Letting go…or holding on, despite the flood

Only once before have I missed getting my Friday post up–and that was our ice storm, in which all internet (plus power, for most people) was wiped out and I couldn’t access my blog.  Plus, a tree grew upside down.  Today’s excuse wasn’t quite so dramatic, but did prove once again how small and pitiful I am when pitted against the drama of the elements.  What did me in this time?

Rain…lots of rain!

Plus a dozen other things, including a fab end of year middle school writing club party–yes, we rocked–so I didn’t make it downstairs to check on the–cue dramatic music–basement.

Not that I was worried.  Savvy homeowner that I am, pretty much everything in the basement is up on shelves with a comfortable two to three inches gap between the bottom shelf and the floor.

Unfortunately, I forgot to lodge a request with the Office of Flooding and Major Rainstorms that no storm ever exceed in rainfall per flood minute my two inch safety zone.  So, while I cheerfully ignored the rain, it roared right past the inch mark, laughed cruelly as it passed by the two inch mark, and giggle hysterically as it soaked its way up to five inches in the deeper parts.

It wasn’t til today, when I went for a run on our bright sunny trails, that I realized I might have a problem.

Little River flooded May 2014

Yep, that’s a huge tree that’s been swept up against the little bridge where I’m standing, and that plus the high water marks on the bank set off all kinds of alarm bells in my head.  Yes, when we walked into the basement, there was moaning, groaning, and gnashing of teeth.  There were also lots of wet books.  Plus a few wet photos, ornaments, a soggy box spring mattress…but let’s focus on the books.  Thankfully most were shelved high enough the damage was minimal or they were out of harm’s way, but one stack of precious picture books I read to my kids when they were small was sitting right in the middle of the room, and right in the middle of the flood.  Apparently, they’d been carefully selected (because they were the most important) to come upstairs, but never reached their goal.

Today’s flash piece was appropriately prompted on the Flash Friday page, and is about letting go–or not letting go–of the things which matter most.  It’s dedicated to these books.

One page?  Or two?

Eyes blurr, fingers tremble, back muscles cramp and scream.

Soft separation, another paper towel spread gently between the pages.

Pat it dry.

Can you save this one, Mom?  It’s my favorite.

76 pages, soggy wet but separated

without a single torn corner

One book down.

How many more?

the clever fox

the hungry caterpillar

the snowmen out to play

Anything for a son–leaving for college,

a daughter grown tall and graceful,

who still loves their picture books.

Any and all who find themselves so employed in the wee hours of the morning have my deepest sympathy.  But, underneath it all, I find it fitting.  Stories read aloud got us through many a sleepless night, so why not return the favor?

What picture books do you still remember and love, from your childhood?

16 comments to Letting go…or holding on, despite the flood

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