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Sarah Simpson Column: Water, water everywhere — even where it shouldn’t be


I’m sure I’ve told you this, but several years ago when the world was still generally under quarantine, I got laid off from the paper.

Companies had begun to understand the economic impact of the COVID-19 and given I was the lowest on the seniority list, I got the ax. When all was said and done, I think I was gone roughly two weeks before I was brought back, but at the time, we didn’t know that was going to happen. Anyway, the lay off was just the start of my bad day that day.

Stunned, I arrived home to my husband and two children, pink slip in hand, only to learn my two darling offspring had taken advantage of their father’s needing to use one bathroom in our home, to intentionally clog the toilet in the house’s other bathroom.

As you would hear the kids talk about it to this day, it’s surprising they didn’t see The Ark itself floating down our hallway in the flood they’d created. It’s most certainly one of their core memories and the story of the events as they unfolded seems to get more and more extreme each time they re-tell it.

The story of The Flood came up again last week when my niece (the same one I wrote about recently) was here for a visit. We were just about to head out to go fishing when she came upstairs from her room in the basement and told us the bathroom floor down there was, how did she say it, bubbling?

Luckily for me, it was after work and I was certain I had not been laid off.

I was also certain, after rapidly descending the stairs and walking into the bathroom, that my basement was starting to flood.

The floor squished under our feet. But why? There was no obvious leak. That is, until we found a leak in the toilet. How long had it been leaking? Who knows?

So, we did what any normal people who watch HGTV regularly would do: we tore up the floor and yanked out the toilet.

Indeed the entire floor was wet and water was beginning to pool. But, thanks to my niece’s keen eyes (and ears) for squishy floors, we got to it before it leaked beyond the bathroom or up the drywall.

In retrospect, we likely could have put some big fans in there and dried it all up with the floor in tact, and things would have been just fine. We didn’t do that though, and I’m kind of glad. It gives me peace of mind to know no mold is growing under the floor.

Besides, ripping up the floor with my niece and husband and kids was kind of a good time. An expensive one no doubt, but a good one.

We got to hear the story about the massive upstairs flood of 2020 again and how my son allegedly ran around the house with streams of toilet paper before gathering it all up to stuff in the toilet bowl. The kids howled as they recalled the water inching up the bowl and eventually spilling over.

We got to hear all about how the water almost got to the kitchen before their dad stopped it with the entire house’s stock of towels.

Best of all, my niece got to hear the story from the viewpoint of the children, which was a delight for her.

There was a lot of laughter while we ripped up the floor. There was a lot of water but that’s dried up now.

The toilet has been fixed and the new floor has been purchased. We will pull out our DIY caps and install it soon — unfortunately without the help of my niece, who has gone back to the mainland for a rest now after a week of Island mayhem with her little cousins.

What remains undone, however, is the floor damage incurred during The Flood.

The floor will eventually be replaced. I hope the fishtail of a flood story never fades though. For right now, every time I walk down the hall, I see the warped planks and shake my head. Every time I need to kick the boards closer together because they’ve separated, I think of the day I got laid off and my kids flooded the house.

And every single time, I chuckle to myself, and thank the Lord above that they did it on their father’s watch, not mine.

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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