Rivers in the Basement

Settling down for a relaxing evening, you hear a tell-tale dripping somewhere within the house; out of place to the orchestra of rain and wind outside.

You close your eyes as an involuntary groan escapes your lips.

The logical place to start your search is at the top of the house, for isn’t it a usual occurrence to find those lovely damp spots on the ceiling? Careful searching reveals nothing amiss with the roof. You breathe a sigh of relief.

The next stop would be plumbing, though proficiency at plumbing is not one of your strong suits. Bathroom: toilet, sink and bathtub all working as they should. Kitchen: Sink is fine. Seriously worrying about having to do dishes by hand, you tentatively approach the dishwasher. You let out the breath you were holding. It’s fine, too.

As you open the basement door to check out the washer and dryer, the sound grows ominously louder as the cold damp rushes up to greet you. Tiptoeing down the basement stairs reveals a sight that involuntarily causes your hand to connect to your forehead in a smack of despair. Waterfalls appear in places that should be dry, spilling their contents upon the floor. Rivers from every corner of the basement converge to a centralized location and drain into a designated spot. Following each river carefully reveals the suspect places of entrance. The thawing ground, saturated with winter’s snowfall, spills the heavily falling rain into the place of least resistance, which is any weakened place that can be found within your house.

An otherwise dry pantry, normally a safe place to store precious supplies, has become a dripping and damp cave of soggy boxes. Hours are spent cleaning up what nature released into the haven of your otherwise dry home.

You make lists of preventative measures to tackle when and if the rain stops. A furtive check of the week’s forecast reveals your worst fear, however: more rain. Each night’s energies will be spent mopping, wiping and asking yourself, “I live here why?”

Avie Layne 2012