The immense storm which swept through on Friday absolutely soaked great parts of the battered old downstairs carpet and gave us a fun three hours or so of standing on our heads shop-vacuuming up the rivers and rivulets pouring through one old wall and dashing across the floor. There are two little hummy vacs, little Teletubby NooNoos, just alike, and I manned the frenzy of vacuuming up the water as it flowed across the floor like nobody's business. It didn't just soak in---it had a shine on top, with the surface tension meniscus heaped like the quiver on a spoon. Each tank filled in no time, and Chris was doing a hustle of his own, popping off tops, interchanging the hose to the next tank, emptying the contents, and hardly keeping up with the amount going in.
It was hot, sweaty work, backbreaking until he scooted a big chair behind my knees, and that helped for a long while. And I must have looked a sight, in ratty old T and shorts, rubber clogs squishing inside and out, and I-can't-remember-when sweat running down my face. I thought SURELY at my age, I must have graduated to GLOW by now.
Later, I caught on to sitting in the little desk swivel, pedaling backward like Grandpa Lapp in WITNESS, as the trail of "dry" incised the wet, then scooching forward to do another row. Wow. What a MESS!
About midnight (and forty gallons later), I consulted Caro: We had company coming Tuesday for a few days, thus needed all the produce, and had lots of goodies for company---anything else would keep. We hadn't even baked a cake yet, and if the outside was as soggy as inside, how would we ever set out those tables and chairs across the lawn AND, if it rained again, where would we GO inside? So we called everyone yesterday a.m., postponing our little gathering for now.
And here I sit, with the blast of one big industrial fan and two regular, aimed at strategic spots on the floor, a gallon jug and spray bottle of disinfectant/good-smelling stuff at hand, and a brand new 16-gallon shop vac standing attention with the two small guys.
And WAY later, after it was "all over but the shoutin'," Chris turned to me and asked, "When I went upstairs for the other vacuum, did I REALLY run past Caro without my pants on?"
But we DID pick up the cakes. THE CAKES. With STRING even!! How nostalgic is that?
Great anticipation, with a deep inhale of the vanilla perfume, then the treasure revealed:
We may have been "done out" of our party for now, but as my Dear Mammaw used to say, "By Jingoes, there's CAKE!"