Monday, October 10, 2011

Cleaning House

Fall seems a great time to make changes in life. I think the Jewish calendar is definitely on to something with this being their New Year. There's something intuitive about nature and the gardens closing up shop, setting in for the winter months of hibernation. Spring brings freshness and renewal, but fall is a time for clearing out and paring down.

Mother nature assisted us this past week, whether we wanted it or not, by surprising us with a 5.5" rain storm - all in a matter of 3 hours. The sump pump we have in our basement was incapable of keeping up and we accumulated 9" of water in our basement and garage, a first in the 20 years we have been in this house. Sure, there's been an inch of water after a huge snow melt or week of rain, but it was really bizarre to see things actually floating around when I descended the basement stairs.

 I should have known something was wrong even before I went down there; Gracie was head-butting my leg while I was washing up in the upstairs bathroom, something she never does. Both she and Millie were quite perturbed at all the water, so much that one of their litter boxes was afloat.

We were very fortunate that the sump was able to remove most of the water within a few hours; the rest was able to be mopped up with towels wrung into a bucket and emptied outside. Fans and the dehumidifier took care of the dampness over the next few days. Amazingly we didn't lose any major appliances- the washer/drier/furnace all worked after the water receded. The things we lost were just things we were storing - mostly because we could - some old doors, screens, carpeting and the like, all of which was tossed on trash day.

Will we miss any of it? I doubt it. None of it was being used and we probably would have gotten rid of it years ago had we not had the storage space in the basement. There may come a time in the future when we'll say: "oh, too bad we don't have such-and-such, it would have come in handy right now" but it really isn't a practical way to live life, hanging on to things "just in case". Maybe this was Mother Nature's way of reminding us that it's better to let things go and not hang on to stuff for which we have no need at the present moment.

The basement does look a lot better without all the junk laying around and it's nice to be a bit less cluttered. In the next couple weeks I'm hoping to do more work down there, getting rid of things we don't use (unless they are things Wilson will need when he sets up house) and donating them. That way, if and when we have another reminder from Mother Nature we'll already be prepared.

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