Unbreakable's Pearls of Wisdom...

...and Foolish Mutterings


Down the rabbit hole, Texas,
December 06


NOVEMBER 28, 2011 5:10PM

It Was a Dark and Stormy Day

Rate: 14 Flag


Thanksgiving, 2011 – the date of our very first holiday celebration in our new abode. The celebration was beyond wonderful. The food was eat-till-you-pop worthy, the football games were thrilling (especially the very last UT/A&M match-up – Hook ‘Em Horns!), the grandkids were adorable and the gathering of family was heartwarming. On a scale of one to ten, this Thanksgiving was a big, giant-turkey-sized TEN.


Ahhhhh, Thanksgiving!


Now, stroll with me back to the end of September, a mere three months ago. Also, a mere three months after we moved into our new house. As Hubby and I sat contentedly in the peaceful quiet of our new den, I turned to him and said, “I love this house.”


“I love it, too,” he said, “but I don’t trust it yet.”


 I gave him that look – you know, the one that says I hear the words that are coming out of your mouth, but you’ve lost me. 


He explained. “After 23 years in the other house, I knew everything about it. Anything that could or would go wrong, what to expect… everything. I could trust it. I just don’t trust this house yet.”


A short few weeks later, as I stood ankle deep in water in that very same den, those words rang in my ear. Only hours earlier, I had been enjoying the sound of heavy rain pelting the over-baked ground. It was the first measurable rainfall since… I can’t even remember when. Houston (not just Houston, but all of Texas, to be precise) had been experiencing the worst drought since God was a boy. Finally, the heavens opened up and rain fell in buckets. It started early in the morning, a furious rain with giant drops that sounded almost like marbles hitting the ground. All day long, it rained, easing off to a slow drizzle every so often, only to pour down again moments later.


I didn’t turn on the television, or music or anything else that would make any noise. I just wanted to listen to the sound of rain, rain, rain. I was still listening when my daughter and her family called to invite me out to lunch. Gleefully, we made our way to a restaurant that had a covered patio where we could enjoy our meal and keep watching the rain. We took our time, enjoying not only the rain, but the cooler temperatures that came along with it. Ninety minutes later, we finally wended our way back home.


You can imagine my surprise when I opened the door to my house and was greeted by the odious smell of… sewer water?? What the… ?? Then I saw the stream of water snaking its way out of the hall into the living room on the wood floors of which I was oh-so-proud. Further inspection revealed that all three bedrooms, the hall, and both bathrooms had standing water. Well, it wasn’t so much standing as it was flowing (I refer you to my previous statement about the water snaking out of the hall into the living room.)


It didn’t occur to me that the other side of the house might be joining in on the fun until I heard the squeals of my grandsons – ages 3 and 4 – as they discovered the indoor wading pool previously known as my den. By the time I rounded the corner heading their way, the water was inching its way into the kitchen.


You might be wondering how my house could flood in the middle of a Texas-sized drought. I wondered that too and frankly, never got a satisfactory answer to that question. Maybe it was a perfect storm (ha!) of circumstances. The plumber who braved the storm, on a Sunday, no less, snaked all the drains – the sewer line and all the area drains around the house. Through some evil convergence of happenstance, they were all plugged up. Okay, so that explains the lazy river of sewer water flowing from the bathrooms throughout the bedrooms, but not the den on the far side of the house. No one has ever been able to explain that one to me. That water didn’t smell – it seemed to be rainwater. But as soon as the drains were opened by the trusty plumber, the water in the den magically receded. Presto, chango!


However it happened, the whole house flooded. A water reclamation team came to the house, sucked out all the water, set up dehumidifiers and drying fans. They coated every surface with drying agents and some foul-smelling liquid that was designed to keep mold spores from growing. They pulled off baseboards and cut sheetrock and wreaked havoc in my beautiful new house. If I hadn’t been in shock, I would have been devastated.


Off to the hotel I went. My husband joined me there when he came back in town. Fast forward three months through the nightmare of insurance adjusters and mortgage company bulls**t and contractors and movers and cleaning crews and only a couple of genuine meltdowns by yours truly, and we finally moved back in on the afternoon before Thanksgiving.


It rained yesterday. Not a gully-washer like the day my house flooded, but enough rain to make me a little nervous. No flood, though. Nice and dry on the inside, plenty of water on the outside. Thank God for small victories.


And what a day of Thanksgiving it was – one that will surely become fodder for family lore. Oh, and my new wood floors? Even more gorgeous than the previous ones. Silver lining and all that, you know?


Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
I am SO sorry this happened to you, and I'm glad you got it fixed. This may not be of much comfort to you but many people do not have flood insurance or policies that cover water (considered an act of God.) I am happy for you that your insurance covered it.

We had this happen in our basement three times until we finally got The Mother of All Sump Pumps and it hasn't happened again. After the first one, we installed one fo those basement waterproofing systems, and basically were taken.
Our insurance company of nearly thirty years, which advertises nearly the EXACT same situation on TV, doesn't cover water that comes from "outside" unless it is due to a broken pipe. Consider a sump or ejector pump. You will sleep better! I cannot enjoy a rainstorm to this day.
Bea - Oh my God - three times! I would have slit my wrists.
It was touch and go for a while whether the insurance company was going to cover it or not. Thanks goodness they did. Turned out to be quite the expensive rain storm. Oddly enough, we lived on the coast for 23 years, went through Hurricane Ike and never had a drop of water inside. Then we moved an hour inland and flooded. Go figure.
I guess your hubby has to be praised for his feelings of insecurity. Hopefully you'll both settle down in your new place now and the nightmare will become a distant memory

I just can't imagine such rain in Texas, but the weather seems to be surprising people all over the globe lately.

Pleased you had such a lovely Thanksgiving at least.
My first spring in my house the county flooded. The water didn't get into the house, but it did get into the duct work which meant a new furnace. I still get water under the house but have also installed a sewage pump for a sump pump (the difference is it will grind up whatever solids get into it without plugging up) and am getting the outside drainage fixed, hopefully, finally. And rain makes me nervous, too, but I am making myself be calm and it's helping.
Ain't it nice how life is always full of surprises?
never can tell what a day will bring

Well told.. fun even! At least a well timed happy ending for youse guys :D
good grief. I remember the gorgeous pictures of your house. I'm sure it is gorgeous again...reclamation people are quite amazing creatures. Insurance is something I no longer feel bad about paying after trees downed by storms on our roof and pool. I now have a living room of new furniture when we opted not to replace the pool my husband hated. Glad you had a fun Thanksgiving.
Linda - I try not to freak out every time the weather forecast mentions rain. And I pay lots of attention to those area drains. Sure is good to be back in the house and out of the hotel.

Phyllis - Thank goodness you didn't get water in your house, but I know a new furnace isn't cheap. I still love thunderstorms, but they sure make me nervous now and I hate that.

Jane - Mother Nature can sure be a bitch sometimes. ;-)

tr ig - yep, that was definitely a big surprise. But hey, at least we got gorgeous new floors and new paint throughout the house.

Mimetalker - you're right - I am still so impressed by the water reclamation company - amazing folks. Their company motto is "Like It Never Even Happened" and I have to say they do a great job living up to it.
Oh no! I am so sorry! It's amazing how even a few inches of water can wreak such total devastation. I understand being nervous when it rains now. We get like that a lot.
Jeanette - Watching the news tonight, the weatherman predicted rain for the weekend and I felt my stomach clench. Ugh!
well, that is one horrible bitch of a problem, bathrooms backing up and drains not draining and - the worst - insurance claims people trying to get you to take less than you should for the damage. but if anyone can come through it on the plus side (meltdowns not counted, of course) with new floors and a terrific family dinner *and* a great story that she wrote with her very own hands, it's my friend kim. whew. i'm sure glad that sentence is over and your water disaster, too. happy thanksgiving, girl. xoxo
I love you, Candace! Best sentence EVER!
What a nightmare. So glad it had a happily-ever-after ending.
What a nightmare. So glad it had a happily-ever-after ending.
Love and prayers, sent your way...and yes, silver linings!!
I am so glad there was a silver lining. Your husband seems to be a psychic! I would pay attention to his "feelings!"
Congratulations on the new house and home! No house is a home until the occupants have a few stories, all their own, about living there. You've jumped that broom and now you have a home. Catastrophy be dammed.
Tril, Michelle and Susie - The nightmare is fading and we are enjoying the silver lining more every day. Thank you for your lovely comments!

Scylla - love that thought - catastrophe be damned! Thank you, dear Scylla.