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Donna Barker

Looking for a silver lining

A lot of “us” got an unwanted jumpstart on spring cleaning last week when the heavy rains just wouldn’t quit and our sump pumps couldn’t keep up, resulting in flooded basements. My family was one of the “us.”

My husband and I have a nice routine in the mornings. On most days, we start our morning with a cup of coffee and some separate reading time in either our office area or our family room, both of which are in the basement. Then my husband and I get together for breakfast as we watch the news and weather on our only television, located in the family room.

But last Thursday, that quiet routine was interrupted as we went downstairs and stepped onto the water-saturated carpet in our basement. Forget the coffee; we had work to do. My husband began vacuuming up the water, which was a losing battle since the water was still coming into one corner of the basement. We lifted stuff off the carpet. We unplugged everything that could be unplugged.

We moved everything we could from the basement into the garage. We got on the list to get the basement professionally cleaned. We are still on that waiting list.

Our morning routine hasn’t returned to normal yet.

But we know we are among the more fortunate ones. We have heard the stories of others with multiple inches, even feet, of standing water in their basements, with everything ruined. I’ve seen the piles of ruined stuff along the curbsides, waiting for a city pick-up.

I don’t pretend at all that our inconvenience, and potential financial clean-up expense, compares to what these other folks have faced and continue to face. It’s hard for me to imagine the challenges before them, to think about the things they might have lost.

For me, probably my biggest inconvenience of not having access to our basement is the fact that I couldn’t watch “American Idol” or “Amazing Race” on television. In perspective, that’s a fairly minor inconvenience.

On Monday night, my family faced another television-less and computer-less evening, since our computer is also located in the basement. But as I looked around our upstairs living room, I couldn’t help but smile. We were well and healthy. We were reading books and magazines, sharing interesting findings and comments on what we were reading. In the past few days, we have rediscovered the fun of board games.

Sure, I’d much rather have my basement back, dry and clean, and to know what financial impact this will cost us. But for now, at least I have seen a couple glimpses of silver linings through the rain.

BCR Senior Staff Writer Donna Barker can be reached at dbarker@bcrnews.com.

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