“What in the blue blazes is going on?”


“Oh! Very good, Missy. I see you have discovered colorful and polite phrases to use instead of those nasty, ugly cuss words. Good girl!


“Dear friend, did you really think I wouldn’t live up to the challenge?”


“As I was asking, what in the devil is going on, Marica? I haven’t seen Sadie or Snaps in days, the living room is filled with beds on their sides and books and more books– not that it wasn’t already filled with books and more books but these are just randomly stacked up everywhere– and strange people are coming and going– you might think you’re fooling us by sequestering us in the den but we can smell them, you know– and there are new noisy machines running day and night. So I am most politely asking for an explanation as to what in the ordered universe is going on.”


“Okay. In a word, disorder– chaos, almost.”

“Would you mind providing a bit more detail?”


“Well, you know Daughter C’s and Miss M’s rooms flooded.”

“Oh yes! It was a soppy stinky mess.”

“So we had to take everything on the floor out of their rooms and I called the insurance agent and… . Three men can empty a room in a heartbeat! And after that, they ripped out the carpet and then… .”

“Oh! Marica!! What has become of Sadie and Snaps. I know I torment Sadie to no end– as does she, I– but I do hope she and that friendly little kitty are alright. OH! GREAT HEAVENS!! They didn’t get swept away by the flood, did they?????”

“RUFF!!! RUFF?????????”

“Calm down, boy. Your friend Snaps is fine. So is Sadie. They are just confined to their respective bathrooms.”


“Poor dears. Carry on with the story, please.”

“Where was I…?”


“Oh right. Rip out carpet. And then there were multiple rounds of cleanup and drying. And then we started to take out the wet drywall and then… .”

“Wait. What?”


“Wouldn’t wet drywall be more properly called wetwall?”


“Shall I continue? Or do we need to talk about nouns and adjectives?”

“Pray, continue. Far be it from me to do or say anything to prolong this story.


“What are you laughing about, Rocky?”


“I know, Dear Friend, I did ask. My apologies. Please forgive me.”


“Shhh… . Speak quietly. She can’t hear and she can’t speak dog.”


“Anyway–  our neighbor, Dwayne the contractor,  came out and he counseled to not buy any dry drywall because we have to get to the bottom of the problem and he suggested we call … .”


Me too, old boy. Oh! Look! It’s young Wesley Crusher on Star Trek Next Gen reruns. Boy! Are you seeing this?


Shhhh… .

“And Belinda surveyed the situation and agrees with Dwayne. We need French drains.”

“I said, ‘We need French drains.’ Surely one of you has a response.”

“Oh! Of course we do! It’s the only logical solution. The French are such a logical people. Don’t you agree, My Dear Friend?”


“Good Grief. You’ve lost interest already?”

“Well… . It was a long story and our sense is you could go on all night without ever really answering my initial question.”


“Okay. Short answer: Chchchcanges. Changes. BE PREPARED.”

“How hard was that?”

“Sometimes I wonder why I bother to talk to you.”

“Oh. Please. Marica. It’s because I am such a good conversationalist.”

“ru… f.. f.


THANKS to Miss M & Mr. BIg Food’s Dad for the kick in the pants I needed. 

6 Responses

  1. French drains, eh. I kind of wondered what happened – it didn’t seem to me that you lived close enough to any bodies of water to cause flooding… but heavy rains plus inadequate drainage – and you don’t have a basement, do you? a basement might have helped – in a different disaster sort of way! But French drains?? that’s a pretty simple solution for the prevention of future incidents.

    I gather you had a “mother of all rainstorms” sort of rainstorm? How many inches total – do you know? In other words…how much rain does it take to flood out the Big Food farmhouse?

    1. From late Sunday night through early Tuesday morning we got over 5″– basically in 25-26 hours or so. No. we don’t have a basement– no one does, although some folks have underground storm cellars.

      The whole story– as we are uncovering it– is quite interesting. But as I am living it as we speak, I think I’ll wait until I can laugh more about it before I tell it!

      I will say this– one fall, AND NOT A HURRICANE FALL, it rained 24 out of 36 days; 2 of every three. Got over 20″. Mississippi is second only to Louisiana in total annual rainfall.

  2. Again, I am so sorry you have to go through this. Been there and do not want to go back. But yes drainage is a must! It takes a few….years before you can laugh at it.

    1. Thanks.

      I think we’ve finally managed to put the pieces together & have a plan and are moving forward. Dude with the track hoe (sp?) should be out Sunday. And… the herb garden is salvageable!!

  3. Then there’s that old Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times”

    Another good one is : “Adventure is just another name for trouble.”

    Life without “interesting times” and/or “adventure” may be boring – but I’d just as soon…!

    1. Those are great!

      These sorts of things multi-faceted/ multi-dimensional/ factorial whatever things seem to happen once every five years or so. The trick is to figure out what factors matter, weigh them, assign probabilities to those largely unknown factors we cannot weigh, and determine an acceptable error rate for each step. Yackiddy yack.

      These are interesting times!

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