• Cara Van Leuven

Flatline Winds

So much happened over the last week. At first I pictured writing about the contrast of my work life in the concrete jungle to that of the serene meadows on the farm. Then my mind wandered to Robert Frost, the poet, and his epic failure at farm living. By Saturday I pictured this blog unveiling stories of the massive storm that occurred at Fairmount Race Track forcing everyone to run for cover as it roared in and cut power.

See Robert Frost. See storm.

Those horrible winds, the rain and hail hit the farmhouse like a Marvel’s Avenger character. The entire town of Grantfork was without power. Tom checked the basement sump pump and told me with concern we were around four inches away from flooding. There was nothing to do but sleep. It was out of our control.

Come morning Tom was sour. I could read it immediately. Power remained out, the basement had flooded and we had no running water. We were scheduled to meet Tom’s family for Mother’s Day lunch. Now mind you, he has a 93-year-old grandmother, with whom his days of lunches may be numbered.

I sort of recommended we skip and focus on the getting the standing water out of the basement. Pops only further encouraged this … and so after a multitude of questions at Rural King we settled on a sump pump backup kit and the battery to go with it. Our drive to Rural King/Highland is about 15 minutes one way. Keep that in mind as you continue reading.

Once we unloaded back at the farmhouse I began unfolding what was a very complicated book of directions for a simple sump pump backup. But one thing I did understand was the need for a 12-volt battery… our battery said 24. So back to Rural King we went. There they explained to us that “24” was just the naming convention; the battery really was a 12-volt.

And so back to the farmhouse we went. As I read Tom the instructions it became understood that this option would require hard plumbing. So back to the Rural King we went. Somewhere within all the madness we lost the receipt.

We got lucky because we were recognized already twice that morning and were allowed to exchange the sump pump kit and battery (receiptless) for a generator. After hoisting the generator in the back of the truck, we felt like we had things figured out. Once again, at the farmhouse, we had everything we needed for the sump pump to work to drain a flooded basement. Unfortunately the instruction manual blew off the generator during transit.

And so I stood with Tom (after finding an online copy of the manual) and read him each step to make a generator run. And run it did. The basement floor is wet, but no longer in standing water. The food in our fridge is cold again. And as Tom always says, “It never takes less than three trips.”