Tamara Jorell

Writing life and the neighborhood

Writing life and the neighborhood

 

The Rock

Unless she’s turned on a faucet, a homeowner doesn’t want water coming into her house. During a recent torrential rain, however, the dreaded event happened: I heard the sound of unrestrained nature in the basement when I hadn’t done a thing.

Husband and I investigated. Like a garden hose gone rogue, water gushed from a small hole—the size of a quarter—in the foundation behind the washing machine. We were quickly losing a battle that five minutes earlier we hadn’t even known we were fighting. We stood motionless; no fast moves could fix the nightmare that was pooling on the cement floor.

“Wow,” Husband said.

“Unbelievable,” I said.

The rains stopped, and we mopped up the mess. We spied a patch of black mold some shelving had hidden. Bleach and a brush became our friends, and Uncle Jim who was visiting helped us fill the hole with concrete. The dehumidifier put in some long hours, and our fans worked a few overtime shifts. Soon the floor was dry, but during the sunnier days that followed, I forgot about the hole. Then an old Sunday School song rushed into my thoughts.

“The foolish man built his house upon the sand, and the rains came tumbling down. The rains came down, and the floods came up, and the house on the sand went ‘splat!’”

Thankfully, the cautionary tale, set to music, had a hopeful ending. “The wise man built his house upon the rock, and the rains came tumbling down. The rains came down, and the floods came up, and the house on the rock stood firm.”

We examined our house. It wouldn’t go ‘splat!’ any time soon, but in what shape was our foundation? When the sun shone, we didn’t think about the condition of our dwelling. Only in bad weather did we question our footing.

The rains came again, showing us other weak points in our cinder block basement wall. And outside our home, the news revealed damaged underpinnings elsewhere too. Bullets rained down in a concert crowd in Las Vegas, arguments raged about hurricane relief efforts, and political dissension about anything grew a vicious mold on the country.

So, which are we? Builders on rock, or builders on sand? Wise—or foolish?

Maybe it’s time for the Rock.

The patching of the wall.

The patching of the wall.

*Miss an installment of the blog? Or want to catch the story from the beginning? Visit http://www.tamarajorell.com/blog-entries-by-date

*Names in this blog have been changed to protect my family, neighbors, and friends in the neighborhood, and in a nod of appreciation to the beloved Swedish author Maj Lindman, I’ve renamed my three blondies Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka.

© 2014 Tamara Jorell. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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