Cave Dwellings: Get out the “high water” pants!
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Monday, April 22, 2013

Get out the “high water” pants!

   Just for one day, I would like to have the life of this little guy….

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He just takes life slowly, going along at his own speed…No huge commitments, no big rush, carrying his house on his back, no real estate taxes, and no worries…

Oh, I know this is not realistic and “if wishes were fishes we’d all take a swim”, but it seems ever since we came back from Florida, we have been chasing our tails here in Illinois.  And as for the weather, we came back to a snowy February and March, a cold April…and a few days ago, we had lakefront property in our basement. The good news here is that we weren’t on the road somewhere when our sump pump failed!!!

Our basement has had water a few times, and in some instances it came up our drain ..So, a few years ago, McGyver and I hauled chunks of concrete from our basement floor out the basement window in a bucket, and he made a hole for a sump pit…He put the pump in, installed a pipe to take the water out the window, and assumed the next big flood it would kick in and we would be in “fat city”…You know what they say about that word, “ass u me d”Disappointed smile


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Luckily, Dennis had built shelves all across our North basement wall…That white thing behind my beauty shop chair, tipping on it’s edge, is our little chest freezer…doing the back stroke.

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Before MacGyver could do anything, he had to run to Rural King (farm store) and get himself a pair of boots!!!!!

To top it off, Uncle Jr. called that morning with the bad news that they had water in their basement too….SHEESH!…We told them we would be up as soon as we got our basement under control…Dennis figured out that the sump pump switch was stuck, and that’s why our pump never went on…the switch was never tripped…About 10AM, we felt we had the pump working and there was nothing more to do at our house, so we grabbed some tools and headed to Montgomery to see if we could get Uncle Jr.s basement under control…

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Left, we encountered some almost flooded out roads on the way.  The fields looked like lakes. I took the photo on the right as we were crossing the Fox River bridge.  I have never seen the river so high.  Jr. and Jeanette live on the Fox River, but their house sits up high on the East side of it…apparently not high enough!  Their house also overlooks the Montgomery Dam.  In fact the road that goes by their home is called River Road…That name pretty much says it all.  River Road was closed due to flooding at the South end, so we snaked our way on back streets to get to their house..

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River Road in front of their house was open. The left pic is looking at their house from across River Road.  Pic on the right is looking at their house from the end of their neighbor’s drive.  They have a lovely home, but we found 5” of water in their basement when we got there…Dennis got their sump pump out, and found the hose to hook onto it overhead in their garage. They have not one, but TWO drains in their basement and water was coming in both…The rain Gods were definitely laughing at us…I didn’t have any boots with me, so while Dennis was sloshing around in their basement, I took the opportunity to walk across the road to see the dam.  I noticed many cars stopped and people getting out to see the water coming over the dam.

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The water was RUSHING over the dam…and both ends of the walking trail were impassable..

I walked as far as I could and looked up the river North toward Aurora….

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….this is the view I saw on the other side of the river…How awful for those poor people. Suddenly, I felt very small and ungrateful.  I realized just how lucky Dennis and I, and Jr. and Jeanette really were!!

  Finally, about 4:30PM, Dennis had done all he could at their house. He plugged the drains as best he could, I helped him get the hose out their window and the sump hose into the street.  The water was still bubbling up some around their drains, but the sump pump was keeping up with it…Once the water went down a few inches, MacGyver relit their hot water heater and the pilot light on their furnace (the water had gotten high enough to put them both out).  On our way home, at the main stop light in Montgomery, we saw 2 of the sanitary sewer manholes at the stoplight….

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…You can see the water boiling up around both of them!!! Until that sewer water begins to go down, everyone’s basement drains were in jeopardy!!!!

So, that has been our excitement for this week.  I am happy to report that our basement is dry again today, and so is Uncle Jr.’s…Aunt Jeanette (age 97) was in their basement all day yesterday sorting through her barrels of clothing (yes , she really does have barrels of clothing) figuring out what to pitch and what to keep. I told her to wait until we come up tomorrow, but she said that it keeps her busy…And I will NOT argue with her…

Today the sun is shining and Dennis is installing new garage doors on our garage.  I actually think we will be mowing grass today, too.  That sunshine sure makes one’s mood improve.  I no longer want to be a snail.  Now I want to be Fred, the dog .  Fred belongs to bloggers FD 5 and Bridget, ( Travels of John and Bridget)..or should I say that John and Bridget belong to Fred..Now THAT dog has it made, and lately, I would be content to just lie on the couch and be fed 3 “squares” a day…yes I would!!

“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”

                                              ~Allen Saunders


  1. So happy to read the end of your story!!! Now if things will just stay that way, please and thank you!

  2. I remember both of my sump pumps going out during spring rains when I lived in Minnesota. It was right after I had the basement remodeled, and carpeting installed. :( What a mess it was! I don't envy you having to help clean up two basements!

  3. The only blessing, I guess, is that it seems it was storm drain water and not sewer backup that flooded your basement(s). Storm drains are bad enough but the other stuff is plain disgusting.

    Hope the weather improves and things get a chance to dry out. I was watching some of the flooding in Illinois on the evening news tonight.

    I love your Aunt Jeanette's optimism, at 97, in deciding what clothing to keep! You just never know what a person will need to wear a few years down the road, right? Good for her!

  4. sorry to hear about the flooding! but those are mighty fine boots that Dennis was wearing!!
    hope the water recedes and you can get back to your 'life'!

  5. Gah! Flooding sucks. I lived in a house when I was a young lad that had a sump pump. Damned thing would konk out at the worst times. Then the road out front was lowered due to an expansion program (it was made into four lanes) and we were able to divert the water down to the then lower ditch, and ditch the pump.

    1. Flooding around here too, though not quite as bad as on the Fox. Antioch has it pretty bad, thought about going to take pics of some RVs up to their wheel wells in water!

    2. We were up all day helping Uncle Jr. and Aunt Jeanette clean the wet stuff our of their basement...Happy to report we got a lot done...Wish we could get them to assisted living and out of that house though!!!

  6. I remember as a kid we lived in a house with a leaky basement. Not nice. You guys sure have your hands full. No hounds of boredom at your doors......

  7. The flooding this year has just been terrible. There have been towns that have never flooded before that are. And to think we are to get more rain this weekend. I am glad that your basement is dry again, I sure hope it stays that way. Water that violent is very scary.

  8. Sorry to hear about the flooding and basement issues. You sure seem to have the right attitude about it all. I admire that.