Finding My Re-set Button

Yesterday was a strange, bleary day. The house was a shambles, flood-rescued items stacked everywhere, and I was so tired. Dutifully I made my list, but I kept staring into space. My dog Stash leaned against my leg and I found myself wanting to lie down on my mother’s carpet with the dogs and do nothing.

I seemed to be operating in slow motion. I walked the dogs in the rain. I mucked the barn and fed the calves. I made calls and discovered that the cleaners could not take our rug and that it would cost hundreds of dollars (more than its worth) to have the local flood specialist take care of it. However, the latter kindly told me what to do myself. I drove to the nearby big town and rented a commercial dehumidifier and a turbo fan.

While I was on the road, thunder rumbled, lightning flashed, and suddenly it was again raining so hard that the streets were underwater and my windshield wipers could not keep up. My contractor Nick had said was going to the house to help me cope with the rug. I texted him in fright. Was our water-diversion channel holding? He replied that all was well, it wasn’t even raining yet. However he immediately quit using the shop-vac on the wet rug, bundled the impossibly heavy thing into a fireman’s lift, and by himself dragged it back into the safety of the basement. (Nick is a triathlete and whenever he performs these feats of strength he merely smiles and says, “Spartan training!”) Then he went out to reinforce our channel. Within minutes the torrential downpour hit, this time including pea-sized hail.

The flood specialist had told me (and I had told Nick) that we needed to shop-vac as much water as possible out of the rug and then hang it to dry. I had wondered how we would do this, since even hanging DH’s dress clothes had stretched the climbing rope to a low sag. Instead, Nick had laid out the rug on an ingenious drying rack he had improvised from all of our mutual saw-horses and a dozen 10-foot 2x4s. It is hard to express how wonderful it is to have a gifted problem-solver on my team.

When I got home I carried the dehumidifier in from the truck through the rain and we set up the turbo fan. Dan the electrician had kindly dropped by to wire the basement heaters. Soon the house was roaring as all the machines got to work.

And once again I was out of gas. The immediate crisis was past and my mind was blank. I had a long list of chores written out but no energy. I forced myself to tackle some one by one. I moved the sheep in the rain (but when I discovered that the fence battery was dead I felt defeated. Even when I carried it into the house and managed to repair it, my spirits barely flickered). I read the manual on the new dishwasher and started a load (but did something wrong, as instead of washing, it baked the dirty dishes). I managed to run two loads of laundry but had no will to fold them. I rummaged in the steamy, roaring basement and found a pot to cook noodles for dinner, but we were out of butter and I could not find the salt. We still have no sheets and pillowcases and we are re-washing three plates.

Normally I’m a creative person in a crisis but I think I’ve been in emergency mode for too long.

Today the sun is supposed to come out and I’m going to find my re-set button and start over. Though there are plenty of chores to accomplish I am going to take a couple of hours to myself to mow the grass, listen to hymns, and lift my heart.



4 Responses to Finding My Re-set Button

  1. Elaine Murphy says:

    Selden, I am so sorry, I don’t know how you’re keeping it together! After a bout of cursing, I think I would just lay down and have a good cleansing cry…would your homeowners policy cover the rental of the equipment and cleaning of anything that got wet? It may be worth a phone call.

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      I haven’t yet added the house to our homeowner’s insurance policy (today’s task — I was supposed to do it last week, naturally!) However, Nick says he will pay for the dehumidifier and fan. Luckily we found the flood so soon that there was minimal lasting damage. Many boxes were submerged but with me lifting them out of the water and Lucy and Amy unpacking them as quickly as possible, the water only penetrated to the bottom contents. Thank you for your support, which means so much. I did have the strange sobbing breathing but for some reason I’ve had no tears. Too tired, I think.

  2. Shawn says:

    After a crisis your body & mind need a rest. Give yourself a day to relax, read a book and just tend to yourself. Usually if I don’t do this, I end up being sick or something worse happens. (Hugs)

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      Thank you, Shawn. I did rest, in a way. Though I am normally an addictive reader, I have no brain cells at the moment. Moreover, reading a book would require sitting in mess or in a giant mound of laundry, so I escaped the house to mow! 🙂 Hugs back to you!

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