Tending a big yard with a challenging assortment of perennials, shrubs and trees is about as close as I’ll ever get, in this life anyway, to being a farmer. So I figure I’m entitled to complain about the weather.
Those of you who’ve found this site through my bff’s blog may already have read a brief synopsis of last night’s water woes. It was a storm of biblical proportions, the sort of relentless pounding that makes you wonder: Is God smiting me? If so, why? And will the sump pump hold?
I was feeling pretty darn smug when news of a tornado sent us scurrying to the basement. Just 10 miles north of us, cars were floating away in flash floods, drivers stranded on the freeway were fleeing the floodwaters by swimming their way out (or turning their cars around and going the wrong way to head back to the nearest on-ramp), tornado sirens were wailing in every direction. But our basement was dry! I silently congratulated myself on the mudjacking, concrete patching and window-well improvements. We’d be fine.
Less than two hours later, water was seeping in from almost every corner, the window wells were filled to the brim, and my plucky sons were bailing them out in the middle of a fierce electrical storm while I manned the mops, towels and broom in the basement. I don’t have a rain gauge, but I know the first surge brought at least 6 inches of rain in under two hours, because that’s what was in my (previously empty) watering pitcher. The boys spent two hours bailing the window wells, moved rocks and sheets of plexiglass around to better protect them, then began bailing water from the patio, which was ankle deep. (Mr. TrowelTART was otherwise occupied at the newspaper, which needed all hands on deck in a major way.)
The rain had tapered off by about 11 p.m., when the boys called it a night and decided to hit the showers. Then it started raining again…and continued until this morning. That second surge brought another two inches or so. It cleared up and got beastly hot and humid mid-morning, and the ground is much drier than I expected, but now we’re bracing for another round of storms expected to drop another 2 or 3 inches by morning.
And yet, I can’t really complain. It’s a nuisance, but we didn’t lose a car, as one friend did, or have to stay up until 3:30 this morning bailing out the sump pump, as another did. We weren’t struck by lightning, as two sisters were last night while walking home from a restaurant; one is in a coma, the other in critical condition. Our car wasn’t swallowed by a sinkhole, the fate suffered by an Escalade driver who was fished out by a good Samaritan. (At this writing, the car is still in the hole, engine running; there are live electric wires around it.) We did not see our basement windows blown out by the force of floodwaters, or our kids’ high school locker room turned into a 5-foot-deep pool littered with football equipment. We’re all safe and sound. Sore and tired and mentally spent, but safe and sound.
As for the garden, I can muster only a passing twinge of curiosity about what this deluge will mean long-term. The raspberries were unusually sweet today, and the impatiens are blooming like mad. Whatever else happens, we’ll deal with as it comes.