For This, I Am Thankful

Our basement flooded Sunday morning. Soon, I will make another post detailing what happened but, for today, I just want to think about a few of the countless things for which I am thankful. Here we go:

Our family. I’m thankful for all that our family did and continues to do. We “sounded the alarm” via text at 8 AM, and within the hour all of our family in the Calgary area had offered help and were on their way to our house. They came armed with pool pumps, shop vacs, rubber boots, and Tim Bits. They spent the better part of 12 hours bringing all our furniture and possessions upstairs; sopping up water with pumps and vacuums; organizing everything to separate the damaged from the undamaged; wiping down and drying off anything that could be saved; picking up both lunch and supper; arranging a dehumidifier rental when my efforts failed (and driving it out to our house); tearing out and hauling heavy, still-damp carpet outside; and occupying Thea throughout the day. And since then, they have also loaned us use of their washers, dryers, and dish washers, while we await inspections/replacements of our appliances. If it wasn’t for all these people, I’m pretty sure that Luke and I would, even now, still be stumbling around the basement in several inches of water, saying (among a colourful variety of swear words), “What do we do, what do we do???”

Our neighbours. I’m thankful to live in such a great community. The power in the city went out multiple times when lightning struck. The sump pump was already overwhelmed and overflowing by the time the outages started, but still – there was no no hope of getting the water out without electricity. Cue a knock at the door and our glorious neighbour announces he’s hooked up his generator, and tells Luke to grab an extension cord to plug in our sump pump. Access to reliable electricity saved us immeasurable damage. And that doesn’t even mention the tools and helping hands both neighbours provided to us and many others in the area. I’d say that I was surprised by their thoughtfulness while dealing with their own, more severe flood, but having lived next to them for a few years now, I’m not at all surprised. They’re just good people.

Facebook. This item falls into two categories. First, I am thankful for all the kind words and offers of support that we received from friends when they saw our troubles. Their words were like a warm hug. Second, I am thankful for the network I have through Chestermere Facebook groups. I gathered quite a bit of helpful information about insurance, available resources and services, and next steps. Additionally, there were more warm hugs to be found in the stories of neighbours-helping-neighbours all over these pages.

Large storage tubs. I’m thankful that prized childhood mementos, electronics, baby clothes and toys, holiday decorations, etc., etc., were all largely unharmed because they were stored in these simple innovations. Additionally, laundry baskets and storage tubs were a huge help in quickly gathering up loose possessions before they became too damaged. All totalled, a few dozen DVDs and 10 years of photo albums and scrapbooks were the only “small” things that didn’t make it out clean. The viability of the DVDs is TBD, and the scrapbooks would have been much worse off if not for the quick efforts of Sister-in-law to spread them out to dry. The books themselves will need to be replaced, but most of the pictures and pages will be salvageable. (I’ll admit, that part is hearsay. I haven’t felt brave enough to examine them myself yet. Maybe in a few more days.)

Our “easy” baby. I’m thankful that Thea was in a mercifully great mood all day. There was a ton of noise, several people bustling about, she was handed from person-to-person, based on whomever was taking a (well-deserved) break, and yet she smiled and giggled all the livelong day. She did not “make strange” with anyone (as she is known to do sporadically), she went down for two long naps without complaint, and she got every single person in that house smiling and laughing multiple times with her antics.

Playing with a flashlight during one of the power outages.
Playing with a flashlight during one of the power outages.

Tool rentals. I’m thankful that we were able to rent a pool pump and industrial-strength dehumidifier, as the the dehumidifier in particular would have been prohibitively expensive to buy outright. The amount of water that the dehumidifier is still sucking out, more then 48 hours later, is astounding.

Insurance. I’m thankful that we have insurance coverage for this kind of situation. We have been aided by nothing but calm, helpful people in that area so far. Things aren’t entirely settled yet, as there are assessments to be completed still, but I’m still thankful for the stress-reducing experience we had dealing with our insurance during and immediately after the flood.

The timing. I’m thankful that this happened on a weekend, not on a weekday when we could have been at work and unaware of the problem until it was much too late. I’m thankful that this happened at 8:30 AM, and not 8:30 PM, so that the worst was behind us by mid-evening and we could collapse into bed at a decent hour. I’m thankful that this happened while I am still on maternity leave and available for any contractors who need access to the basement, especially over the next few days and weeks when appliances are being cleaned/replaced as needed, and dry wall is being torn out.

We’re okay. Most of all, I’m thankful that my family, including our kitty, Gemini, are all safe. There might be more difficult days to come, as we deal with tear-out and rebuild, but I hope I keep all the good in mind as we move forward. There is always good to be found – You just have to look.

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