03 April 2010

The clean up...

"I can't believe I'm going to say this," says Chris, standing in an area of the kitchen where a few hours before there had been stacks and piles of basement stuff, "but I REALLY hope that we do NOT get the call from the agency saying, 'We have a placement for you! Be ready in two weeks!'"

His eyes look a little wild as he says this.

I can't believe that I would ever say that I DON'T want us to get The Call, but at this point in time I'm inclined to agree with my husband. I can’t even imagine what other families with infants, toddlers and school-age children are going through in the aftermath of the flooding. My heart goes out to them.

As much as we want Schmoopie in our lives, it is such a blessing that it's just the two of us at this moment dealing with post-flood clean up.

What a mess.

Although I have to say that Chris and I - compared to other people around the state - have been very lucky. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would feel "lucky" at having had a foot of water in our beautiful finished basement. But lucky I do feel because we still have a place to call home, while many Rhode Islanders from Warwick, West Warwick and Cranston have no place to call home because their homes were flooded under 6 feet (!!!) of water - some remaining that way - and the rest while no longer under water just too damaged for habitation.

Good heavens.

So, we're gratefully starting the clean up process.

Last evening when Chris arrives home he is please to see that I managed to overcome my paralysis of yesterday afternoon and that I have cleared up much of our kitchen and parts of the living room. I've moved the stuff in an orderly and organized fashion into our guest room.

Now that some of the mess is cleared up and we have some mental room we can start plotting our return to "normal life."

Chris mentions that he’ll use half of the kitchen table as his desk.


I have no idea how long we'll be without half of the finished space in our house. It could be weeks, but judging from the damage down there – I’m guessing that we’re looking at months. In that time I want to be able to have people over for dinner if we choose. With half of the kitchen table serving as office space that’s going to be mighty inconvenient. So, instead I say, "Why don't we just clear off the built in desk [the one in our kitchen that we just use for junk storage] and then we can grab the tall chair from my drafting table for you to use?"


Luckily, I never use my desk top computer system. Instead I happily tote my laptop all over the house to write, so we don’t have to worry about creating a desk area for me. (In fact, when all of this is over…I may just get rid of my desk downstairs. I never use it and we could use the space for say…an exercise bike. Yeah…)

"So, here's what I'm thinking," I continue, "I'm thinking that we can move the TV from the basement up into the living room because we have that cable behind the grandfather clock that we've never used."

"There's cable there?" Chris asks, immediately heading into the living room to check behind the grandfather clock and on finding said hidden cable exclaims, "Honey, you're a genius!"

I'm really not, but thanks.

“We can go to IKEA or someplace and buy a cheap TV stand and then move the TV up here. So at least we can watch some of our favorite shows or a movie and feel like it’s our regular life.”

Chris points out that our one and only television set is GARGANTUAN, which is true. It was purchased at a time when flat screen TVs were still outrageously expensive. So our current TV has a huge picture tube off the back. Chris is right – it’s a monster. And our living room – while comfy – is, shall we say….cozy.

Actually, by living room standards today (or really, by any room standards) – our living room is teeny tiny. The television downstairs would take up a good chunk of the room and require a very large TV stand. Even temporarily it would be an incredible eyesore.

So, looks like we’re getting a new flat screen TV out of the deal. Go figure…We have a flood and as a result Chris gets the new flat screen TV he’s been salivating over since seeing my brother-in-law’s back at Thanksgiving.


[Please – don’t think that I’m not grateful, because I am. I really am. We have the resources to make this purchase and for that I know we are truly fortunate.]

Clomping around Target last night I’m amazed at how the cost of flat screens has dropped so dramatically since we purchased our TV five years ago. A new flat screen – a really, really good one! – is going to cost less than half of what we paid for our old GIGANTOR set. They're not exactly cheap, but not terribly expensive in the grand scheme of things. Thank goodness for small miracles.

The cable guy is here this a.m. trying to fix our modem and also looking at the cable in the living room, which is very old cable and needs to be replaced with more up-to-date coaxial cable that can carry the digital signal (this according to technically geeky husband. I’ll take his word for it…) Needless to say, I’m locked in the bedroom writing while Chris deals with the Cox Cable guy. I can hear them talking about the best way to wire up the living room so we can once again have access to our beloved Project Runway, Chuck, In Plain Sight, and Leverage – oh – and of course, What Not to Wear.

Have at it, Boys.

The schedule for the remainder of today:
  • clean out the rest of the storage room and laundry room
  • remove any damaged stuff to the backyard
  • go to my mother-in-law’s to borrow their Trooper
  • load Trooper with all remaining damaged items from our basement
  • bring damaged items back to my mother-in-law’s to place in the 30-foot dumpster they rented because of the damage to everything in my mother-in-law’s mother-in-law’s basement (my mother-in-law’s mother-in-law lives directly across the street from her.)
  • go to Best Buy to purchase new flat screen TV
  • go to Target to purchase new cheap TV stand
  • assemble TV stand
  • hook up TV, cable/DVR box and DVD player
  • collapse in bed and prepare to do it all over again tomorrow
Just a few things to do.

This clean up is all terribly inconvenient, but truly I am happy and grateful.

The rain has stopped. No significant rain the forecast. Our basement is drying out. TV is on the way. Husband has his computer back and is happy. We can walk through the house without killing ourselves on piles of stuff. Clean livable space is right on the horizon.

It’s all good.


  1. Not bad that you were inspired to get a lovely new TV. I don't blame you. Hope you can get the basement back in order soon!

  2. Oh, G will be so pleased to know that his television purchase inspired others...

  3. I love to watch Chuck! New tvs are always nice. I guess this whole thing forced you to spring clean?

  4. Jericho - thanks for the good wishes. Will take a while for the basement to get back in order...but on the good side - we do get to punch holes in the drywall today!

    C - yes, you can tell G that we were indeed inspired (although I think Chris knew that we was NOT going to be getting a TV on the scale of G's impressive TV. That thing is amazing!)

    Rachel - Yay! Another Chuck fan! Woohoo! Yes, we have definitely been forced to spring clean...at a pace much faster and more furious than I would have liked, but what can ya do? :-)