To be filed under a flood of memories
The past few weeks I have felt as though underwater with the massive task of unpacking hundreds of boxes in my new home, and repacking the remains of my old one. A few days ago I literally was underwater.
After a recent massive storm, I awoke to a literal river running through the entirety of my new basement. No longer just the limited and contained still pools of water that have become distressing but familiar and manageable, but this was 4 inches of rushing water, seeping into ordinarily dry, safe territory. A backed-up street drain created a rushing river pouring into the basement.
Despite my constructing a complicated warren of high shelves and bookcases to house and protect my collection of ephemera in my basement, structures all raised high on bricks, and raised palettes to avoid any normal flood, this current deluge left no space untouched and formerly designated dry ie safe territory was invaded mercilessly, rising high above the bricks, mocking my efforts, easily attacking stacks of cartons of my collectibles still on the floor now floating and water damaged. Though many were in plastic bins, just as many were as yet, not.
I jumped into immediate emergency mode frantically ripping open half-wet boxes, triaging what was salvageable, what I could save, pulling out to safety what I could, and discarding what I sadly knew was lost.
Wet cardboard and wet paper is kryptonite to ephemera and I watched years of collecting float away, like those old movie images of calendar pages being ripped away year after year. Poor Dick, Jane, and Sally suffered the same fate as they floated alongside a copy of Life’s Moon Landing Issue, and OJ’s arrest.
I had to act quickly to avoid and musty smell from entering which meant getting rid of anything wet pronto.
Many waterlogged books were scooped up and eventually rushed out to the sun to dry out, which miraculously came out a few hours later. They would later be taken inside to blowing fans and heaters that had been set up in the basement.
The saddest part was the pile of black bags that looked so similar to the mound of black bags of clothing I had packed up so recently for donations. Seated atop a pile of over 35 bagged garments set for donation, the leftovers of clothes not purchased at the tag sale a few weeks back. After a year of wearing nothing but T Shirts, yoga pants and shorts, the amount of clothes I managed to be accumulate that lived in my house is astonishing.
Scary thing a lot of clothes sold. And I won’t even mention the boatload of clothes I brought with me. Less a clothes horse and more a collector these garments span a good 50 years. But never fear, all the Nik Nik shirts and 1970’s DVF wrap dresses come with me.
I never want to hear I have nothing to wear again!
Only this time these black plastic garbage bags were beloved items I had no intention of giving away but had to discard. A soggy set of encyclopedias from 1949 hold no value to anyone. So into the trash went many treasures. Dozens of black garbage bags of waterlogged collectibles were sadly toted to the curb.
In the scheme of things though I took a big hit this was a drop in the bucket in comparison to all I have.
I was so happy to have outraced the sheriff in the foreclosure, but damn mother nature caught up with me.