Monday, December 27, 2010

40 Days & 40 Nights....

well, in reality it was only 6, but it seemed like 40.  “our lives were changed in an instant”.  it’s the start of many stories.  in this case, it was more over the course of a few hours.  as i was slogging through the waters of the nightmare that was wednesday, both literally and figuratively, it occurred to me that time might now become defined, at least for a while, in terms of btf (before the flood) and atf.  i kept thinking how just a few short hours ago, my life was completely normal and now this.

This is where is all started
wetness everywhere and no way to dry it.  sounds of ripping and tearing and cutting reminiscent of some kind of obscene surgery on what i thought was the sacred confines of my home.  personal belongings grabbed and thrown in piles with no regard to organization or retrieval.  workmen laughing and joking as they tear apart the pieces of my life. 

 servings of bad news doled out in doses that sometimes mount too quickly for effective emotional processing.  feeling vulnerable and desperate and ignorant at the hand of the supposed “experts”.  finding out that, no, there is no flood insurance in your policy.  realizing that there is no quick fix and the effects of this event will be ‘in my face” for quite some time to come.  and, probably worst of all, comprehending that the whole frigging mess was preventable if we had been vigilant and proactive.

Our constant companions for 5 days

it felt good writing that out!  i could go on, but i’m going to stop because i want you to know that at the same time all of this negativity was occupying space in my brain, there was also a whole bunch of  “grateful stuff” competing for attention.  back and forth it goes.  i want to shift gears now and jump on that bandwagon.


the good stuff:  this was a slow-moving seepage.  we watched it grow and were able to move stuff out of its way in time.  the water came in from the back and only made it about halfway through the house.  thank goodness it was the back.  the living room, family room and most of the kitchen were not affected at all (including the christmas tree!)

Living room 2 days before Christmas
we can still occupy the house.  while even simple tasks have become amazingly complicated and inconvenient and it’s difficult to find things and those dang machines are really LOUD, we are able to stay here and carry on with our lives.  everything is repairable.  eventually things will be back to normal.  we do have a “rainy day” fund.  just didn’t think it would be put to such a literal use.  lots of folks in this situation do not.  i’m incredibly grateful to have a supportive partner and great friends.  i can’t imagine dealing with this alone.

so…. not exactly the christmas i had in mind, but i’m learning that expectations are rarely a good thing.  we will deal with the issues one little step at a time and i look forward to the day when i can say, as in the stories kolleen is highlighting on her blog…. i’m better for it.


  1. I had one of those drying machines in my bedroom when the water heater sprung a leak. They *are* loud. I could scarcely hear myself think.

    I am glad for the good stuff and sorry for the hard stuff. I wish I could come over and be put to work.

  2. Wow, Patty! That is an unbelievable story! Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you!

  3. holding my heart as i read, sending love and wishing somehow i could be of help to you. i am sending light and love to you with every breath i take as i write. and holding space.

  4. oh i am so sorry to hear about this. sending you warm thoughts and big hugs.

  5. Dear Patty-Oh NOOOOOO...Now that I see things in pics...I am so sorry. I can only imagine the frustration and heartache. I know that we haven't officially met yet...but if you need any help, please let me know. I have 2 doctor appointments (Balboa) on Wed and Thurs but am flexible after that. Your attitude is inspiring...Sending you lots of love. xxx

  6. Once again, your attitude is pulling you through this trauma at 'the top of the heap'. Facing this situation head on, and looking at it from a 'truthful' vantage point is making sure of that. I too wish I was there to do something ... anything! This may be the largest 'just be' lesson you have had this year. Pick an easier more fun word for next year, Patty. (Sorry, my black sense of humour always pops out at times like these.) Take care of each other. Sending love, light, hugs, shooting stars and violets.

  7. So sorry for you hard time! Hope you keep the positive attitude to help you through it all!

  8. Patty, I was thinking of you and Soraya when I heard this on the news during our time in the desert. I am so sorry about the damage to your house by the flood and grateful at the same time that nothing worse has happened (like loosing your house, a loved one). I admire your attitude, that you can still see the good things in life. You are a very special woman!


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