October 14, 2009


The rains have really done us in. The new construction is an absolute soaked mess, but worse than that is the 3 inches of water sitting in the basement. We spent last weekend, with house guests in tow, cleaning the last of the construction debris from under the house. There are 2 large rooms down there, one, that is 15 by 15 feet will be a wine cellar, the other which is 17 by 27 feet, we have yet to determine its use. We chiseled away extra concrete, and raked and vacuumed as best we could. We laid huge sheets of really thick black plastic down, and moved all of the old furniture that was left in the house, the remains of the front porch and the exterior, lower, fascia boards down to the cellar rooms to make space in the house for plaster demolition. Our builder assured me that the new floor over the wine cellar would be water tight, and he would cover it with plastic to be sure. I had real trepidation, and tried to get someone, anyone to take my concerns about the impending rain seriously, to no avail. In my twisted little brain I envisioned a huge plastic tarping, very tent like, attached to the house at the old roof line and draping to the left and to the right, so as to shed all the water safely away. But, no!
Our close friend Garry, who has come here from Los Angeles to help us for a couple of weeks, arrived at the house Monday morning to find the entire basement area sporting 3 inches of standing water. The trim, the front porch pieces, the fascia boards, were floating in a swimming pool of water. The antique furniture in the wine cellar was soaking wet and every little turned leg was sitting in water. Water was cascading down the new foundation walls like the lower decks of a sinking ship. Water was pouring onto the new subfloors above and finding the nearest place to vacate the area, headed south into the basement through every hole, crack, and crevice.  I went quickly to the house to join Garry, and I did the best we could. We wiped down the furniture and put all of the legs on bricks to get them up above the water. We covered everything we could with what plastic we had and stapled it down. It was pointless to try to get any water out as new water poured down to take its place. The water found its way under the plastic sheeting in the basement and walking on it is like a carnival fun house. I'm not quite sure how we will get it dry, but we will figure it out. I know there are a bunch of old hippies that live in this area, and we sure would appreciate it if you would get those clothes off and get out there and do your naked "here comes the sun" dance.

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