TITLE: Then The Rain came In
By Jim Oates
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A humorous look back at near disaster in our early days of life together.
It seems as if, whenever something really exciting or disastrous happened, I was at work or away somewhere. Wilma was always at home to take care of the situation; she was the peacekeeper, the protector, the tear and nose wiper, and the mopper-upper.
It took more than a mop on this occasion; water was pouring down from the light fixtures.
It all began as our family of five turned into a family of six. Our four-room and almost a bathroom, home, was at the point of being far too small. We loved each other dearly but we needed some elbowroom.
In 1962, the year that Susan was born, we began drawing up plans for our addition to the house. It was to have two additional bedrooms and a bathroom. A real bathroom, Wilma was ecstatic over the idea of having a bathroom in the house.
This meant no more trips to the outhouse, especially in inclement weather or having to empty the five-gallon pail that we used in really bad weather. The new sleeping quarters were to be above the new ground-level basement that we used as a laundry room, play room and storage area. The treasured bathroom would be located between the two bedrooms. The old, almost a bathroom, became the access to the stairs and the basement. Because the new roof was to project over the old roof, an opening had to be made all along the rear eave, so that a short support wall could be attached to the back wall of the present house.
Wouldn’t you know it? Out of a clear blue sky one afternoon, while I was at work, the sky darkened and down came a torrential rain with thunder and lightning. The power went off and the rain came in. Yes it came in, it poured in, cascading down from the ceiling light fixtures.
On my return home, I heard the whole story from two excited kids both talking at once. At the same time, I was looking in wonder at one frazzled and exasperated, but not yet undone, homemaker. Her straggly hair was dripping on her already wet clothing, trying desperately to make some kind of order out of chaos, with buckets, basins and a mop. All the while two kids were continually jabbering, a fearful toddler who desperately needed a diaper change, was in tears and the newborn baby who was oblivious to that happening, was in her basket out of harm’s way.
I thank God that the rain stopped and for giving Wilma the presence of mind to take charge of the situation.
Every now and again, at a family function, Patty, who was three at the time would say, “Do you remember when the water came in from the ceiling lights?” This would usually trigger a round of laughter, even from Wilma; then another round of humorous, do you remember stories of how Mom saved the day, would begin.
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