The news feed today proclaims some not great updates for the day. There will be rain, on an already flooded landscape. There is a possibility of snow and ice pellets on are area where power has been recently shut off, and the land is fully and over abundantly saturated with water .
They are calling for 10-15cm of rainfall today..
Enough already.. we are drenched…in fact we are flooding..
It certainly is becoming hard to keep my somewhat saturated head above water.
As I look around and observe the houses surrounding me, it seems as if I’ve found myself curiously placed in a post apocalyptic Hollywood movie set, that couldn’t possibly be real…. or true.
“it’s only this bad once in a hundred years,”I heard a local Ottawa Works Employee say.
The other morning, I woke up, after spending an intermittent shut eye on my loveseat in my living room. My back was creaking, and my knees and toes felt sore.. I feel numb..I listened intently to the steady sounds of water flowing in my basement. It sounded like a waterfall, with little gurgling sounds, that is just creepy, and leaves me feeling spooked.
I’m a creature of habit, and it was about that time, that the dogs needed to go out for their morning bathroom walk. I had forgotten that the military had placed, ever so conveniently a port -a-potty right at the end of my driveway.
Bonus…. it’s amazing how excited a girl can get about an outdoor bathroom, when one has to go, and your septic system may be compromised.. and you have been encouraged not to use , or flush the toilet.
I grabbed a fresh roll of soft toilet paper, and stashed it into the front of my well worn grey sweatshirt pocket, stuffed my day old sock clad feet into my aqua blue rubber boots, and out the door I headed.
My driveway was now completely covered with flood water, but the outdoor toilet stood poised as a hopeful destination for a body that would soon to be desperate to utilize it.
I struggled to get the red plastic door open to the bathroom, and once inside, closed it, and locked it.
This is when I noticed that this bathroom was not sitting on balanced ground.. Holy poo poo.. this port- a -potty is tippy.
As I squatted, and did what needed to be done, my brain raced ahead, as to what could happen, if this unit tipped over with me in a rather compromised position.
Praying… oh yes I did..
“ Dear Jesus, don’t let this port-a-potty type coffin fall over, into the deep creek, and leave me trapped in my own excrement.”
“ Lord God in Heaven… this is not the way to go..”…lol.. but seriously… noooo…
I was sweating as I then attempted to open the bathroom door… Of course it was stuck.. and my hand was slippery as I kept pushing at the door hinge.. panic .. real, and true, as the multitude of horrific images blurred in my mind of my impending doom.
With a mighty shove, the door opened, and slammed against, the outside.. fresh air..heavenly…
I almost collapsed on the wet ground outside, I was so relieved.. in more ways than one.
This would not be the way to meet your maker, although in a weird and strange and twisted way, I found the humor in this.
I have often joked with friends that I wanted something humorous written on my grave stone. After all, the inscriptions are always solemn, respectful, and inspiring, but do they make you giggle?… no they do not…
How about.. “here lies a woman who drowned in a port-a -potty.” Now if that caused a person to smile in the midst of their sorrow, then I think it could be worth it.
I am bent and twisted… humor helps me cope with situations that I find terrifying. It lets me breathe, and forge into the next thing, even when hope seems a far way off, and appears elusive.
I decided to voluntarily evacuate yesterday with the two dogs, Brody, and Tilly. I had carried out some important photos the other day, and so I continued to pack the dog crate , some food from the fridge, my “Bianca blanket,” and some pillows, and dog beds.
I had already packed a few suitcases the other day, just to be proactive, so as I looked around my home, and closed the glass door on the wood stove, and secured the fire , I took a walk around my little house.
I was emotional. I didn’t, and don’t know if I will have a home to go back to. I really love my little house. It is cozy, and quaint, and felt like a safe place to lay my head…It felt like it was made just for me.
I don’t understand why this is happening..
I don’t suppose anyone does…
I took photos so I could remember it as it was… just in case…
These are the things left behind..Maybe they can be saved later.. but for now, I need to carry the dogs out to the waiting over laden Volvo, one at a time. The water is contaminated, so I didn’t want them bending down to take a drink of the skanky looking water.
The driveway water was now nearing the top of my rubber boots.
I know the car can drive through a fair amount of water, but I was not sure how much, or how compromised my brakes would be. I do know that my Mum’s 2005 Volvo wagon has been a tank in keeping me safe through a car accident this past winter, and has been extremely reliable to date. I am thankful.
This morning, I turned on Micheal W Smith Live cd, to try and set my unsteadied mind on a little better tone, and as I carried bundles of belongings back to the car, the dogs waited patiently in the car.. They know.. they are so sensitive to how their humans are feeling. They sense our angst… and feel nervous for us.
On my way out and while wading to the car, I see my incredible neighbor Don, standing on his lawn, with his Jammie pants, and weathered tee shirt looking at me questioningly.
He looked as if he may have just awakened, and was out just checking out the state of his property ….There was a second, it perhaps third dats growth on his beard, and he looked confident, but frazzled too.
”Are you leaving?” He inquired.
” I have to get some things done, and need to pay my income tax today, so I guess I’m going into town. I thought I’d pack up, and be prepared, just in case I can’t return.”
” That makes sense,” he said
He stayed that he would keep my generator going, should the power go out.
I thanked him profusely for all he had done for me…He acted like his taking care of me was no big deal.. but to me.. it has meant everything… Being new to the area, and not knowing too many neighbors, and being entirely new to this situation.. his help has been just incredible.
Any need that I had, I only had to ask, and generous people found a way to get it to me.
A friend of mine posted in the local community Facebook page that I needed firewood, since my gas was shut off, and before I knew it, there were multiple people willing to deliver it for free.
I had ventured out to pick some up myself, and met a delightful lady who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 30 years earlier. Her husband used to care for her needs, but recently he had passed away, so now she was on her own. What a courageous lady this Janice is. I enjoyed hearing her story. She was such an encouragement of hope triumphing over a diagnosis of a debilitating disease. She is now downhill skiing, and even jumped out of an airplane, and went sky diving.
I went back the second time to pick up more firewood from her, and asked I could give her a hug. She nodded shyly, and as I squeezed her, and thanked her for her generosity, I acknowledged again, how the kindness of strangers is truly astounding.
Every day through theses floods on the Ottawa River, I meet new friends, who moments before had been strangers. Such a strong sense of community.. We really are better together.
Hauling in two gas containers, I realized, as I was walking through the standing water, that if I continued onward, the nasty water would soon be in my boots.
Yuck…and time for Plan B. I went to several neighbors , and inquired if anybody had a boat?..I even asked a guy on his bicycle who came by.
A city of Ottawa utility truck happened by, laden with sand bags , so I asked if they would drive me through to my street, so I could deliver the gas to my neighbor. They complied, and we met Don, who was carrying my empty cans just moments later. Talk about perfect timing…
The weather is not looking good, but prayers are always welcome …. All of this is out of my hands, and so I wait… and keep hope alive..
Thank you to all of the volunteers, young and old, the Canadian military, the City of Ottawa workers, police, and fire department, friendly neighbors, and new friends, and to those who are willing to open up their homes, and give shelter… you are putting your care and love in action. I am grateful … no matter what..this is such a great community.