Too old for all-nighters

20 Apr

Every spring it seems like a glacier is melting and the runoff heads directly to our house!  The result is that our sump pump, in the basement, runs more than it rests.  Bruce is a bit paranoid of a flood and for the entire spring season doesn’t get a good night’s sleep because he’s half awake, listening to make sure he can hear that the pump is still running.  Because I grew up listening to a sump pump run every spring (right through the wall next to my bed) I rarely even hear the sump pump turn off and on, but Bruce can sense it anywhere.  That little bit of paranoia has resulted in “3 emergency plans” to deal with potential basement flooding issues.  Last Sunday, we used Plans A, B, C; and, a new Plan D was nearly implemented!

Plan A is the easy one: a battery powered water alarm to alert us to rising water levels.  It is very loud, very annoying, and saved us three times in one night!

Plan B: a generator that plugs into the house in case the power goes out.

Plan C: a used sump pump in case the current one breaks.

It was 7:00, and I am half way through putting the kids to bed.  Bruce has spent the better part of a half hour making his famous nachos.  Just as he is about to pop them in the oven, the power goes out.  Six seconds later the water alarm goes off.  Fifteen seconds later Bruce is already in the garage hauling the generator out (which happened to half flat tires) across our mushy lawn in a rain storm (I had to go out and save the day help)!   We get the generator up and running in the nick of time, restarting the pump.

9:00 –  after putting off dinner in the hopes that the power might come back on, we attempt to cook the nachos on top of the wood stove.  Although this sounds like it could work- I do not recommend it!  The bottom burned and the top didn’t melt.  Not what you are looking for in a plate of nachos…

9:50 – Bruce sends me to town (in the storm) to get more gas because the generator is running low.

9:53 – Power comes back on.  By the time I returned the generator was back in the garage – crises averted…

12:00 in the morning – one of the most amazing thunderstorms!!!  Constant lightning everywhere!  Magically, the power stayed on.

1:00 – Power is out again.  Water alarm goes off.  Luckily, the power came back on before we had time to get the generator out of the garage.

2:30 – Plan A sounds the alarm again!  Different this time…  power is still on… pump is still running…  Bruce says he’ll take care of it and if he needs me he’ll call.

7:00 – Wake up.  No Bruce.  I work my way downstairs to find him crouched next to the sump pit with two pumps going full blast, hoses and pipes Duct taped together (water spraying all over the laundry room) with everything leading outside through an open window.  The storm had dumped so much water that our one pump couldn’t keep up.  We were required to run 2 pumps 24/7 for 2 days before the water slowed down to a manageable amount for our original setup.

So in one night we used Plan A, B,  and C.  When I asked what would’ve been the next plan…   Bruce pointed to a nearby pile of buckets.


6 Responses to “Too old for all-nighters”

  1. Erin April 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    Ok, it’s not funny but picturing Bruce pointing to the pile of buckets is hilarious. Way to go Bruce, very innovative!

  2. amanda April 20, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    Not at all funny but I laughed my way through the events and then read them aloud to Rob. I can just see Bruce down there with the water everywhere.

  3. Aunty Gussy April 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    This is SO funny! I laughed out loud AND made my coworker read it because its so funny.

    I’m sorry you went through it, but now that its over, I’m glad we can all laugh about it. Except maybe Bruce…

  4. Elaine April 20, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    Excellent emergency planning!! And the story is much better in writing then when I heard it straight from you the other day. hehe.

  5. Natalie April 20, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    Send this one in SOMEWHERE…it is like sharing the nightmare with you…plan D is what we need so often in life.

  6. andrea April 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    i agree with Elaine….that was even more amusing in writing then when you told me about it. Maybe i just felt bad for you guys since it was the day after it happened when you told me but i did the same thing after reading it..i read it out loud for Andrew!

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