When the rain comes in…

Dec 8, 2015 | 4 comments

Children's Corner

Children’s Corner Before

It was a minor miracle that I wanted to look up something in my great-grandmother’s “Home Health Bible,” The Cottage Physician, copyright 1893-1895. I knew right where it was – on the shelf in the Library in the children’s section where it‘s been all my life. All the books from my mother’s childhood are in that area and I suppose that’s why my grandmother kept her reference library on health matters nearby. Children’s ailments, you know. With a family of seven kids, she probably had many occasions to look up symptoms (and grab a book to give the ailing patient at the same time,)


The Rain Inside

My first awareness that something was amiss was when I knelt down to look for the book. My knees felt cold and damp – wet carpet! Instantly, then, I saw rapid dripping coming from inside the upper window frame. The water was splashing and pooling on the top of the bookcase, running down the wall behind onto the shelves below and being soaked up by dozens of old 1910-era books.

Drying Out

Drying Out

I yelled for Nyel and we went into disaster mode. I rushed to the kitchen to scoop up a drawer-full of dishtowels; he grabbed plastic drop cloths and spread them out on the carpet. We sopped up the standing water, gently blotted books and laid them out to air dry (keeping them closed as we knew was best). Then Nyel called Mychael Clarson and thank goodness he hadn’t yet left for work yet.

Children's Corner After

Children’s Corner After

The trouble, as I understand it, was that a gutter had pulled away from the house and the rain had worked its way through loosened paint on a trim board behind. Through the magic of caulk and screws and a tall ladder, Mychael staunched the flow in a trice and Nyel and he talked about a permanent fix later – when the weather is better. If I hadn’t been hiding out in my office in my wet bathrobe, I’d have given him a hug!

It’s not the first time Nyel and I have dealt with water damage and books. Our last experience was about fifteen years ago. An upstairs water heater had rusted out. That time it was hot water coursing down into the east room… into bookcases, of course! (There’s hardly a wall in this house that isn’t lined with books.) Ironically, that time it was Leigh Wilson (Nick Wilson-Codega’s mom) who came over from across the street to help us sop and sort.

I say “ironically” because we are hoping that Leigh and Lily will be staying here tonight after Nick’s Luau at the Roo. If so, they’ll be edging their way around drying books on their way through the house. Déjà vu!


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Thank goodness you discovered the problem and were able to get Mychael so quickly!

  2. Cate Gable

    Book rescuers. My heroes!

  3. Pat Thomas

    Water in–the worst!

  4. Patricia

    Close call….or a call from the afterlife alerting you to the situation!


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