It started out pretty good. The quilting room was nearly done. The only thing left was the painting. I was looking forward to getting the room put back together. I couldn't wait to get started.
So, I got up Saturday morning at got right to it. I worked all day putting on three coats; one of primer and two of the paint. In between coats, while the paint was drying I did housework, laundry and worked in the yard, so by the end of the day I was whipped. After finishing the last coat, I headed upstairs to the laundry room to clean the dirty paint brushes in the sink.
Now comes the fuzzy part, because I don't actually remember what I did. All I know is that about forty minutes after I came up stairs, while I was finishing up some vacuuming, I happened to look in the laundry room and soapy water was overflowing from the sink all over the floor. It was everywhere!
I screamed for help but then remembered I was alone. Kade and Matt had gone fishing and Minda was working. I frantically tried to call Matt but he was too far up the canyon for his phone to get service. It was painfully clear that I was on my own.
It took me over an hour to towel dry and then wet-vac the laundry room carpet but I felt pretty good about getting it done all by myself. That is, before I ran to the downstairs storage room.
I don't actually remember why I had to go in there, probably because the scene I saw when I opened the door must have completely wiped my memory.
When I opened the door there was water all over the floor and dripping from the shelving which holds our food storage, Christmas decorations, outdoor gear and all the quilting supplies I had temporarily moved there during construction.
Apparently, not only had the water flooded the laundry room, it had leaked into the a/c vent on the floor and run down through the ductwork which led into the storage room.
Guess what gang, ductwork seams, don't hold water.
The sight of the flooded room was so horrifying, I was literally frozen in place for a minute or two. What shook me out of my stupor was the sight of water dripping onto my beloved quilting machine. That freaked me out enough to get me moving. I started dragging it out from under the drip but just my luck, I was barefooted and broke my little pinky toe on the leg of the table.
And that's when I started sobbing uncontrollably. I just stood there and cried my eyes out.
About a half an hour later, everyone got home and we worked until 1:00 a.m. cleaning up the mess. And, even though they were kind and supportive, I have never felt so stupid and humiliated in all my life.
Looking back, I must have put the paintbrushes in the sink to soak. I must have put the stopper in, turned on the water, stepped away to do something and completely forgotten that I turned the water on. I still can't believe I was so distracted I just forgot. I was pretty exhausted though, so maybe that was a contributing factor.
Later, when it was all over and everyone was in bed, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. In fact, I was kind of crying myself to sleep when I had a feeling come over me that I was being pretty ungrateful.
Wow, where did that come from? After all, I had just been through a pretty harrowing experience, not to mention my toe was bruised, swollen and throbbing like crazy. I felt pretty entitled to a giant pity-party. I also felt a little resentful against God. I mean, where had he been during such a stressful time for me? Why hadn't I felt any kind of warning or premonition?
But I couldn't shake the feeling that I was receiving a message, so I calmed my emotions and listened. Here's what I came to understand.
Despite the amount of water, there was actually no major damage of any kind. The carpet in the laundry room is indoor/outdoor so water doesn't harm it. The water that flooded into the storage room miraculously stayed in only that room where the floor is concrete. None of the water seeped under the walls into any of the other rooms that were carpeted. The water that dripped onto the shelves landed mainly on plastic storage containers. We lost nothing except a few food items that were left in cardboard boxes. The water that I thought was dripping into my quilting machine, actually landed on some bolts of fabric sitting on the table. They acted as a protection and kept the machine itself from getting wet. Best of all, there was absolutely no damage to the new drywall we just installed.
It's days later now and it's almost like nothing ever happened.
Being a woman of faith, I don't believe that's a coincidence. I believe in a personal God, who cares about me, even the small details of my life. And while he can't protect us from everything, especially those disasters we bring on ourselves through carelessness, exhaustion, or bad judgement, even in those moments he is there. He intervenes, he mitigates, he alleviates.
I know that in comparison to all the problems in the world, my disaster was a small one. But I learned a big lesson from it, one that I wanted to share. I hope you don't mind.