Friday, June 15, 2012

Feeling Kinda Lucky

We had major rain in our little town yesterday.  All day yesterday.  It started with a spectacular shelf cloud that eclipsed the sky at around 10:45 am and never quit.  All day.  Estimates of total rainfall are exceeding 9 inches.

For some people I know, it was quite an awful day.  Rain in basements, new carpeting flooded, driveways washed out, water bubbling up from the bathtub drain.  Not the kind of tragedy that devastates a town certainly, but also not what I would wish for anyone on a summer Thursday.  Nobody was injured, the town rallied and put up sand bags and Service Master will meet their monthly quotas by pumping thousands of gallons of rain water out of our town this morning and in the coming days.  Because it's not over yet.  The river continues to rise.

We came out ok.  I described to a friend yesterday that it is both comforting and disturbing to hear the basement sump pump running almost constantly for hours at a time.  But we were dry.  We spent hours at the windows watching the washing machine of water triple rinse tomato plants and try to drown cucumber vines that were very happy to have a trellis to climb.  At one point, the middle bit and I braved the elements to go bail out some of my herb pots with plastic cups, but that was more for fun than any real sense of botanical urgency.  As a deep purple evening turned to night and the rain kept coming...we were still dry.

This morning, about 8am, coffee in hand, dogs underfoot...I went out to assess the damage to my landscaping and my tender edibles.  A quick survey of the front yard revealed very squishy sod and a jam of debris near the storm drain.  Not a big deal.  As I squished and waded my way around the side yard I was relieved to see my herb garden was no longer under inches of water and that no further bailing would be required.  More splashing and wading through the low area of sod across the back yard made plain the next activity for today would be replacing some top soil in my tomato garden.  Not a big deal.

Then I turned to peek at my peppers, just around one more corner in a raised bed at the rear of the yard...and I saw a baby sitting by my rain barrels.  Yes.  A baby.  He was quietly parked on his very soggy bottom, in my grass, playing with wet stones.  I am not kidding.  Nor am I losing my marbles.  I knew he was too young to speak to me as he crawled towards me on the soaking lawn, but I asked him anyway, "Well who are you?"  I looked around to see who he could possibly be with...nobody.  I called out, "Hello" to the general vicinity of my backyard neighbors...nothing.  I crouched down to peek into yards and around the corner for the person who must be right behind him...nowhere.

So I went over and picked up his sodden little self.  He reached right up and came to me.  I wiped off the grass bits from his drppy blond head and started out of the yard to stand by the street and look for whomever had certainly misplaced this towheaded tot.

As we came up the hill from our low backyard we were spotted by a very grateful gramma who came rushing across the neighboring yards with her arms stretched out.  "We have been looking for you!"  Apparently the wee explorer had climbed out of his portable crib and let himself out of the house while the older siblings were enjoying a post rainstorm patio breakfast with gramma.  I assured my friend and neighbor that her secret was safe with me.  No harm done.  He was a bit soggy, but just fine.  It was lucky I had come out to check on my plants.

Yes.  It was lucky.  Lucky that I wasn't bailing out a basement or dealing with a drywall restoration professional.  Lucky that my carpets were dry and my yard was mostly intact.  Lucky that our sump pump stayed on and that all I'll need is a tiny bit of topsoil to repair the damage from yesterday's torrent.

It shouldn't take a mysterious baby appearing in my yard to remind me how lucky I am.  But that's just what I got this morning.