I thought this would be an easy restful weekend. All I needed to do was to organize, clean up and prepare for the plumber, electrician, and carpenter coming in the following week.

It started Saturday with a drizzle. But then came the rain, more rain, then buckets full of rain, until governor Mitt Romney declared a state of emergency (on Sunday). At first we noticed a couple of small leaks in the attic. Not the greatest, but not the worst. They only came from where the vent pipes met the roof. Just needed some new roof cement and/or flashing around the areas. We’ll temporarily put some rags and buckets down to catch the water.

Later in the day, we had to make our twice daily big box home improvement store run.

Finally we had managed to organize, do a little cleaning, and install a light fixture (which Serena had her doubts - although I did have to jury rig some hardware to make the light fit the ancient gang box it was in).

By night time we had decided to map out all the electrical circuits. Serena downstairs at the circuit breakers, and me upstairs waiting to test which outlets were on or not. We’re on our cordless telephones which have an intercom feature. So I tell Serena to pick one of the kitchen circuits to turn off. She reads the label “refrigerator.” I say sure and wait for the refrigerator to stop humming. It’s still humming. Then I notice dead silence on the other end of the phone. After a few seconds of trying to test outlets, I figured out that Serena had cut the power to the cordless phone base station. Doh! What made things even worse was the fact that our cheap phones had to be powerless for the next 24 hrs before it’s signal could be reset and used. Oh well, there goes that plan.

On Sunday, things got even worse. After returning from our morning run to a nameless big box home improvement store, I decide to unload some goods and store them in the basement. Lo and behold. I find myself standing in a pool of water about an inch deep covering 2/3’s of the basement.

I skip lunch so I could vacuum up the water. Two hours later and countless times emptying the shop vac, the floor was spic and span clean. Still wet, but no big puddles. But we could still see water seeping in. We figured it was the rain gutter drain pipes that were not diverted away from the home that caused most of the water seepage (into the ground and thus our basement). So I make another trip to a home improvement store (this time to the local mom and pop shop in the neighborhood). I strap a 10′ long drain pipe to the roof of the car, return home, attach an elbow and drain diverter and voila. Now most of the water is heading away from our basement. However, the ground is like a sponge, releases the water it collected over the following hours (but hopefully less).

There’s more to the rain drain story, and maybe Serena can tell you more about “the crunch.” But that’s another time.

Here’s a pic of Serena shop vac’ing the water. The shop vac has been indispensible (thank you Grady).

thank you shop vac

In the picture, the shop vac is elevated on top of the utility sink to allow for easy drainage of the water (it gets heavy trying to lift it up into the sink).

Anyway, the point of all my rambling is that this was a very trying weekend for us.