Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rest for the Weary

With the horrific line of storms that moved across the U.S. over this past weekend, our area ended up with record breaking rain. The previous record of rain for the day of April 16 had been just shy of 2 inches. Until this past weekend...we had three and a half inches on Saturday--on top of several inches so that in several days we had 5 inches of rain, in a very wet spring. The effect was very much like pouring a full glass of water on top of an already soaked sponge.

On Saturday evening, my husband went to our basement around 9 p.m.--and I heard him say something like--that's bad news. What? Well, our basement floor is getting wet. We have lived in our house for 30 years and have only had water in basement once before--when it bubbled up through our french drain. This time, water was coming in at the edge of the basement floor.

So, nothing to do but go to work. We grabbed towels, put them on the floor and in very short order the towels were soaked. We got out the wet/dry vacuum and began sucking up the water. What with my husband running the wet vac, and me throwing towels on the floor until they were soaked, then I would wring them out, throw them down again, wring again--repeat, we kept the water from encroaching all the way across our basement. We confined it to one third the total basement. But we worked for four hours.

Finally, the rain stopped, but by then, the hydrostatic pressure underneath our basement floor had sent a spidery network of minute cracks across the basement floor, and little bubbles gave away the leak source. Vac, mop, vac, mop.

We declared victory or defeat around 1:15 a.m. and went to bed. Now--two days later, I am slowly recovering from aches and weariness. Rest for the weary.

I note, somewhat ruefully, that this tendency to feel overwhelming weariness is increasing with my age. That realization makes me recall the two most significant senior women in my life--my mother and my mother-in-law.

When I first met my husband, and would spend time at his house, it did not take long for me to feel very much at home. And, his parents must have been comfortable with my being there. His mother had worked most of her adult life, so not surprisingly when she came home in the evenings--after the dinner dishes were cleaned up and put away--she would get into her nightgown, and come sit with us as we watched television. And she would frequently fall into a light sleep. Then she would awaken, get up and go to bed. Rest for the weary.

I think of my mother who, as she began to experience the consequences of a defective heart valve, would sometimes slip upstairs to her bedroom to lie down and rest. She was a most amazing woman who was seemingly indefatigable in every day life. But you could tell that her energy would flag when she slipped off for one of those little naps. Rest for the weary.

One more thought on weariness. Since we are now less than a week away from Easter, it's time for my husband and me to engage in one of our Easter preparation rituals--playing Handel's Messiah. We began doing this several years ago, and have enjoyed listening to this great uplifting music.

Perhaps that is why, as I contemplate the weariness of body, I suddenly found myself humming the marvelous aria from Handel's Messiah: Come Unto Him, All Ye that Labor.

Well, I trust that if you overdo your labors this spring, as I have recently done, you will find rest for the weary.

Come unto me, all ye that labor...and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28


Anvilcloud said...

Yup. There's changes going on within us. I get wearier now and sooner to boot.

Climenheise said...

Glad you got it under control. It sounds like a quite unnecessary adventure. I remember mother sleeping like that -- just resting when she was tired. And of course given her energy level for most of her life, even the memories startle a bit.

NCmountainwoman said...

Wet basements are the worst! I'm always surprised at the length of time it takes for me to recover from things like that. I do hope you won't have to do that again soon.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Sometimes homeownership has it's negative side. Good for you with your adrenalin driven effort to hold back the flood.

We could use some of your water. We continue to have drought here. It seems to be the new normal over the last 10 years.

It seems as we get older we do tire easily. I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. It is not uncommon for me to wake up when my head hits the keyboard. I fall asleep in shows as well as in front of the TV. I even fell asleep once at a production of Carmen. I often do enjoy an afternoon nap with my dog.
With Heidi keeping my back warm and often sharing my pillow or just resting her head on my shoulder, we have a lovely nap of an hour or less. This is often a high point in my day. How sad is that!

All the best, this Maunday Thursday. Enjoy Easter.

JeanMac said...

So sorry to hear this. I understand that fatigue.

Ginnie said...

Weren't you smart to keep ahead of the water like that? It's always amazed me how much damage water can do.
No wonder you're weary !

Ruth said...

I am watching the rain fall here again today, but every storm we get has been worse to the south or west in United States. I hope you get a reprieve from the precipitation. Yes, I agree that weariness increases notably with age.