Many years ago, when Larry and I were living in a different house, we had a huge rainstorm come through right on the heels of a snow storm that had dumped six inches of snow. Between the inch per hour of warm rain and the melting snow, we literally had waterfalls in our front yard, pooling near the house. It was ten-thirty on New Year’s Eve when my flight or fight instinct kicked in. I can remember telling Larry that we either had to pack up the dog and get out because we were going to be flooded out, or we needed to find a way to divert the water. Up until that point, Larry really hadn’t seen the concern. But, he listened to my warning and we decided to stay and fight to save the house from flooding.
I was full of adrenaline, and I dug ditches by flashlight right alongside Larry in the pouring rain, and although our efforts were making a difference, it wasn’t quite enough. We worked frantically for two hours with no relief in sight. That’s when my adrenaline played out. My clear thinking left me, as did my physical ability. But the rain and melting snow weren’t finished.
Larry doubled his efforts. At one point, we summoned our neighbor, who knew our home intimately, because she had been involved in its building. We asked her to advise us in the best way to divert the continuing onslaught of water. Not only did she share what she knew about the house, but she grabbed her shovel and helped us dig. This gave me the necessary few minutes I needed to rest so I could jump back into the work.
I’ve always loved this little gem of a chapter in mine and Larry’s story because it came at a time when we were really struggling in our marriage, and yet, in the middle of the tumultuous storm, and with a little help and advice, we were able to save our home.
An hour or so later, the water quit tumbling down or little side of the hill and the drainage system of the house began to handle the full load. However, we both realized that we wouldn’t have been that fortunate if we both hadn’t have offered something on that frightful New Year’s Eve. I had been the early voice of danger and in the first few moments moments of the emergency, I knew exactly what needed to be done. I could see things with an acute clarity. But two hours in, I was spent. That’s when Larry’s steadiness and long term strength and vision became what saved us. And when things seemed overwhelming, we were able to reach out for some outside help. Someone who knew a little bit more than we did and who could stand shoulder to shoulder with us as we dug ditches out of muddy rock.
It was one o’clock in the morning when Larry and I finally stopped our digging. We looked at the ditches that crisscrossed our property and said a prayer of thanks. It wasn’t pretty, but we were still standing. We were drenched and cold, but hand in hand, we had come through the rain.
Then, the wind started to blow. But that’s another post.