Damn you, Winter! My Basement Flooded!

Argh, why! Wait, I know. Winter has been a bitch this year and we were dumb enough to purchase a home at the bottom of a hill. So who’s to blame? Winter, laughing her maniacal ass off as she dumps a record amount of snow onto us, or George. And the realtor.

I’m not taking any blame for this. When we moved to Minnesota, I came in from the south in high-heeled suede boots for a quick house hunting trip. George had vetted the Minneapolis suburbs. He was certain he narrowed the choices down to the proper contenders since I had a very short window of time to make a decision.

I sloshed into town in January and we made the rounds, my boots immediately becoming saturated with snow and soaking through my socks. We stopped at Target to purchase unattractive moon boots for the adventure, but those proved a poor choice as well as they were too short, and the snow came in over the tops when I was forced to step in banks.

I didn’t know it at the time, but the realtor, and George, had focused on homes in the most expensive suburbs of Minneapolis where cost per square footage was sky high. With two children and dog waiting for me in our Atlanta home, I’d become used to having a lot more house for the money. In contrast, the homes we viewed were all tiny homes, but super cute, and in wealthy areas. I’d only booked two days in town.

I needed room to romp but didn’t want to be house poor to accomplish it. It was up to me to force them to widen the search, and I instructed them to do it quickly. This solution had only vaguely occurred to George, and the cute realtor seemed irritated. But we had to make decision. I could not be alone with the children while the Atlanta house was on the market for much longer. It had been wearing on me in a big way. Four months as a single parent, keeping the house in tip-top shape, was apparently my breaking point.

The absolute last house the too cute realtor showed us, reluctantly and still snobbish that we’d left her cool urban neighborhood, was the one we purchased. I knew nothing about winter. Obviously. I didn’t look in the yard, or the hill in the back, only that there was a lot of privacy and enough room for a huge play set and fence for the dog. I didn’t blink an eye that every single room in the house was painted white and the ceiling fixtures were flimsy and boring. I was enthralled by the security system (now disconnected and obsolete) which would alert me if any wayward child opened a window or door out of my presence. I didn’t care that the house could only be purchased “as is”. I had a flight to catch. We were in the house for twenty minutes. We bought it.

Idiots. Our basement flooded the second year we were in the home and we had to rip out everything. We then paid a fortune to have the yard landscaped, installing an irrigation system which would prevent that occurrence in the future. Idiots again. Mother nature has her own plans. Sometimes the system is overwhelmed. Sometimes the ground doesn’t have a chance to thaw and is a sheet of ice, covering the irrigation system so no drainage can occur, and the twenty feet of melting snow slides down the hill, directly into our home. Again.

Who would you blame? Because I want to blame someone! My driveway has a slope too, and is a sheet of ice. My son and daughter both fell on it, but it wasn’t until I realized I couldn’t allow the pizza delivery guy onto the driveway that I snapped and got George out there in special shoes, bags of salt, and a shovel.

It’s almost the third week in March and thank goodness it’s so damn cold that the lake in our yard froze until Amazon could deliver our new water pump. The entire city of Minneapolis was sold out of pumps. The flooding problem is everywhere. As I write this, George is in the yard, trying to install the water pump into the frozen lake – because it will unfreeze. We got sandbags all over. We took down a section of fence and had a bobcat with a shovel plow massive amounts of snow and ice and dump them away from our house. A good six hours of this activity to uncover the drainage system, but even then, the piles of snow seem menacing and go on forever.

Our dehumidifier froze up from use. The furniture is piled everywhere. The place doesn’t smell good! I’ve spent and incredible amount of money at Bath and Body Works on their air scents. Right now, Black Cherry Merlot is plugged into the outlet next to the broken dehumidifier. It is not effective. I went down there with a bottle of peppermint oil and tossed it all over.

George was not pleased. “We’re just going to clean the place with bleach when it dries out, what are you doing?”

“I don’t care what you think! Maybe if you hadn’t picked a super model for a realtor none of this would have happened!”

George would not engage in my conversation. My tirades wash off his back like…..what? Oh, I know. Like water over a frozen ground and drainage system!

Spring, spring, please be kind. Summer, please be long. Winter, I don’t know what to say. We surrendered a long time ago. We’ve had enough. You win!

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