We knew it was coming. From all predictions, we needed to drop everything and start constructing our ark immediately.
We didn't. And David boarded a flight for Atlanta first thing Monday morning, leaving me here, in charge of our three crazies (and two large mutts), when we were about to get slammed with the Worst Rainstorms Ever.
Monday was the first storm. The kids didn't have school and we managed just fine.
I should've known. It was too calm.
Tuesday, the rain rain rain came down down down..and put most of my patio under water. It created a small ocean right where our brand new air conditioning unit sits on the side of our house. And the garage? The water flowed in under the side door and covered half of it, soaking the carpet and everything else in its path.
David was conveniently a couple thousand miles away. Not to worry. I just called my neighbors, aka The Calvary.
See, you don't live on my street. But I bet you wish you did.
My next-door-neighbor, Dawn, came over and assessed. She returned with a laundry basket to put over my previously clogged drain in the back yard and a 25-pound weight to hold it down.
Then, my neighbor Rich brought home a truckload of sand and bags. He and his wife, Robin, Dawn, and my across-the-street neighbor Sully filled and distributed the sand bags around the air conditioning unit and up against the side door of my garage - while I stood there, useless, holding the baby.
Later that night, I let the dogs out before I went upstairs to put X to bed. Then Sage came up, and I tucked her in and read her a story. Sawyer had to use the bathroom. By now it was 8 p.m.
I went downstairs while Sawyer finished his business. I called David. And then I realized the dogs were still outside.
I opened the door.
My heart sunk.
I knew they were gone.
The neighbors had inadvertantly left the side gate open. My dogs were now wandering around somewhere in the dark. They had no collars on. They're big and probably scary-looking if you don't know them.
I went outside and starting yelling their names.
And again, I called my neighbor, Dawn. Rich was already on his way down the street, as David had called and asked for help. He started searching for them.
I was completely freaking out. They could be anywhere. They could be hurt. They could be down on the main street below us, with all the speeding cars.
An SUV pulled up and a woman leaned out and asked if I was looking for two dogs.
"We were walking and they practically attacked us," she said.
I explained that they are SUPER friendly and were just coming up to greet them. Which I'm sure would be terrifying, to be out walking and have these two surprise you. The people thought they were coyotes.
But when I told her how they'd gotten out, that I had three kids at home, a husband out of town, and that I couldn't get in the car and drive around, she became immediately sympathetic and said they'd help look for them. They told me where they'd seen them.
I went to the end of my steet and turned left. And there were the dogs, on the other side of the street. I called them once again and they came running.
There was no "you can't catch" me games. I think they were lost, tired and wet and were just as happy to see me as I was to see them.
I went to bed that night feeling grateful all the creatures in my house were safe, and that my garage wouldn't flood while I sleep - thanks to my wonderful neighbors.
And then yesterday, the rain came again. As the day wore on, the water started coming into the garage again. Once again, I called Rich, and within 10 minutes, he was at my house with more sand bags.
I wish I could explain what it's like to live on a street where I can pick up the phone and pretty much call anyone who lives here to ask for help. You can't buy your neighbors, folks.
But you sure can thank them. So thank you, Dawn, Rich, Robin and Sully.
I couldn't have made it through without you. Hope I can return the favor someday.
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