They say that if life gives you lemons you should make lemonade.
Well, sometimes when it rains it turns into a river.
As we all know, July is the wettest month of the year. We are supposed to get inches and inches of rain in July. We did in fact get inches and inches of rain in July, 1998. It was the night that a river ran through The Barn.
We had only been open for business for two months. I had spent what seemed like a trillion dollars on upgrading the interior of this monolith as well as trying to identify and fix any potential problems related to the property. I remember noticing a drainage ditch running along the back of the Barn that seemed to go exactly ‘nowhere’. I called The Town of Castle Rock and some ‘unidentified paid community servant’ came over to The Barn, took a look at the drainage ditch issue and pronounced everything to be in order. He smiled…I smiled….and that was that.
I’ve never gotten along well with ‘authority’ and The Town was no exception.
A few days later, the heavens opened up directly over The Barn in Castle Rock. I don’t think I have ever seen so much water. It was raining so hard, I couldn’t see across the street and I was certain the Barn was going to float away. I was closing up for the evening when the rain started and I was nervous enough that I asked a few other merchants to stick around with me for a while.
I had just gone to the rear of the building to check on the big sliding door (there was no nursery/greenhouse on the back of the Barn at this time). Once I was satisfied it was secure, I turned my back to the door and started walking back down the center aisle which, at the time, was full of antique furniture. One of my tenants, a gentleman, suddenly gaped at me and pointed behind me to the rear of The Barn. I mean, he was wordlessly gaping. I turned and was stunned to see a literal wall of water coming down the center aisle. All I could think about was the parting of the Red Sea except this water was coming towards me, not moving away from me.
Flabbergasted would be the descriptive word at this point.
We all started grabbing furniture and putting them into the ‘stalls’ that line both sides of the Barn. I remember thinking that there seemed to be no end to this river of water!
Not knowing what else to do, I ran for the phone and dialed 911. Good grief, I could have walked a block and asked for help from the Fire Department, but I was in a panic and could not think of anything else to do. Well, the fire engines came to life a block away, drove 100 yards to the Barn and 6 or 7 of the best looking men I had ever seen in my life crawled out of this rig.
Let’s see, that makes two flabbergasted moments in one evening…and I am not usually without words.
I can’t remember a time when I had so much fun making a mess of myself. I looked like a drowned rat. My crazy landlord (remember him from the 1st blog?) drove by at one point, rolled down his window and laughed hysterically. He didn’t get out of his car, didn’t offer to help and didn’t seem concerned in the slightest that his Barn was literally soaked. At that moment, he made my @#$% list.
Ok…now for the best part. I occasionally love the feeling of vindication.
Two days later some ‘unidentified paid servant from The Town of Castle Rock’ showed up at The Barn to let me know that the Town was picking up the tab for all the damage and they planned on building a brand new drainage culvert so this river of water would never happen again.
Seems a couple of good looking Fire Fighters put in a good word for me. Love those guys..…love my lemonade.
This was the first time I met you. I was in the car with your “crazy landlord”, who was taking me home from dance class so that I could do my homework. You were wearing a long dress that was soaked up to your knees. You were laughing about your night…obviously to the point where the only thing left to do is laugh. You were stunning! I remember driving away and asking Mr. “Crazy” if he should be helping. He thought about it briefly, and with confidence said “If anyone can handle what’s going on, it’s her.” He was right!
Of course I remember that you were in the car! I remember thinking “Boy, that crazy Landlord of mine has a stunner for daughter!”…and you still are a stunner! I have stories that I will share about your Dad in the future…he was an outright joy to have known!