Saturday, September 26, 2009

Of Flood and Birthdays

Our trip to Canada ended last Wednesday 23rd September and we came back home around 10:30 pm not too sure as to what to expect as we had heard that there had been some hard rain and flooding. As we drove home we saw the above sign shining in the dark on the road just outside our house. Our house is on a hill but as soon as we opened the door we knew something had happened because of the bad wet carpet smell and the musty odor. The den/family room which is on the lower level and has a large sliding door to the garden had the carpet all wet. There was no standing water then as the storm was most severe on Monday 21st but the carpet was soaked and mold was starting to grow. Unfortunately before we left we started to clean our garage and placed many boxes and books on the floor in the den. Many books are a loss. I spent a long time sprinkling corn starch between the pages of some of my new cookbooks hoping that it will help. We have been working on this flooded den since then – our suitcases are still unpacked and it is raining hard right now.

These are the pictures, below, showing why our road is closed ahead – the Allatoona Creeek overflowed, less than ½ mile away. This is a dormant little creek which turned into a torrent.

Click on pictures to enlarge them

I called our home insurance company, but unfortunately this water damage is not covered. We cannot complain because apart from removing the carpet and installing new tiles on the floor as well as discarding wet books and other wet items it could have been much worse. Many family homes very close to us sustained major damage. Vice-President Joseph Biden came to our town yesterday then toured metro Atlanta by helicopter to look at some portions of the area still under water. At least 11 deaths were blamed on the storms. I have some pictures obtained from the City of Atlanta I can show you below. I shall indicate the roads for family and friends who know the neighborhood.

The following pictures were taken in our county, Cobb County.

Unfortunately many pets were left in flooded houses and barns. Below is the Fox Hollow Barn, but some horses were stranded inside.

Fox Hollow Barn

In my post of July 1, 2009, called Trails along the Chattahoochee River you can see how pretty this river is and how large and muddy it is now in the pictures below.

Houses close to small creeks or ponds were flooded - some to the roof tops, as you can see below.

Some parts of major highways in Atlanta were under water and closed for several days, as pictured below.

On Thursday morning when it was light we saw that instead of finding our outdoor plant dead it had grown beyond its little pot. The seeds in the bird feeders had sprouted and some unknown mushrooms had grown amongst the weeds. An empty bucket outside is now full of water, about 21 inches high. It is dark outside even though it is only 3:30 pm now, rain is pounding the roof and we are expecting another 6 inches before tomorrow.

Upon our return, we had planned to go out and eat at Canoe – a restaurant close to the Chattahoochee River. One of my blogging friends had recommended this restaurant to me not long ago and my husband and I were going to celebrate our daughters’ birthdays there. Our daughters are in California fortunately (floodwise) but we were going to celebrate anyway. Our celebration has been watered down (excuse the pun) to a TV dinner at home. Below is a picture of the restaurant.

Hopefully the river will soon be back resting in its bed and may look like the serene painting of Norwegian painter Fritz Thaulow (1847-1906.)

Today, September 26 is our daughter Jessica’s birthday. On September 29 it will be our daughter Céline’s birthday.

Below is a painting by Sir Thomas A. Kennington, English (1856-1916) called Mother’s Love.

I shall not post current pictures of Céline and Jessica as I did not clear this with them, but I have some pictures of when they were little girls. Below is a picture showing Céline with her long dark hair and Jessica with her blond hair.

Below are pictures in front of our former house in Decatur, Ga, in the Fall and during a rare snow day.

Three pictures below are showing them with their pet Bantam chickens, at the beach in Florida and in front of a wagon loaded with a cotton bale.

They could spend hours playing with their dolls. I do not have a picture of them then but here is a painting by Russian painter Alexei Alexeivich Harlamoff ( 1848-1925) entitled “Sisters” 1888.

We wish them a happy birthday time together with much happiness the whole year long.

Here is a vintage birthday card for Jessica’s birthday, today 26 September –

Here is a vintage birthday card for Céline’s birthday, for Tuesday 29 September -

I hope they will be taking many photographs but in the meantime below is a representative "sister" picture painted by English painter Sophie Gengembre Anderson (1823-1903.)

So far we have cleared only about 1/3 of the family room. There is a lot more to do before the carpet can be removed. I had planned to write a nice post, but the unforeseen rain event took precedence. Tomorrow the sun is scheduled to be back and the rain will go away.

Painting by John LaFarge, American (1835-1910) Wild Roses and Iris, 1887, watercolor and gouache.


Darlene said...

Oh I am so sorry that you had damage due to that terrible flood. I hope it has stopped raining and stays that way so things can dry out.

I can commiserate with you because I had an alcove room that leaked and, after being in California for a month, I came home to a room of standing water. I didn't lose books, but there was other damage. I had to spend a fortune making the room waterproof and had ceramic tile put on the floor. It still leaks under the sliding glass door if the rain comes in from the North, but a few towels on the floor takes care of that.

Happy birthday to your lovely daughters, Jessica and Celine.

Marguerite said...

Omigosh, Vagabonde, that is just terrible! I was thinking about you during the flood, but wasn't sure exactly where you lived and if you were in the flood zone or not. I'm so sorry for the loss of your books and other treasured belongings. I understand because I lost my whole condo, on the beach in Galveston, last year to Hurricane Ike! The whole building was lost, washed out to sea, literally! We expect these things to happen here on the water, but in Atlanta? Unbelievable! Cie la vie! Hope that things get back to normal, soon and that you won't get any more rain. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
And Happy Birthday to your lovely daughters! They are both just beautiful. Love the pics and vintage postcards, too. As always, a fabulous post!!!

Baino said...

Good grief. Very reminiscent of the tropical storms we tend to get in Northern Queensland during summer. Such a shame that you weren't covered and things became damaged. I just think of the horrible cleaning up process. We had a massive red dust storm on Wednesday and despite closing all the windows, there's a thin layer of red dust on everything! I can't imagine the sludge and mess left after a flood! Happy birthday to your girls as well. I hope you manage to catch up with them soon!

wenn said...

sorry to hear about the flood..things would be better soon..all the best..

BTW, happy birthday to Celine and Jessica..

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

My what an ordeal for the residents of that area. Water damage is awful. And then the damage to infrastructure - and above all the loss of human and animal life. Hope things dry up there soon!

Elaine said...

When I saw the photos of the flood on the news I wondered if you were affected. Fortunately you are on a hill, so your damage was limited, but it's still hard to deal with. Not the way you want to end an enjoyable vacation at all. Hopefully your rain will end soon. It's just unbelieveable how much you've had. What an awful time for the people in your area.

I loved the photos of your daughters and the paintings and postcards. What a nice collection of images to celebrate their birthdays.

livininlb said...

I used to eat at Canoe all the time and loved it. It's in Vinings.
Thanks for the birthday wishes.

Vicki Lane said...

What a welcome to come home to! But I'm glad for you that it wasn't worse. Thank you for the pictures -- as I don't watch TV, I had no idea . . .

DJan said...

I watched the flooding on TV and figured I didn't know anybody in the area, but I had forgotten about you! I think all in all, you got off pretty light, but it's still a huge job and expense. And the books! I really enjoyed the pictures showing the sprouted birdseed and the river jumping its banks. And let me add my birthday wishes to your beautiful daughters, even if they are all grown up now, they still need happy birthday wishes. Another great post, thanks for all the great pictures.

""°o.O Nancy O.o°"" said...

*** Bonjour Vagabonde !!! ***

Je ne m'attendais pas à voir tous ces dégâts d'inondation en venant sur ton blog ce matin !
Encore une fois la nature nous montre que nous ne sommes pas grand chose face à elle.
Je suis désolée pour vos livres et vos affaires abimées, c'est très embêtant et je compatis Vagabonde !

Les photos de Céline et Jessica sont très belles et irradient de bonheur ! :-) BON ANNIVERSAIRE A VOS FILLES !!!!! :-)


blog :

Kenza said...

Que je suis triste pour toi, ta famille et pour toutes les personnes de ton entourage qui ont subit des dégâts. Ca doit être choquant de rentrer de vacances et trouver un tel spectacle devant soi.
Ma chère Vagabonde, je ne trouve pas de mots pour adoucir ta peine, il te va falloir du temps pour retrouver de l'ordre dans ta maison et pour oublier cette épreuve.
Je pense très fort à vous tous,
Très amicalement

Val said...

those flood pics are dramatic - what a homecoming! sorry to hear about your damage - especially the books. hope none of your collectibles? happy birthday wishes to your two lovely girls - those photos are so beautiful and the paintings. thank you and good luck with the corn starch!

Shammickite said...

I saw horrible flood pictures of Atlanta on the TV news here in Canada, and wondered if any of my blog pals were affected. I am so sorry that you opst books and other treasures, what bad luck. And if you had been at home, then possibly you could have saved a lot of your belongings! I am surprised that your insurance would not cover the damage.
Happy birthday on the 26th and 29th to your daughters.... I was my son's birthday on the 27th!

Lori Lynn said...

So sorry for all the heartache and loss going on in your area. Those photos are amazing.

The photos of your girls as youngsters are adorable. How neat that their birthdays are so close. Best wishes for a wonderful year, and always.

Sorry to hear about your cookbooks :(
Wish I knew a a solution. Good luck with the cornstarch.

Dutchbaby said...

Oh my goodness! I am so sorry you came home to such destruction but I'm glad you are safe. We have a lot of family who suffered through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. I know it will take a long time to pick up the pieces. I wish you the very best as you try to resume back to normal.

bowsprite said...

Oh, sorry about the water damage! what a stirring story, and yet you keep your humor. Amazing photos!! Happy birthdays to your girls--er, women! I love the lovely paintings and images you've added. Rich post! thank you. Good luck with everything, to you and your neighbors.

claude said...

Les photos, peintures et cartes postales anciennes que tu montres à l'occasion de l'anniversaire de tes filles (que j'ai loupé, sorry) font un peu oubler ces terribles inondations chez toi et partout ailleurs. L'eau fait énormément de dégats, surtout quand on est pas là.
Ils y a une de terribles inodations dans le sud de la france dans le courant de Septembre. les gens ont tout perdu, il y avait jusqu'à 1m50 d'eau dans les maisons.
Je suis contente d'apprendre que tu es arrivée sur mon blog par l'intermédiaire de celui d'Alex.
Nous sommes, avec l'ami Bergson sa marraine et son parrain de blog. A nous deux nous l'avons attirée dans cette avaentaure, mais malheurusement cela n'a pas durer longtemps. Elle préfère facebook.
A+ !

Reader Wil said...

What a horrible situation! This is a major disaster. I hope that this will never happen to you again. Water and fire are the two most destructive elements.. I wish your daughter a happy anniversary inspite of all the inconveniences. Thanks for showing the photos of your daughters. They are a bit like my girls when they were that age.

Ruth said...

Happy Birthdays to your dear girls. The illustrations you chose to represent them are gorgeous.

So sad about your flooding! Ohh, my heart would just sink, all that work! And too bad about the books. As you say, it could have been worse, but I'm sure you are just worn out from it all. I hope things are pretty close to normal now.

I sent your post link to my sister, and to her daughter and husband, all of them in Atlanta. My niece Amy is the one who recommended Canoe. Her birthday is today, and I asked where they will celebrate since Canoe is closed? I haven't had her response yet.

My sister Ginnie said you covered the Atlanta flood very well! And so you did.

I wish you well, and as my sister Nancy says, at least there was no life in it - your losses - though there was for others.

I was very sorry to hear of the rudeness you experienced on the ship, from Americans. Makes me sad and ashamed.

Shammickite said...

Hi Vagabonde... thanks for your comment, I had to laugh about your story of the birth certificate! I think it must be US policy to watch out for anyone with even the slightest hint of French ancestry.... hence the designation "French" on the certificate! Subversive lot, those French!!!! LOL!

Friko said...

Hi Vagabonde, I am having another go at replying here, although I am happy to correspond by email with you. Hope it works this time.

Have you got any further with the clearing up?

rauf said...

oh how sad, your particular misfortune is always not covered by the insurance. They can rob you of what is rightfully due to you and millions like you but end up paying a fortune to smart corporates. They are not happy people. Where as you would be happy and back to normal activity in a short while.

The road sign reminds me of the movie 'LA Story' Steve Martin Victoria Tenent and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Belated birthday greetings to your children. Gorgeous pictures and cards all over your blog. Its a joy

Chatttahoochee River made me smile, what a name, wish i knew what it means.

Here in India, rivers have gone dry. Water is precious. And the next season brings floods. Administration and the people are still not prepared to cope with disasters.

Vagabonde ?? Hardly !

Vagabonde said...

Welcome to my blog Rauf and thank you for writing a comment. Your last line was “Vagabonde?? Hardly!” and I’d like to explain to you what I mean.
The main definition of vagabond in the English language is of a vagrant, a nomad or something like that. When I was searching for a title for my blog I thought first of a French name since I am French. I finally decided on the 2nd and 3rd meaning of the word vagabond (vagabonde is the feminine form.) In French the second meaning of the word is of someone whose life is made of unpredictable facts and does not really submits to all the rules, an eccentric or bohemian type. The 3rd meaning is of someone who goes from subjects to subjects, whose imagination travels and who travels without set ideas. I travel with books, by walking, riding, going in buses, trains, planes, ferries and ship. I also like to talk on a variety of subjects. So the word “vagabond” in French had more meanings that I could use. For example the book by Jack Kerouac titled “Lonesome Traveler” became “Le Vagabond Solitaire” when it was translated into French. Here is another example from a book of Vikram Seth called “Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet”. In it he says in English: “I sometimes seem to myself to wander around the world merely accumulating material for future nostalgia.” And in the French translation of the book the sentence becomes: “J'ai parfois l'impression de vagabonder autour du monde dans le seul but d'accumuler le matériau de futures nostalgies. “
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to explain and actually that is giving me the idea to write a post about all this. Please stop by again.

Vagabonde said...

Darlene, Marguerite, Baino, Wenn, Bonnie, Elaine, livininlb, Vicki Lane, Djan, Val, Shammickite, Lori Lynn, Dutch Baby, Bowsprite, Reader Will, Ruth, Friko – thank you dear friends for all your supportive and nice comments. It has been a busy week. We bought a shop vacuum to pick-up the water then a dehumidifier which has been running for two days and is picking up a lot of water. The weather has cooled down and is much nicer and drier. So I’ll be ready to look at my pictures soon for the next post and get ready for the forthcoming trip at the end of this month.

Nancy, Kenza, Claude – merci beaucoup pour vos gentilles paroles qui me font trés plaisir. La semaine a passé bien vite et je n’ai pas eu trop de temps pour aller sur le computer. Maintenant il s'agit de réduire à néant toute cette humidité. Le temps a changé pour le mieux, heureusement.

TorAa said...

Coming home to your house under such circumstances ain't easy. I can easly feel the stress and the mess.

And happy BD, it's late but well meant, to your wonderful girls.

Guess, I'm impressesd: You posted a painting by the Norwegian Fritz Thaulow.

Great post

Merisi said...

I am so sorry you had to come home to a water-logged house! I hope you were able save more of your books and that those poor animals caught in the flood got rescued in time. I grew up near a big river and water is what I have a great respect of.

You have two lovely daughters,
may they experience great happiness in this new year of life!

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