Gratitude in the Face of Disaster

You know what sucks? Flooding. I live in central Iowa so my husband and I are fortunate enough to not have to deal with flooding too often. But on the night of June 30th of 2018, we, and many people in the area were faced with 7-10 inches of rain within a few hours and… water in our basement.


My house was built in the 1930s and does not have a sump pump. Though we are in the process of getting the basement waterproofed, we were left with a steady stream of water pouring through the wall. Thankfully, our basement is unfinished with a finished bedroom and bathroom. Because we are planning to waterproof the basement, there are plans in the future to tear up the carpet and drywall in the finished portion anyway. Our total amount of damaged added up to having to throw away a few empty cardboard boxes. We. Are. Lucky.


So let me paint this picture for you. Saturday evening, my husband and I were watching Game of Thrones on Hulu because we’ve never seen it before, DON’T SPOIL ANYTHING! I got up to walk in the kitchen and could hear a heavy trickling coming from the basement. We had expected to have water as we typically do when a lot of rain happens quickly. When we walked downstairs, I was almost speechless. Like I said, I had anticipated there to be water. We walked around to assess the flooding and found water in places we’ve never had it, visible streams coming in, squishy carpet, and a flooded bathroom. But we are lucky.


We stayed up until the weeee hours of the morning using our wet-dry vac and a floor squeegee to get the water to the drain faster and get the carpet dry, well, dryer, well, less squishy.


We called it quits at 3 a.m. to get some sleep and got back at it a few hours later. Eventually, it became apparent that whether we stayed down in the basement and worked on the water or if we let it continue for 3 hours or 6 hours, nothing was going to change. Because we are lucky.


When we finally took a break, I decided to peruse Facebook and Instagram and I saw the devastation that my friends in the area were experiencing. I had a wet basement. People had FEET of standing water in their basements. I’m telling you that drain in my basement had SAVED us. There was somewhere for the water to go therefore it couldn’t go up to our door knobs like it was in neighboring homes. Cars were stahled and totaled all around town. People lost so many belongings in this flood.


As I went back to the basement to keep pushing that water, I thought to myself, Man. I am thankful. And then I was struck with how strange it was to be so thankful in the face of what could easily be considered a national disaster. But here I was, moving water, feet from my husband, and we were in good spirits. We are very “it is what it is” people. There was nothing to do but keep moving the water out of our house. But we were fine. I texted my family to let them know that “We have a bit of water but nothing we can’t manage. People in town have it much worse.”

I am never one to belittle people’s problems and tell them “well, someone else has it worse.” Because frankly, that’s rude. You don’t know how people are dealing with troubles in their lives. But when you’re faced with an obstacle, and hopefully you have a rock in your life like my husband because let me tell you, BLESS UP! But when you face obstacles, remember to be thankful for what you do have. Be thankful that your flooding was only a little problematic. Be thankful that you only have the flu. Be thankful that you only find your spouse annoying when they don’t do the dishes. Find the grace in life and know that in times of trouble you are also offered a chance for solutions.