket by bucket, through the opening and into one of my bathrooms.

‘Why am I a homeowner?’ I wondered. ‘I don’t know how to deal with this mess.’

Instead of letting dread clutch my peace and tear it to shreds, I decided it was all or nothing.  I prayed aloud,   “I’m not the only one who lives here apparently.  Where are you guys when I need ya in person?  Get some skin on and come and help me!”

Once I was in bed, I ran through the checklist of men I might be able to call.  I had emailed my Walking Buddy to say I had water removal as a priority so couldn’t walk the next day.  I decided who I would call first in the morning, rolled over and fell into a good sleep.

About 9:30 the next morning, just as I was having breakfast, the phone rang.  It was my Walking Buddy, “Mike is willing to come over and take a look at your water problem to see what’s needed.”

“You darling!  That’s fantastic.  Thank you.”  I didn’t think I could love that woman any more than I already did, but my heart was suddenly swollen.

Mike came over later. I told him, “I’ll go down with you.”

He went down first and as I lowered myself, he said, “Where’s the water?”

“It’s just down towards that end of the house.”  I pointed in the direction where the water had pooled.  I crouched down to go and check it out.

There was no water!  “It’s gone!  Omigod!  It’s disappeared!”

Mike crouched down and moved toward the area with a flashlight, “Yah, you can see there’s been water here, but there’s none here anymore.  You just need some heat to dry out the damp cement.”

“Mike!  I can’t believe this!  Where’d it go?  Do you see how hard it would be to get water out of here?!”

“I’ll say.  Likely have to take out a vent, get a pump and a good long hose.”

Both of us wanted to know where the water came in and, even more, where it went out.  The only explanation we could find was the hairline cracks in the cement on the floor.  The water table must have risen with so much rain that water came in through those cracks.  Obviously it left through those cracks.

After Mike left, I called a neighbour to see if he had a fan to help dry the space.  He came over and made sure the heat source down there was set high enough to dry the place.  We also set up a plan for ventilation to keep the air moving while it dried.

Does prayer work?

No, there was no team of angels bailing water in the middle of the night.  However, I slept peacefully, a friend sent her husband to help, hairline cracks let the water drain back into the earth and a neighbour helped with the drying process.

Works for me.

Livin' Under a Cloud Cover?

All or Nothing…Cloud cover or NOT.

27 thoughts on “All or Nothing

  1. Can I ever identify with that story! I avoid basements like men avoid quilt shops. Icky stuff down there not meant for the double X chromosomes. And We just had a pipe freeze in our condo ceiling yesterday. After many hours of heating the place to July-like temps, I said a prayer and the water flowed (properly, not bursting the pipe). It was probably all the hot air, but the prayer did’t hurt a thing!

    • Yah, Lorna, and crawl spaces are worse. Can’t run very fast on one’s hands and knees! Wow, thank goodness the pipe didn’t burst. That would have been a real mess! It doesn’t hurt a thing to give prayer a try. Done quietly, no one will even know! 🙂

  2. I love stories with a happy ending. It’s funny, but I’ve been thinking I should also check my crawl space which involves moving a show rack out of a closet, something I’ve been too lazy to do. I’m thinking, maybe I better get motivated.

    • Oh, you make me feel a lot better knowing you have an even more complicated situation, Linda. I wonder if you also have to spend money every winter keeping the danged place warm so it won’t get moody.

    • Boy, I just saw that last response to you. First, in the first comment, I want to explain…every time I have to deal with the crawlspace, I wonder why I bought a house with this feature. I feel better knowing other houses have been built like this so I wasn’t completely silly. The second sentence was supposed to end with the word “MOLDY”. Darn texting started Apple trying to think for us. One has to proofread everything even after knowing you hit the right keys.

  3. So glad it all worked out great, isn’t it amazing how things just get handled. I call them God things, they happen all the time, the right people in the right place in your life at just the right time. I will be checking my crawl space in NM when I go there in the spring but it has been so dry there and here in the mid west.

    • We are so well looked after and often simply don’t pay attention. These events are seemingly heightened now and prayer seems even more powerful. I just need to remember that answers don’t necessarily come in the form I expect or in the timeframe I prefer.

  4. I love it when problems take car of themselves before I have to “tackle” it…glad that happened for you. However, finding the cause and and installing preventative measures can be a hassle; still, it beats cleaning up the mess!

  5. Hi Amy,

    This is a very interesting post. Is this a tale about angels and demons? Or as Raven has mentioned, was it your intention at work? I continue to hold the belief that there are always explanations about events and circumstances we encounter if only we knew where to look and had the attitude to do so.

    As we go through life, we do inculcate strong faith in certain aspects of our own lives as also the environment. We need to hold the consciousness that while we could exercise some control on the former( our self), we may not be able to do so on the latter( environment).Why I bring this aspect up is because there can be times when our faith can turn blind and we may start expecting changes to occur which may be environment related about which we may not be able to do much. Does this make sense?

    Thank you for allowing me to muse on this.



    • Always a good comment, Shakti! I truly hope it was my intention. I don’t live with the fantasy that any manifestation will appear to brew up my yerba mate in the mornings! However, I feel a great deal of gratitude for whatever supports the manifestation of any of my intentions.

      Since each of us have to carve out a personal philosophy or belief system, I respect whatever works to bring peace, Love and good health to anyone’s life. The Serenity Prayer is one I use frequently:

      God grant me the serenity
      To accept the things I cannot change,
      The courage to change the things I can
      and the wisdom to know the difference.

      While I’m the only one I can change, Shakti, that can be enough of a challenge. 🙂 Nature? I accept it implicitly. People? That’s where I have to remember to mind my own business. (Which is what I hope some religions and nations can do more effectively…)

      I’ve always been very positive which doesn’t seem to be fading with age!

  6. *laughing* Of course it was those hairline cracks.

    We’re in the midwest–very few homes have on ‘crawlspace’ here…bit of an interest in having a basement to go to when a tornado rips through town.
    But water happens sometimes. Thankfully, not here–it’s been dry when others have flooded around me. And I don’t mind going into the basement–there’s wee trains down there! 🙂
    Only…….I haven’t been IN the basement for 7 weeks now……..LORD only knows what’s down there now! LOL

    Your Guides take very, very good care of you ya know.
    Oh wait……hairline cracks! Silly me! 😉

    • Yep, I hear ya loud and clear! I was just thinking, Mel…people accept the concept of wounds healing. Well, my crawlspace healed! 😀

      When I lived in Alberta and Ontario, houses had basements, too. I remember one flooding – yuk – but that was because “someone” forgot to put the drain in the plug. Here in B.C., this business of building over a measly cemented hole (I’m lucky that mine is cemented) is due to building on rock. Blasting is costly. So as you can imagine, the height of the crawlspace is determined by the shape of the particular boulder upon which we perch!

      Your basement? I know you have some halloween decorations down there, too. You thought I’d forget??!!

    • About 5 years ago, a company came by claiming I needed to seal my whole crawl space in a plastic coating. They did moisture checks, etc. etc and emailed infrared photos showing where moisture had been. I agonized over the concept – plus it was very expensive. The one thing that made me steer away from this was the question about moisture coming in through the cement. I visualized mold between the cement and the plastic. I can’t imagine the results with this last episode of water finding it’s way in…and finding it’s way out!

      Intention, prayer, determination…there are lots of names for “it”, isn’t there, Becca.

  7. Wow, I love this. It’s wonderfully written. Your calm demeanor in handling the situation followed you in the description of it. It’s the best we can do, as you say, get a good night’s sleep. No point in worrying about it all night. Though I may have worried a bit even telling myself there is no point. I live in what we refer to here as a “hippie town.” At yoga class we often talk about putting our intentions out there when we need help or want to bring a quest to fruition or whatever. Must be something to it. Maybe not angels bailing out buckets of water while we sleep, but some collective consciousness maybe. Your friend coming through for you is evidence of it, if not the disappearance of the water. Thought-provoking, I love that.

    • I love that you visited and found some substance here, Steph. Intention is so valuable – in meditation or prayer, in healing and in meeting life on life’s terms. I have been much more disciplined with intention and am finding responses popping up all over – big and small. I almost burst with gratitude at times, but can still fall into the pit of doubt and dread. My time in the latter is very little, but it bites like a viper! It takes some good meditation to get back to peace and clarity.

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