Forgive my brevity, dear TKZers. The above photo may give you a hint as to what my week has been like. Last Wednesday night, I was practically walking on rarified air after I’d (successfully) interviewed writer Jodi Picoult in front of 900 readers at St. Louis County Headquarters. (Successful being defined as no one laughing me offstage, and I didn’t faint. Others’ definitions may differ!) I was just tucking up in bed when I noticed I had two missed calls from our alarm company. I’d missed them because my phone had gone into sleep mode. Husband was home, alone, with the animals. Talk about alarming.
After the responding police (!) left him (he’s a deep sleeper and didn’t hear the blaring horn sounds coming from the alarm unit), he texted me as he looked around the inside of the house. Nothing appeared to be amiss–except for an inch of water in the back half of the house. Yes, four bedrooms, a mudroom, and a long hallway were all wet.
I felt helpless being two hours away, unable to do anything besides offer advice. Hero Husband managed to shut off the water to the house, and swept and vacced for several hours. If not for those missed calls and the pounding of the police on the door, the entire house would’ve been a loss. As it was, our biggest loss was flooring.
What did I ask him to rescue? A big box containing…books. Of course. Not that surely soggy box full of professional photos of a previous marriage (mine), and various high school and college certificates and yearbooks. Not the exercise equipment bits and bobs. Not whatever mysterious debris lay sodden on the floor of my son’s room. Only the books felt important.
Once home late Thursday morning, I rescued other damp things. But I made sure my books were safe and dry, first. (Really should’ve gotten rid of those wedding photos 28 years ago anyway, right?)
They weren’t particularly precious books, or rare. Ebay probably has other copies. But they weren’t the same copies. Then, as a good friend and I emptied those four bedrooms of belongings and more books, it occurred to me that life would’ve been a lot easier if all of my books were digital instead of paper. It was a brief thought, which I then banished to the Outer Dark. I must have been very tired or something to have even had that thought at all.
So, gentle readers, what objects would you save first if your house flooded itself?