Holy cats! Is it really October 6th already? I’m such a bad blogger…
Well, not really, but you know, LIFE has been happening. Time sure does fly when you’re too busy to pay attention to it, doesn’t it?
Living in the midwest, we don’t get too many hurricanes, but it seems that Ike got a bit sidetracked. Of course, our damage was nothing compared to my Buckeye State friends (or those in the south and southeast who actually prepare for hurricanes), but the collateral rains which made their way up here to the Windy City were a bit too much for our sump pump to handle.
Water. In the basement.
Fortunately, our Menard’s still had sump pumps on the shelf that night at 8:30. A store a few miles away had NONE. Diva husband installed it, and we were on to the drying process.
Here is where the lesson comes in, for those of you who have been fortunate enough to not yet have any flooding.
When your basement floods, be sure to check each and every corner thoroughly. As in, actually go to each and every wall, and don’t just do a cursory visual check.
Or weeks later, when you go downstairs to get something, you might just have a damp, musty surprise on your hands.
The good thing about a damp, musty surprise is that it forces you to go through many boxes and papers that you probably should have organized long ago, and, well, THROW THINGS AWAY.
The bad thing is that some things are not as nice when you add water and time.
Take, for example, a rag doll. An old rag doll. As in, the old girl is pushing 40.
When I was little, my grandma made me a doll. The unique thing about this particular rag doll is that she made her with two faces. As a child, I can remember thinking that one looked “nice” and one looked “mean”. Apparently, Grandma didn’t care for the first face she made, but rather than rip it out, she just turned it over and made a second face on the other side. Kind of weird now that I look back, but I loved (and still love) that doll. Before her bath, she even had a tatoo, where I had written my name in blue pencil on her belly/back long ago.
Her names are Penelope and Gertrude. Now, I never actually knew anyone named Penelope OR Gertrude, so I’m not sure how they were even in my head. I do, however, have a very vivid memory as to WHY I named her those particular names.
Her “nice face” is named Penelope. It still baffles me, as Penelope is a perfectly nice name, but it was, at that time, the most beautiful name my little pre-school mind could conjure.
Gertrude, as you probably have surmised by now, was the name of her “mean face” side. Now, as someone approaching 40, I think Gertrude is a fine name. Elegant, even. It brings to mind Gertrude Stein, Expat American Author who spent her adult life in Paris. Or Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” character, Queen Gertrude of Denmark. And it can be shortened to Gert (which for some reason reminds me of a cat) or Trudy (as in Trudy Monk, beloved late wife of one of my favorite TV characters, Adrian Monk).
But I digress. At the time, “Gertrude” was the ugliest, most horrible name I could think of. If your name is Gertrude, or any variant thereof, I do apologize for my pre-school thinking.
To this day, I can think of nobody I know named Gertrude or Penelope.
Except this little lady (these little ladies?), who, other than a removed tatoo and a few places needing to be stitched seems to have come through just fine.