Monday, September 03, 2007
Shhhh.... what's that I hear?
We sat around. And sat around. We heard the occasional sound of what sounded like an airboat off in the distance. The Queen had romantic visions of being carted out of here on some cool boat. I told her that it probably wouldn't be a boat, but some other vehicle that could make it down our street.
Around 3:30 in the afternoon, I heard something. I ventured out into the knee-deep water in my driveway, and saw our salvation.
And then had a panic attack.
It was a city dump truck.
An orange city dump truck.
With a police officer asking me if we wanted to be rescued.
Well.... let me ponder that. Six feet of water in the basement. The river hadn't "officially" crested yet. Kids on our nerves. No power. Hotter than he**.
Yeah. I think we'll hitch a ride.
So I thought this was our rescue. I thought this was what had been called in for us.
And I was thinking "someone has an innate nasty sense of humor somewhere in this town."
They weren't letting us sit in the cab. That seat was already taken (and rightfully so) by our elderly neighbor, Lily. Jack, her husband (a spitfire of a little man) was already in the back of the dumptruck with their two cats and two dogs. They had water in their house. Our next door neighbor had water in his, too so he was on the back of the truck already.
We carried the kids out. The Monkey didn't want to let go of me, but I assured her that nothing would happen to her. I was more worried about the kids getting out. A nice gentleman carried the Man, and Ace carried the Queen.
It was then time for my fat rear end to hoist itself up into the truck. THAT was a definite sight to behold. I felt sorry for the man on the behind duty. Really, it is a memory I have blocked out of my mind, and I can't remember the specifics on it anymore. But I DO remember thinking .... hmmmmm. Diet anyone?
And my father ... well, my father wanted to "stay behind and watch the house."
I told him under NO circumstances was I leaving the house with him in it.
I had these visions of that old codger character in all those disaster movies ... the one who doesn't want to leave. Harry Truman didn't want to come off of Mt. St. Helens. Linda Hamilton's mother in law didn't want to come off the mountain in Dante's Peak. That stupid policeman who thought it would be better to trek out with a group of stupid people in the middle of that snowstorm in Day After Tomorrow. That stupid meterologist who was sucked up into that F5 on Twister.
I knew the real reason he didn't want to leave. He didn't want to leave his car in the street.
I started yelling at him to leave my house, and that I wasn't leaving him behind. I was going to tell the police officer to arrest my Dad for trespassing if he wouldn't come willingly.
FINALLY my father saunters out of the house. Do you know why he took so long? He had to change his PANTS and his SHOES before he left. Priss.
And then we were off. In the back of a dump truck that had served its life as an asphalt truck. The kids were having an awesome time.
We saw a lot of people getting rescued, under water, pumping water out of their houses, and just basically trying to understand the whole thing.
And then ... there were the picture takers.
The ones whose houses weren't underwater. The ones who wouldn't have to return to those houses to assess the damage done. The ones who thought it was "cool" to see what all the fuss was about.
And they took pictures of the poor evacuees in the back of a dump truck, driving down our main street. And business was ... usual. People were driving around that end of town like nothing was happening. Like it was a minor inconvenience that they couldn't get downtown and on to the other side of the river, but if they needed to do that, they could just take the interstate bridge, which was the ONLY passable bridge over this river.
I think that was the hardest part of that day ... to see and hear of people who were just going about their business like nothing had happened. We were stuck in a house with water in our basement. We were without power from the early morning hours. We had to be pulled out of our sleep at 4 am to deal with water rushing into our house at a rate that scared the crap out of us, wondering if we would need to evacuate completely since we live in a ranch house.
Time will heal the wounds of losing a lot of stuff. Memories will fade of this event, and I can only hope that the kids escaped this whole thing without feeling the panic their Dad and I felt that morning when we thought we were about to lose the whole thing.
Once we left in the dump truck, we were told by our neighbors across the street that 10 minutes later, the Queen would have received that romantic rescue of firemen coming to our aid in their boats.
Oh well. Maybe next time.
I'm a mom of three peeps ... Queen Bee, The Door Man, and the Chandelier Monkey, and wife to Ace, the Helpful Hardware Man. I created this space to get away from the people known as my inlaws, and because life with three kids and a hubby is all Unexplored Territory.
Clean Sweep, Mother Nature Style