This post isn't about dogs; in fact, you'll be glad no canines were involved.
Hurricane Irene rolled into New Jersey late Saturday night. We worried about downed trees on our quaint little town's tree-lined streets. We worried about not having electricity. We worried about trains being cancelled and roads being closed.
What we didn't worry about was a basement filled with a foot and a half of water. And that's exactly what we got. We were awoken at 5am by a horrible crashing sounds in the basement. We ran down to find 3-4 inches of water. The power had failed and, accordingly, so did our sump pump. We spent the next hour grabbing the essentials like contestants on Supermarket Sweep—important documents, electronics, scrapbooks. We grabbed and stacked as fast as we could, but the water kept rising. So then we started bailing water. With two small buckets, we ran up and down the stairs dumping the water into our bathtub. It was useless, but you can't helplessly stand by and watch all of your belongings go under.
The water won 16 inches to 0. That was yesterday.
Today was clean-up day. I hope you never have to wade through water with your life-long memories floating by—photos, books, each carrying a specific significance. (But maybe you have and you can relate.) Sure, we lost things of actual monetary value, such as big ticket appliances, and that hurts the wallet. But it was the little things that hit me hardest. They fall into a few categories...
- Things that survive despite the odds (and thank goodness they do):
|Our extra wedding invitations were sealed in a dinky envelope. Finding some of these intact made my day.|
- Things that deserve to be destroyed but are in perfect shape:
|Photos of my husband as a child|
- Things of emotional importance you should have let go years ago:
|This was my favorite doll as kid, but she's been musty and mildew-y for years. Also included in this category are just anything to do with exes.|
- Things that remain as connections to loved ones who have passed:
|As a kid, I took this suitcase to grandma's house for sleepovers. It's soaked through and through, but you better bet I'll be drying it with a hair dryer all day tomorrow. Letting go of this means letting go of her memory.|