Every time Storytelling Sunday comes around I think about participating... I do have lots of stories to tell! But somehow life always gets in the way and I never get the post done. I am determined today will be an exception... so here goes!
Once upon a time - well actually, just last week - a certain family was going through their normal weekend routine. Chores were being done, lots of television was being watched. But there was a distinctive difference on this particular weekend. The normal television fare had been replaced with lots of news watching as the family tracked the weather headed their way. Weather with a name. Hurricane Irene.
Given the media's penchant for over-dramatizing just about everything that ever happens in the world, the family was not particularly concerned over Hurricane Irene. It would probably be just another rain storm and the media hype would be all for naught. Indeed, by bedtime on Saturday the 27th of August, the rain had begun in earnest and the wind was whipping around the house. Not so terrible though... the family had been through worse storms in the past that hadn't even had a name!
Mom and Dad went to bed while the teens stayed up to watch some more late night television. But Mom couldn't sleep. And so after laying in bed awhile, she got back up and rejoined the young ladies around the television. There was mention of tornado watches. And news footage of a tornado that had touched down nearby. Still the family wasn't worried.
About midnight the teens decided it was time for bed. They were in the process of gathering up the family cats (who also get put to bed at night) when one bolted for the basement, stopped two steps down, and perked her ears. The teen who was trying to capture said cat wondered what had caught the cat's attention. She went down into the basement... five steps down... and she heard it. "Mom!" she called, "You need to come here!"
Mom went down into the basement and heard it too... water... lots and lots of water. It took only seconds to find the source. The utility room... water pouring into the basement where the furnace vented to the chimney. LOTS of water! Mom ran upstairs to awaken the sleeping Dad and drag him, groggy and not fully comprehending the urgency of the situation, to the basement. But the sight of all that water sure pulled him out of his sleepy stupor!
Within minutes the entire family pulled together. Towels were gathered to soak up the water on the floor. LOTS of towels. Maybe twenty or so (good thing Mom never throws away old towels!). A bucket brigade was formed to catch the water pouring in from the wall and transfer it to the sump pump. But the water wasn't slowing down and the family soon realized that none of them had the stamina to be up all night long catching water and passing buckets. The space was too tight. The spot in the wall was higher than shoulder level, so holding the bucket up quickly became painful. The rain was still coming down and the water flowing through the wall wasn't slowing at all!
So the family started tossing around ideas... how to get the water from the basement wall over to the sump pump hole.
"Do we have anything we could use to redirect the water?"
"What about a noodle (foam pool toy)?"
"No, we gave the noodles to Good Will awhile ago."
"What about a vacuum hose?"
"No wait! The shop vac in the storage room! What about the shop vac hose and some duct tape?"
"But I don't have any duct tape" said the Dad. Imagine that! A man who doesn't own a roll of duct tape???? Is that even possible?
All this chatter was happening while buckets were still being passed to and fro and towels wringed and laid back out. More thought was given to the dilemma. The shop vac hose was gathered. A wire coat hanger. A funnel from the garage. The Dad wired the hose in place with the coat hanger. But the coat hanger by itself wouldn't hold the hose in place.
"WAIT! I HAVE duct tape!" remembered the Mom. Indeed, she had patterned duct tape that she had purchased to use in crafting. And had used for book binding. So the duct tape was gathered.
After a brief attempt, the Dad declared the duct tape unsuitable for the job. Everything was too wet for the tape to stick. He went off in search of more supplies. While he was gone, the Mom and the teens figured out how to make the duct tape work. And the result of the family project was this:
The family had the MacGyver solution fixed up by 1:30 in the morning. They spent the next hour wringing out and replacing wet towels on the floor and generally attempting to clean up the mess. The teens went off to bed around 2:00 a.m. while the Mom and Dad rested in the basement, babysitting the flood waters until the wee hours of the morning. Mom finally went upstairs to bed at about 4:30 a.m., leaving the remainder of the babysitting to the Dad.
And that is the story of how the family survived Hurricane Irene and saved their basement from being destroyed by flood waters!