It was a slow trickle. The floorboards in the hall seemed wet. Did someone spill something?
The water was definitely under the floorboards. They sloshed when you walked down the hall. Water oozing up with every step.
The wet area got bigger and bigger. The plumbers were called. They couldn’t find a leak.
Things seemed to dry up. Was it the air conditioning? The shower? Something else?
The water came back. The plumbers still couldn’t find the leak. It’s been wet for more than a week. Now we are starting to worry about mold. Finally we realize that while the shower drain pipe is rotting away, there’s more water than that can account for after we stop using the tub for a couple of days. We think there’s a water supply leak somewhere. The pipes are buried in the concrete slab.
We turn off the house water. Things start to dry up. The plumbers still haven’t found the leak. A contractor comes and starts pulling up the floor and opening up the wall. There is mold.
We have no running water and we have mold. We evacuate to a hotel overnight and the contractor tries to assess the damage.
We get a storage pod, courtesy of some friends who have donated some money. We start emptying the affected rooms into the pod, realizing the carpet and floorboards that are now soaked are going to have to come up. (Fortunately the leak’s slow seep doesn’t damage anything except the floors and walls. None of our possessions is lost.)
Friends come over, homeschoolers, scouts. We empty all three bedrooms and the living room and dining room into the pod. It takes a week to pack everything.
While we pack we are living in a hotel– a nice hotel near the house. We have two rooms, one for the girls and one that the boys share with me and Dom. The hotel serves breakfast and we are eating out for dinners and only going to our house to pack. Being at the house is miserable and the children complain when we go. Eating out for a full week sounds like fun until you’re tired of navigating choices and you just want to be able to make something yourself.
Our house looks like a construction site. It no longer feels like home. We have no home.
The children are upset. They don’t want to go to the house that isn’t home. That is the only home that any of them ever remember except for Bella who has shadowy memories of our first apartments.
But there are small glimmers of hope. We have each other. We have friends helping and offering to help. Praying and helping us to pay for all the unexpected expenses.
The hotel isn’t bad. There’s a pool. Lucy swims one evening. We watch our favorite shows. And we are together in adversity.
One of the first things the girls do is to bring their Star Wars figures to the hotel. If the girls are having an adventure, at least they have friends to help them explore their new world. Games to take them to a galaxy far, far away. And they have each other.
God sent the rainbow as a promise to Noah that he’d never flood the world again. Maybe this rainbow signals an end to our flood?
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