Flooding, Coming Together, and the Gays

Unless you’re not from the US or you don’t listen to the news, you’re aware of the horrendous storms that hit the midwest last weekend. Believe me when I tell you that I’m aware of them. I’m reminded of them everytime I take a whiff of my basement. Or a whiff of TJ when she comes upstairs from said basement. Or when I walk by the laundry chute that’s connected to the basement. Yes, our basement was flooded. With mostly sewage. It’s disgusting.

We were much better off than lots of others, though. At most we had somewhere between 6 to 8 inches in most of the unfinished and finished parts. We’re pretty sure the carpet is beyond cleaning and will probably make the decision to rip it out today. I’m not sure how we’re going to afford to replace it. Or how we’re going to replace the rest of the stuff. Although, we didn’t lose too much. A handful of computers, some monitors, my favorite recliner, a couch, a futon, and possibly our treadmill and new christmas tree. We’ll have to see about the treadmill and tree.

TJ noticed the flooding right away and we were able to move the majority of our stuff out before the worst of it hit. We had nearly all of our books and electronics/entertainment stuff down there. It was the family/play area. And the future home of Berky’s Bar. I still have hopes of having that together by the start of football season…

Saturday night, the night of the flood, TJ and I spent hours pushing nasty, smelly water to the sump pump to try to keep the level low enough as to not damage our washer, dryer, water heater, and furnace. It’s times like those that remind me what an incredible team we make. We work so well together. And, believe it or not, we had fun doing it. There was not a single minute that either of us became angry or pitied ourselves or anything negative. We knew what we needed to do and we set about doing it. The entire situation was beyond our control and we both knew that it could have been so much worse. Thoughts of victims of Katrina were keeping me positive. How could I be upset with the possibility of losing some stuff that is really irrelevant in the larger scheme of things when others have lost everything, including their lives? Even I’m not that self-centered.

At one point during a lull in the downpour, TJ was outside talking with some of our neighbors about how their houses were holding up. The woman who lives next door to us heard someone say that insurance may not cover anything because most of our flooding was due to the backed up sewer. She immediately became upset and started shrieking “Who’s going to help us? Everyone came together for the people in New Orleans! Who’s going to help us?!” When TJ told me about this a short while later, I couldn’t even believe it. I couldn’t wrap my head around someone comparing a few inches of bad water in their basement with the images I saw during Katrina. My jaw dropped and I just stared at TJ. I’m a little afraid to think of what my response would have been. I’m fairly certain I would have punched her. Let me also share with you that I’ve never seen this woman reach out to help ANYONE in our neighborhood. I asked TJ what her reaction was and she said all she could do was look down at the ground and shake her head. I’m still amazed that she had the cojones to let the words escape her lips.

Enough about her. That weekend was also LGBT Pride. Milwaukee’s Pride Fest is a three day celebration down at the Summerfest grounds. We hadn’t planned on going, although I did want to see Wanda Sykes. Not the Indigo Girls though. I got my fill of them at the last concert we went to when Come On Social came out. I don’t think I could sit through another concert where after each song, Amy and Emily cheerfully yell “Thanks Y’all!” It had gotten to the point that after the first few songs, everyone in our section yelled allong. It was quite funny, really.

As I was pushing water, I couldn’t help but think that, at some point, I’m going to hear someone spouting off that the storms were a result of God’s wrath. Those damn Gays again. I mean, seriously, so far we’ve been responsible for 9/11, Katrina, the war in Iraq, and, well, I just can’t keep track anymore. It made me feel less paranoid when I spoke to my wonderful sister-in-law, Molly, and she said something about how if she hears anyone blaming this on God’s hatred of The Gays, she’s going to scream. I love Molly. She reads my mind a lot. Sometimes it’s good but sometimes it’s because I’m thinking something stupid or mean and she knows it because it’s what Chuck would be thinking or doing. Poor TJ and Molly. Well, sometimes.

Comment if you want. You know, no pressure.

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