Saturday, August 1, 2009

"The Sky Is Falling!"

My grandmother has lived in a nursing home for six years. Ever since she moved, I have been responsible for her house. We mow the lawn, prune the hedges, remove the snow, clean the gutters and everything else that it needs. The house is located half an hour away from us, so sometimes this is a major headache, especially if the weather has been terrible. My husband is diligent about checking on the place, even when that means going there when the roads are bad. Friday night we had yet another inch and a half of rain in a matter of hours. So, he thought he'd better go check on the other house. I got a phone call from him right away, "You'd better come. We've got problems. Bring the shop vac. and every towel in the house." My heart sank. I loaded up the car and headed out. It took me forty minutes to get there this time through driving, blinding rain. There had been a leak in the upstairs bathroom which had taken out the entire living room ceiling beneath it. All the sodden plaster had fallen to the floor. The 150 year old birch floors we had painstakingly refinished a year ago were already buckling. My heart sank deeper. Toilet water was dripping and running from the ceiling and there was an inch of water across the floor. Mouse turds from decades ago floated merrily in the stream. It was a back breaking, disheartening evening of shoveling up mushy plaster and swabbing the curling floorboards. Even though it was pouring rain, we opened the windows because it was damper inside the house than out. I could almost smell the mold growing on the walls. Every book, the furniture (much of it dripping), the TV, everything had to be removed. Thoughts of Katrina went through my head. When we were as finished as we could be, I asked David, "Hey, since it's date night, how do you feel about Chinese take-out?" We really know how to have a great time. It keeps our marriage young.
Just before the phone rang, I had seen this young, Bald eagle land in a tree outside our living room. It was being harassed by Seagulls. I wasn't technically still in my bathrobe, but this was nonetheless, about as easy as it can get for a birding photographer. In case you think it's too easy for me, keep in mind that unbeknown to me, elsewhere, the sky was falling.


  1. i was on the phone with him when that happened! it sounded terrible :( but the chinese sounded goooood!

  2. That's a TERRIBLE story about your grandmother's house. My back hurts just from reading about it. You both have all my sympathy.

  3. Oh my Robin.. I guess you'll have to put a roof on the old house.
    As far as bad things happening you might as well laugh as cry ..
    Good for you, date night, order out chines ...!
    Oh my but a lot of work.
    I would put a new roof on the place.
    All the work you and David have put into the place won't go down the drain.
    put a metal roof on it.. you won't have to worrie about it any more.

    Betty B.

  4. Our hearts go out to you and David on the rain catastrophy at your grandmother's house. We wish we could have been there to help. But so like upbeat the moment and stick to "date night" enjoying your Chinese food together.
    We thought your eagle photos were majestic! Can't believe the seagulls were giving the EAGLE a hard time!

  5. nice pix sorry to hear about the water damage, what a mess it must be.

    Michael Smith
    State GIS Manager
    Maine Office of GIS

  6. oof. so sorry about the house.


  7. Sorry for all your trouble,what a mess,huh ?
    Does ins. cover any of the damage ? I hope so.