Perspectives and Half-Full Glasses

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

This past Sunday, my family was ordered to evacuate our home. Within an hour, we had our camper moved and what essentials we could grab, our pets, and we were out. We don't know when we can go back.

It has been the comment, as I sat in a quiet corner where my husband works having a personal pity party, that "others are worse off than you, so don't feel so bad". I find that an odd comment, especially when we're in imminent danger of actually LOSING our home. It seems the only other people that understand what we feel right now are the other people that are currently in this situation. Our glass is NOT half-full, thank-you very much...we had a perfectly good glass that was as full as we wanted it and now half of all that we wanted in that glass is somewhere else that we can't get to...and it's a horrible feeling.

I honestly wish it would just happen, if it's going to happen...that the water would just take the place. I can't say I welcome this waiting game...will the water continue to rise, will it stop, will it abate only to come back again? At least I know that if the water took the house then it would be done and the next step would be moving forward. It's the waiting that gets to me...will it or won't it?

It's funny how water works. It's beautiful on a moonlit night when you're standing on the shore of a calm ocean or lake, looking at the way the moon lights the surface. It's fun when it's summertime and you're a kid jumping through the sprinkler. It's a relief when it falls in sufficient amounts to nurture the garden you depend upon for food. It's a comfort when your throat is dry and you can have a glass of clean, clear, cool liquid.

And on the other side, it can be a nuisance, especially when it falls as rain on that picnic you planned on your husband's only weekend off in a month. It can be irritating when it falls on your head unexpectedly and soaks your brand new clothes before they're even out of the bag. It can be frightening as it comes over the banks of a dyke set up to protect you from the river it was supposed to stay in and slinks quietly and sinisterly through your community, an extremely powerful, hungry, mindless, all-consuming monster. It can be terrifying as it almost seems to be chasing you from your home practically licking at your back tires as you speed away, and it is absolutely heartless when it takes all you own from you in an instant while you stand helplessly on high ground and can do nothing but watch.

This is now our life. The camper we bought to enjoy when we went on our little excursions is now our home for the foreseeable future. Our real home is being encroached upon by water, inch by inch as the water continues to flow at maximum rates from three dams, hoping to relieve pressure so that they don't burst. If they do, there are so many other people that will lose as much, or more, as we are risking. We don't know when we can go home. The house that we have painstakingly and lovingly bought and are trying to renovate to make it comfortable and modern is now at risk of being a mouldy rotting pile of useless timber.

We're frightened, we're worried, we're stressed. We have so many things we want to do and it's all on hold because we don't know when we can get home. I only hope people understand when we tell them: "We're sorry", yet we know so many will just think us selfish and unable to see past the end of our own needs.

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