Under Construction // Remodeling isn’t just for houses

Parenting With Slovie Jungreis Wolff

My life is under construction, physically, mentally and emotionally. Usually when something goes wrong, I like to blame “the other side of the family.” But because that wouldn’t work in this situation, I’ll blame Hurricane Ida. Or if Ida wants to steer clear of blame simply because natural disaster is part of her genetic makeup, I’ll blame the insurance company for giving me the $38,000 that led me to think I could renovate my entire house with that sum. 

Ida caught us totally unprepared. I mean, yeah, they had warned us about it on the news, and our cellphones pinged about a zillion times to let us know that a hurricane was on the way, but who would believe unsupported sources like that? 

At exactly 11 p.m., the first trickles started making their way in simultaneously through the porch door and the basement street entrance. Within five minutes, the water’s wrath was extremely fierce. We learned two things that night—the force of water is a lot more powerful than the force of man, and not everything that’s natural is good for you. 

We knew that a large part of the problem was that leaves were clogging the backyard drain, so my husband bravely put on his wellies and prepared to brave the storm. But when he opened the door, the rush of rainwater that gushed into the house was so strong that it felt like a riptide. Closing the door proved to be an impossible feat; it was as if a giant had shown up and was keeping his club-sized foot in the doorway to prevent us from shutting him out. 

We watched in horror as the tidal wave proceeded to engulf our oriental rug, the American Girl Doll furniture and everything else that stood in its way. As the water crashed against the woodwork, it flushed out a lot of dust bunnies, dead centipedes, and, to my kids’ delight, quite a few Playmobil pieces that had been missing. 

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