September 12, 2011

I had such high hopes for this week...

Justin comes home on Friday from Kabul (yay! squee! yipee!) and I had high hopes for the days leading up to his arrival.

  • Finish my revision
  • Read the scrumptious books I got from the library
  • Have dinner with some writerly friends
  • Maybe splurge a little and buy a sweater (on sale!) from Anthro

Alas. Our basement flooded. Between Hurricane Irene and the massive rainstorms in DC, our carpet became a big soggy mess. I tried to use beach towels and a wet/dry vacuum but it was a lost cause. I realized I'd have to move all of the furniture and buy new flooring.

Which, all in all, isn't such a bad thing. There were people who lost their homes in the hurricane and even their lives. A flooded basement? That's nothing!

But my stress level inevitably rose between Justin's homecoming and my neverending revision and doing all of the little things that pile up like dust bunnies and make you sneeze. Yep! I plopped down on my staircase, tucked my chin onto my knee, and let myself have a little pity party.

(Feel bad for me? Please donate to my Paypal cupcake account!)

The pity party lasted well into this evening, while I grunted and shoved and pushed my furniture this way and that. (Oh dear. Remind me to check under the sofa more often. The things you find under there!) Then, I had to clear off my bookshelves so I could move them too. So I grabbed armfuls of books and trucked them into the bedroom and...

I stopped. I looked down.
My books.
Matilda. From the Mixed-Up Files. Maniac Magee. I'd had them since I was a little girl, back when I had pigtails and wobbly teeth and dreams of becoming a writer.

They were all dry. Perfectly so. The storm hadn't touched them.

When I went back to collect more books, I let my fingers run over their bone-dry covers. Persepolis. The Things They Carried. Plain Kate. And then I found the most prized books of all, the ones I bought during my study abroad in London. Despite their weight, I had hauled them in my suitcase and flew them over the Atlantic because I knew they would be a forever memento of my trip.

They were dry too. They were safe.

So, um, yeah. Perspective! It's still a nuisance to have soggy carpets and a house smelling of mildew, but I'm lucky. For my books. For my house. For a husband coming home from Afghanistan. For all that and so many more wonderful things in my very blessed, sometimes crazy life.

You know, maybe this week won't be so bad, after all.


  1. You're so right about perspective! You've got all those things you listed, plus, chocolate croissants!

    I would be so incredibly heartbroken if anything ever happened to my book collection. After my laptop and my photographs, they're probably my most important material possession.

    Here's to safe travels for your husband, and lots of progress on your revisions. :)

  2. Oh, I feel the same way, Katy! I think Justin gets overwhelmed at the sheer number of books I have, but they truly are one of my most prized possessions! When I look at them, I remember not only the stories inside but when I first read the book and what I thought about it. They've become my memories in a way!

    And here's to safe travels for your hubby!

  3. So glad your books were okay!

    Whenever I'm having a crappy day I always try to count all the things I'm grateful for.

    What's your favorite flavor of cupcake?

  4. Thank goodness all your books are OK. Imagine the mental state you'd be in if the water had ruined them too!

    Good luck with everything. Unexpected things can really throw you off your entire game. Also, where is this paypal cupcake account you speak of? You know I'd toss a few dollars in if it existed... :)

  5. Thoughts to you after the the flood, but good to hear you being so positive. What a lovely book collection

  6. So glad things are looking up for you today!

  7. Bummer about your basement but so glad your books were safe!! I have a couple art books from the Tate and I would be devastated if they got ruined!