Friday, November 10, 2017

Water, water every where, / Nor any drop to drink

Oh, what a way to begin. For those not on social media, you might be unaware that we’ve had water in our basement thanks to an incredible amount of rain. So far (with a brief assist Thursday morning by Kin Jee) I’ve packed and lifted more than two hundred and fifty boxes of books, paper and comic books since Hallowe’en morning. It has taken up pretty much the entire past week-plus, forced to clear out our basement for the sake of ripping up the carpet. Water, water everywhere. Given Christine already has asthma and a mould-sensitivity (and a great deal of mould-awareness, given her day-job), and Rose now has asthma (we suspected, but it wasn’t confirmed until a doctor’s appointment on the morning of the 31st), we really had to get the whole of it out.

The past week: multiple industrial fans and an industrial-sized dehumidifier running 24/7 FULL BLAST to remove as much moisture as possible.

Our entire library of fiction and comic books, and the above/ground press archive. So far, we’ve barely touched the Chaudiere warehouse storage, but that might change (our entire catalogue had but arrived from the warehouse a week prior). Our big goal was to tear out that carpet, which meant removing boxes of books, a sectional, twelve bookcases and four utility shelves, a bed, a dresser and a whole mound of children’s toys, clothes and books, most of which has fallen into an off-site storage facility. We’ve had an incredible amount of assistance from Christine’s parents, including weekend childcare, and to her cousins Carla and Paul for same, allowing us the entire weekend to get movers through to take items into storage, so that Christine and I could rip up the entire carpet and underpadding. We’ve been fortunate, also, that Aoife’s preschool was open to her going in for a few extra mornings, so I could deal with various matters around our basement (she is otherwise scheduled for two mornings a week).

But for that, I would have completed and posted a new poetry review for this slot. This past Tuesday, a weather tweet claimed we’d just achieved the highest volume of rain in Ottawa over a seven-day period since 1899. God sakes.

And yet, knowing this is but temporary. We shall fix the basement, get everything back, put everything in its place, and even work to improve some of the arrangements and storage and floorings. The worst, one hopes, is over. Can we have our basement back, please? Can I get back to writing? I’ve also some new chapbooks that require folding, stapling and mailing…

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