Tales from the flood.

When entire neighbourhoods are surrounded by water, for 70+ days, it gets very quiet. The lack of people, cars, wildlife made an eerie aquarium vibe. On our road, if we heard splashing we would check to see which neighbour was wading home in hip boots and ask them appropriate questions such as:

"Water in basement? Pump working? What news have you from the outside world?"

The up the road neighbours never asked me those questions, they always wanted to know my opinions on the river's moods since I live closest to it and have been my whole life. They would gather around me, too close really. I once asked how they knew it was me coming up the road before even being able to see me from their houses. Simple, they said.

"No one hauls ass up the road the way you do. You walk in those boots like you're angry."


Rainy cold day, I'm hauling 3 weeks worth of laundry in the canoe like I'm angry, apparently. I'm holding on to my umbrella for dear life in the winds. I'm trying really hard to maneuver the canoe so we don't end up in the reeds and trying to keep my dog afloat as well. The mentalist, neighbhour whom I had never spoke with before, he's new, walks up to me and says:

"I have a heart shaped bath and no one to share it with."

I stood there for 10 minutes with my face all scrunched up, mouth agape, in dead silence. Then finally, once I returned to my body, I went with:

"Is it a red heart shaped bath? Because that may be the only reason why you are still single."


12 year old in full war regalia driving the army tank up my driveway stopped so he could take photos and videos.  Him and his pals posing and making gang/peace signs was so reassuring in my time of need. I will never forget their bravery. God bless them.


Army tank rolling up in my driveway - it was a daily routine, keep up people - and how they missed my actual driveway every single day and rolled up on the now ruined lawn is a mystery. The driver had a new toy, he was trying to open the back flap. There was lots of poking and turning of his head to see if anything was happening.

Then, bvvvvffff, half open.
Bvvvvffff, closed again.
Bvvvvfffffff, almost!
Bvvvvffff, oh shoot!
Bvvvvfffff, this is it!

Open yay! Now what?  Nothing. We were all waiting. Maybe there will be soldiers that will pop out and give us our daily Red Cross ration of water since our wells are not viable at the moment. Oh boy, that would be so cool!

Waiting.  Nothing.

I put my hip boots on and go see. I look cautiously in the back of the tank, I rose my arms in the air in a I come in peace gesture...4 soldiers were standing there. In answer to my perplexed face:

"We don't have boots."


In the first days, before the Army arrived, we needed sand bags. Lots of them. Thousands of them. We were told we could absolutely have sand bags! All we needed to do was get into our canoe, drive to the municipal garage, fill the bags ourselves, haul the now 60lbs bags into our car, drive back, drop one bag at a time into our canoe lest we sink it, paddle home, lift 60lbs bag from canoe and place against house. No biggie!

And you thought I walked up the road in hip boots angry? Let's just end it with those bags were delivered by municipal trucks when I was done having an aneurysm. Although I appreciated my Mum's method better.

"I'm old, I'm by myself, look I can even fake a limp..."

Two words.

Disaster Tourism.

The looky loo's. They are not there to offer encouragement, assistance nor kindnesses. They come in droves, with their kids, and hi-tech cameras. They come down our dead end road and stay stuck in the water. They've come to film the indigenous people of the flood for prosperity. They point, walk on your land, never make eye contact and speak only amongst themselves. Us, the "victims" and our destroyed homes, oh such pitiful souls we are.

A testament of the times we live in, watch a lady trip, get in on you tube quick, whatever you do, do not put that camera down.


After flood morale was getting a bit low, the powers that be thought to supply the Army tanks with therapists riding shot gun up front.



They handed out pamphlets. Lame. Pffft. I asked for a lobotomy, no go. I offered to zig zag through the reeds to make it more fun - they categorically refused to shoot me with a tranquilizer gun, wusses.


Oh My Freakin' God! Sorry to say your real life is more interesting than fiction!

Anonymous said…
Funny and Heartbreaking all at once.

I think your one sentence is sadly very true these days...... "A testament of the times we live in, watch a lady trip, get in on you tube quick, whatever you do, do not put that camera down."

The world has gone mad.

stivafan said…
I had already forgotten the sound of the splashing feet. This is an awesome blog.

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