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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Water Seeks its Own Level…

Tualco V. March


Today is one of those days full of surprises. Intermittent bursts of sunshine punctuated by a drizzle of rain, a day of fitful spring weather variety.

Dandelion globes smile at the sunbursts, scowl as clouds cover the sun. Spring Clouds

My walk in the Valley is pleasant, without incident to speak of, although there is a disappointing scarcity of four-leaf clovers. Just a bit too early for the clover patches to yield their luck. Today’s a routine stroll.  

I am almost to the “lost and ‘lorn” house by Christenson Rd. when my leisurely jaunt comes abruptly to an end. A little history now. This little house is a foreclosure victim and has been vacant for nearly four months. Some bank retained a mortgage broker to sell the house, but it was in such disrepair those efforts failed and were passed  along to a realtor, who was no more successful in moving the property. A few weeks ago a private party bought the house, hired subcontractors to renovate the little rambler, hoping to render the home marketable.

Our entire Valley is either flood plain or flood fringe and this little house and the property on which it is situated have been flood victims in the 100 year floods of 1990 and 2006. (Do the math on the interims.) In fact it has been waterfront property briefly a number of times.Footings wet '90  As the waters receded after one of the inundations, Alice Cabe, the neighbor in the yellow house on the property beyond, noticed a frantic splashing on the little deck off the back of the house. The activity was the desperate flailings of a beached salmon.flood '90 Waterfront Prop.

That wa


Water seeks its own level is a physics mandate expressed, perhaps, by Noah or Johnny Cash (“How High’s the Water, Mama…Six Feet High and Risin’”)and as I approach the house, a young fellow bursts through the door and sprints toward me. I immediately think an explosion is imminent, expect the house to erupt in a fireball, and whirl me catapulting over the horse barn. Frantically, the potential victim darts to the well house on the lawn and blurts to me breathlessly, “A faucet broke. I have to shut off the pump!” He reached in the well house, fumbled with something and shot back into the house. “Water seeks its own level, that’s for sure,” I thought. No matter what, that little house seemed prone to deluge, destined for inundation. Whether a river or a broken faucet, the house was a divining rod.Water seeks its level

I went to the door, called in, anxious to render what assistance I could. A voice directed me to turn on the outside faucet to help ease the pressure in the water lines. It was a simple directive, and I rushed to perform it. Then I hustled inside to check the results. The young man was standing on the newly installed hardwood floor in a rapidly expanding pool, water spraying everywhere through the fist he held clenched over the broken faucet. I ran to the garage, found a bucket and hurried it back to him. Back outside I discovered the exterior faucet had a hose and a spray nozzle attached. My opening the faucet had accomplished nothing. I quickly unscrewed the nozzle to allow the water to flow.

When I returned, the pressure had eased and a frantic effort to mop the new floor had begun. Unfortunately the subcontractor had to use his jacket as mop. For a fleeting moment I thought about offering my sweatshirt as extra absorbent but the drizzle outside brought me to my senses.

Finally the pool was reduced to large droplets there and about in the kitchen, and the young plumber, carpenter, cabinet installer hauled a large box fan from his truck to dry up the rest. The situation had stabilized and contractor Todd to pause long enough to pose for a photo.Contractor ToddThe sad little house has new paint, new roof and gutters, but it seems hydroponic, always destined to be a victim of water whether it be rising rivers or broken plumbing.

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1 comment:

  1. Though the house is cute. It will never be in a good location unless they decide to stilt it 10' or so. Poor guy.