I thought I would be looking at plants all week. It rained. I thought I?d be writing whole chapters of a new book. But I am distracted because our real home has flooded.

Our house might have floated away (we?re on a stream, we have sump pumps) if cousin Paul who?s been staying hadn?t gone back for something he forgot in my bedroom which is below grade. Water was running all over the floor.

And so it went for hours. Our neighbour is R. H. Thompson a major actor and a really great person to have next door. Robert and his son Andrew came with a sump pump and helped save furniture. Stuff I couldn?t replace like an art deco dresser. Stephen our resident opera singer came over and they all worked valiantly. I could only stew and wait for phone calls here.

It?s been a nerve wracking couple of days. I?m making big decisions when I cannot see what?s actually going on. On top of that it?s been raining California-style: coming down with such intensity it?s almost sideways. We?ve felt trapped in the apartment. And then the sun comes out, the air is redolent with rosemary and you forgive all.

But our poor home is being torn apart. This lower level of the house (aka basement) was designed by Anacleto Designs before they went on to the award winners they are. There isn?t a detail of these lovely rooms (my bedroom, dressing room and spa bathroom) that I don?t love. It?s where I spend much of my time. It?s also gorgeous.

Now everything that was hit by water has to be replaced: floors, dry wall (Stephen had just repainted everything and it was looking fabulous), stuff to be thrown out books, clothes, carpets. It is to weep but what?s the point. Not a thing I can do about it.

My poor cousin, Paul, has not only give up his real estate business to deal with this which seems to be a full time job, he?s taken on this whole labour and must rue the day he said he?d do me a favour and house sit. And my lovely friends and neighbours once again come to the rescue. How do you survive without people like this? What if no one had been around for days? What if we had been in France?

The insurance people acted really quickly, the wreckers are coming in asap. The Anacletos have found a cabinetmaker to deal with taking out all those glorious built-ins store then and then return them intact. And it will all have to be repainted. The floors are hardwood so that?s going to be a three act play. If I was there I might switch to tile but at this distance I?m just letting everything stay the same. As much as it can be.

I am feeling lucky once again that someone was in the house and noticed; that we have these wonderful people who care about us. Maybe next week I?ll get to see some gardens, some lovely plants and walk by the sea again without thinking of anything very much at all. Maybe, but I count on anything.

  • Janet Davis

    February 14, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    AI-YI-YI! Marjorie!! I am so sorry to hear about your house! I thought I’d peek in and see how you’re doing on your California sojourn — only to discover that you’re dealing with weather systems in both places! Your house must be built atop the buried Taddle Creek in Toronto, I guess. You won’t have seen the photos of ice floes from the Humber River lying like huge frozen flotsam and jetsam near the Old Mill, knocking down the tennis court fences, etc. in their icy wake. But it has definitely been flood time in T.O. I’m so sorry. (Doug is in Pasadena right now, drove up from LA in the rain…..) I’m going to do a sun dance for you.

  • Yvonne Cunnington

    February 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Hi Marjoire: Just dropped in to see how you were doing, and, oh, my goodness: what a mess. So sorry that your trip is tinged with all the worry about your house. Thanks goodness for lovely and caring neighbors.

    All the best, Yvonne

  • Teresa

    February 14, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of your flood. Have had some less severe flooding problems. We love our houses but they can be a trial at times.

  • ...pat.

    February 15, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Yep, flooding here, too, in Leslieville. Enjoy Carp! Spring is their green season — because of all the rain. Everything browns in the summer time.
    The rosemary and lavender they can grow in California truly make me jealous.

  • Aldona Satterthwaite

    February 17, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Holy smokes, Marjorie. You’ve had your run of bad luck–first the folding of GL, then the power outage and now this. Well, they say bad luck runs in threes, so I’d say you’re due for a patch of good. Fingers crossed!

  • Marjorie Harris

    February 18, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Thanks for all your concern everyone. It’s been a real help in getting through this. Marjorie

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