A Saturday Evening Flood

Now all we need are Fire and Earthquake: yesterday evening the washer leaked all through the mudroom and out into the entry and around to the game table, making for Flood, and we have already had Plague: perhaps we can get a complete collection this month. “The May of the Cataclysms.” Mom says she hopes not. Well, still, “sluttishness may come hereafter…”

However that may be, we got to have an adventure this evening—our drawing lesson was adjourned, without formality, by wordless mutual consent, when Hannah pointed out the puddle creeping around the corner. Then we got to spend a while cleaning it up: moving a table and a cabinet, setting things out to dry, laying towels down so we could traverse the flooded rooms, and getting over half a gallon of water off the mudroom floor by sponge and wetted-and-wrung-out towel.‘If I were Pollyanna,’ I said, ‘I’d say that at least the floor was getting well cleaned.’ ‘I was thinking about the same thing,’ Mom said, though she didn’t detail if that included Pollyanna. A good deal of gunk got cleaned out of corners, and the whole mudroom floor got meticulously hand-sponged; none o’ yer in-and-out speed-mopping jobs. The water in the tubs which we wrung sponges and towels into was of the color that water used to become when my siblings and I were in outdoor play-kitchens and wanted to make hot chocolate—though I’ll guess that we tried to keep bits of twig and bark out of our beverages.

Other Pollyanna matters included that we just have concrete or linoleum floors in the concerned spots, and that the flood didn’t happen in the middle of the night.

Additionally, the matter gave a good opportunity for studying the topography of the floor: from where the washer sits, the floor goes up just enough to the door toward the kitchen that the water didn’t go far that way. Instead, the water all flowed into the mudroom, where there is a higher area in the middle and lower areas toward the edges. Quite a bit of water collected in some of these spots; we had to keep telling Nathan not to swish his sponge across, because his favored motion had a way of flinging ripples through the eighth-inch-deep puddle.

In the end, we got it mopped up, with only one casualty—the clothesline, which gave out when Mom tried to hang too many saturated towels on it.

There was, of course, a serious side to the matter; but I’ll confess that I found it quite entertaining. Perhaps writing heroines into tight spots with dragons makes you more likely to appreciate a nice, safe, home adventure for what it’s worth—and I find that you can juice almost anything for a bit more of what it’s worth if you try to spin words about it as you go.

I feel more comfortable admitting that I enjoyed it than perhaps I would if Dad had not resolved, once we got the mess cleaned up, that it came about because he hadn’t screwed a drain cap on all the way after cleaning it this morning. But the floor was sponged, the clothesline situation cobbled together well enough, and the cap screwed back on, and there you are: a nice Saturday evening adventure.