When I started blogging about the flood, my intentions were to give details and keep up to date with things as they happened. That idea was just as ridiculous as thinking that we would be back in our home soon after the flood. I’m going to highlight what happened over the course of the next six months after the flood because I feel that I must finish that chapter of my story. I’m honestly still in awe at all of it when I look back. The craziness, the level of fatigue, the goodness of people, the faithfulness of God….just all of it was a learning experience and it grew me in ways that I wouldn’t have preferred but have come to appreciate.
I’ll start here. This is the beginning of this story. The water absolutely consumed our neighborhood.
We read everything that we could about cleaning up a home after a flood. We read advice such as “drill a hole in the lower part of the wall to let the water drain out.” This was as helpful as using a straw to drain the ocean. What we learned is that there was NOTHING online to help people like us figure out what to do. Like most, we thought of a flooded home like a pipe that has burst. We thought water. We didn’t think raw sewage, slugs, mud and debris.
Thankfully, the water receded quickly and were were able to get into our home within four days and start ripping out carpets and flooded insulation. I’d like to say that I helped in that but that wouldn’t be true. I just walked around in a daze, with a mask on, trying to process what to do for the first few days. I am absolutely amazed at how my husband was able to keep his wits and just work! We had several people who stepped in with him and did that hard tiresome work of tearing out.
But, let’s move on. We spent three weeks living with my older son. We worked all day and slept there at night. My dad and stepmom then brought and set up their travel trailer in our drive. This was helpful to be able to be near the mess so that we could get more accomplished in a day. This living arrangement lasted about 1 1/2 weeks because I soon found out that I wasn’t that great at RV living in the driveway. I’ll post soon about how I almost singlehandedly destroyed it. Sigh.
If it weren’t for our sense of humor, we might have lost our minds. My husband and son painted our refrigerators to reference the television series The Walking Dead. Lolo Jones stopped by and posed with them so the picture circulated quickly. One lady actually wanted to have the authorities alerted to check it because she feared that we might be hiding bodies. It did smell like dead bodies, but nothing to fear.
I was able to find a three bedroom apartment that was coming available. We moved in five weeks after the flood. This was such a breath of fresh air. We got everyone set up and settled.
The girls were so happy to have a bed!
Three days after moving in, the complex called to let us know there was a mistake and our apartment should not have been furnished. They promptly came and took it all away (including the beds pictured above.) We laughed. We might have cried a little. We went to Sam’s and bought bean bags. There we would be until December 31st. We had bean bags, a folding card table, some mattresses, and each other.
In between the roller coaster that had become life, there was progress on the house. Let me insert here that we are so thankful that we had insurance to cover most of our contents. I know that there are many who did not and they have suffered far greater due to that. Let me also insert with a lot of emphasis that I needed a lot of Jesus when trying to get our money from the insurance and mortgage companies. It is in no way like filing a vehicle claim and getting your money. Wow…..the stress of that was just too much some days.
Here are a few pictures in no particular order of the progress. Things began to get rebuilt once the house was gutted. It was a slow process due to widespread devastation and lack of enough materials in the area but it.was.happening. Praise!
This post has gotten long and there is so much more to say about when our apartment lease was up and we had to move back “home.” If you’re still reading, I want to encourage you. If you’re going through a hard time, hang in there. If your life is messy and stinky and possibly filled with debris (either actually or metaphorically) that needs to be removed, you’ll get there. One day at a time. One foot in front of the other. I mean that and I wish I could type harder or in bold print to let you know how much I believe it!