There was a DERECHO in Chicagoland on Monday night.
Oh sure, everybody overreacts to weather and OMG the sky is falling and it’s always the worst storm ever, but this was for real shit. This was no kidding, streams of water through our yard and down our stairs into a drain that couldn’t possibly handle the load. We were not alone. Many many others in our area were hit and hit hard. In fact every company had two week long waiting lists for help, so were lucky to get a good company out to help us. We were lucky in many ways. I’m bright siding this bad boy up all over the place. Because what else are you going to do? Whine and cry about it? Maybe for a little bit, but then, you gotta accept and then act.
When the rains don’t stop you find out what the weaknesses are in your brand new to you month-old house. You find out that though the house was built in 1939 and completely renovated before you moved in one month ago, there are issues. OF COURSE. There are always issues in homes. We have brand new sump pumps and they worked exactly as they should. But this was something else. An act of nature that can only be ridden. We were helpless. Completely helpless as the rains came and came and came.
When the rains don’t stop the main thing you find out is how strong your foundation truly is. You find out that in the midst of chaos you can look at your partner with tears in your eyes full of hopelessness and find love and support and your rock. You find that you have the support and hope you had maybe taken for granted lately in the midst of all the stress.
You find the humor. You find it hilarious that a few days ago you were worried about nail polish on your perfectly pristine new walls. Now you just want your walls to be okay and stand up without water in them.
You are thankful you were home and together and that your 18-month-olds slept through the whole thing. One day they will hear the story of the flood that ruined our perfect new basement in our perfect new house and that they slept through the whole thing. OH they will hear that story many many times and roll their eyes but then some day they will have their own flood story. We all have a flood story. I’ve heard hundreds already, which is comforting and lets us know we are surely not alone.
Life teaches us lessons and shows us things we need remember to be grateful for. I hate life lessons. And yet, that’s where all our character comes from. You couldn’t dream up the shit you will go through that you will wind up being grateful for. People who have a perfectly easy life don’t usually have a strength of character. Have you noticed that? Those of us who go through the shit and learn to battle it out yet live to tell the tales are the ones I’d rather hang with.
This damn life lesson tells us that even though moving and money is stressful and we have been picking at each other, when the rains don’t stop, we can count on each other no matter what. We leapt into action and both did our part and we now we recover. Just as many others recover.
As the neighborhood dries out and we all bring in our furniture and rugs and blankets from the back decks where they are drying, we now have a shared experience. We have our first group experience on the block along with others who have been here. We are a part of.
This sucks. Flooding and recovery sucks. We need to fix some shit and it all costs time and money. But it could be so much worse.
Just as it can always be SO MUCH WORSE, you can always always always find something to be grateful for. Today I’m grateful for my husband who is my rock. Always. THANKS LIFE LESSONS.
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