Friday, April 2, 2010

Flashback Friday #81

April Showers Bring Flooded Basements

Hello. Welcome back. In today's post we wade into an interesting subject. Flooded basements.

Our house was like many others in the area that were built around the turn of the century. The thing that they all had in common is that they had dirt basements. A big hole with a house sitting on it describes our basement.

We had an outside entrance at one time. It was the classic slanted basement door at the side of the house. One day, the dirt surrounding that entrance collapsed, so we had to shut it off, and create an indoor entrance to the basement. Dad cut an entry hole beneath the staircase and positioned a stepladder beneath the hole. Needless to say, it wasn't very easy to take anything to the basement. Actually the only thing down there was the fuse box and the hot water tank (that is after we got running water).

There was no furnace down in the basement. We heated the house with a wood burning stove. One day Dad decided that we needed to install a furnace. That's all well & good, but how do you get a furnace into a basement that doesn't have an outside entrance? Since it was a dirt basement, and had no solid foundation walls, Dad decided to dig a hole big enough to slide the furnace into the basement. Dig a hole in a hole. Interesting engineering indeed.

He and his best friend, Chuck, dug that hole and slid the furnace in place. In order to do that, they had to dig a small valley beneath the hole that gradually sloped up to where the furnace would set. Thy built up the center of the basement so the furnace sat higher than anything else in the basement. That way, if the basement ever flooded, the furnace wouldn't be affected.

It's a good thing that they did that because they didn't do a real good job in filling in the access hole. At first a hole about the size of your fist appeared in the basement wall. It grew with each rain. No matter how many times they filled it up, it reappeared. When it did, the valley they created filled into a pool. A perfect indoor play area for a young boy with an active imagination.

I had a good sized boat, and hundreds of army men and cowboys & indians. I was forever in the basement playing in the water. I also was forever getting yelled at for being in the basement, playing in the water. Dad decided something had to be done. He installed a sump pump.

This didn't deter me. Instead of going to the basement to play in the water, I would go to the end of the sump pump pipe. I would set up my soldiers while keeping a knee on the pipe. When I felt the vibrations from the pump kicking on, I would step back and watch the water wash the soldiers away. It was like they were getting caught in a flash flood. I did that for hours. I also put Hot Wheels in the pipe and watched them shoot out with the water. It didn't take much to keep me entertained.

Did you ever come up with a creative way to keep out of trouble?

1 comment:

Theresa said...

No, but I found a few creative ways to get into trouble!