Sunday, July 24, 2011

The curse of the Allen household!!!!

So, unlike last week, I was thinking that this week was going pretty smoothly.
No major crises at home; both cars running well; Millie's little paws beginning to improve; and work.....well it wasn't quite as disasterous as it has been in recent weeks, despite being two managers down.

The week rolled on quite uneventfully. In fact, when we got to Friday I was quite excited at the
prospect of finally managing to get through an entire week without issue.

That, of course, was until today!!!!

The day began pretty well. Was up in time for work. It wasn't as hot as it has been, so was able to roll down the windows en route and take in some fresh air. Then the storm clouds started rolling in.

This, in itself, is nothing unusual. In fact most people here are glad of the rain.

Up until last week, we had not had any rain for months. In March we were given 'drought' status. In May, this was upped to 'severe drought', then in June, we are advised of 'extreme drought' and signs appeared on all the street corners telling residents to "conserve water" and asking for a "voluntary hosepipe ban".

Lawns were turning from a lush, green colour, to a crispy brown and trees were starting to drop their leaves through lack of water. Two major fires broke out, not three miles from our house. The first one destroyed over 800 acres of woodlands and the second wasn't far behind. We were begging for rain, so when it was finally forecast we were all somewhat glad.

Of course, here in Mississippi, it doesn't just absolutely pours down. It is definitely an 'all or nothing' kind of place. Sometimes there is a little flash flooding.....usually at the end of my street, among other places, but nothing too extreme.

So when the clouds began to roll in and the rain came down, I was not that concerned. We have had severe downpours at work times the rain seems to come in horizontally in the wind and it trips the sensors on the automatic front doors to the shop, so we have to stand in the foyer with a mop and bucket, trying desperately to beat the sudden deluge.

Today there was little wind, but the rain was torrential. I stood by the front doors, just in case. It was then that I noticed what appeared to be small waves rippling across the car park.

I couldn't see my own car, but noticed that the car parked next to it had standing water halfway up the wheels.

Crap......I round up the staff to go move their cars, just in case it gets any deeper.

We all took off our shoes and socks, rolled up our trousers and waded out on our rescue mission. When I finally got to mine, it was too late. The water was already above the bottom of the doors.

If I had opened the doors, water would have definitely got in, so I went to the boot (trunk) and climbed in through the back seats. After several half upside down manouvres, I am in the drivers seat. I crank the engine. It won't start.

I look down into the footwell in the passenger side.......two inches of water........the car is already screwed. I contemplated trying the engine again, but I know that if the tailpipe is submerged, it will suck water up into the engine. I clamber back out through the rear of the vehicle.
The water has risen another 3 inches at least.....and yes.....the exhaust is definitely under water.

Why me??? There I stood, with water over my knees, drenched from head to toe, next to my almost floating vehicle. What do you do in these situations????

Wading back to the shop, I call my husband in hysterics........I don't recall much of the conversation, only that I was very upset and screaming about the inches of wet matter inside my car.
"it's only a car" my husband says. "let me call the insurance company and I'll sort it need to get upset....the car can be replaced"

He's right, of course, the car can be replaced. But this was my car. It was the only car I had ever bought brand new and although my focus is now 4 years old, it has only done 45,000 miles and has a full service history. I will not be able to replace it in Mississippi. For starters, people drive their vehicles into the ground and nobody keeps service records, so you can never tell if a vehicle has been looked after or not.

I am mad!!! I try calling building maintenance (the people who own the shops and the grounds) but they are closed on Sundays. "please leave a message after the tone etc etc etc"

I then try one of their staff. He answers. I explain the problem of my car being submerged in a massive lake, that two short hours ago was actually a car park. He tells me this was "inevitable, because once the reservoir out back is full, their is nowhere for the water to drain to".
"that's great" I reply "but now I have no car, How am I supposed to get home tonight?"
"you need to call 'building maintenance', but they are closed Sundays"

Awesome. So after several more phone calls, a lot of help from my husband (and absolutely none from the people I work for!) my car disappears on the back of a tow truck, to be assessed and analyzed.

On the bright side, with hubby about to deploy, I can use his car for the next 7 months. So if they write mine off, I get a nice big fat check for $11,000 that can earn interest for the time he is away. When he returns we are due to move to a different state, so I will be out of work and will not need a vehicle for a while (more interest) and then if the adoption goes to plan, I will probably work from home, so the money can go in the baby fund!

Just got to hope they don't try and fob me off with fresh carpets and a good clean.......then I really will be mad!


Donald Allen said...

So who's a pig now?

Anonymous said...

Visiting from ICLW.

Sorry to hear about your car...that really stinks! After your initial shock and anger (understandable!) you seem to have a great attitude about it.

Good luck with your adoption!

Donald Allen said...

I think the one thing about being a military family is we have come to terms with being flexible...even if we might snap!

C said...

Whoa! That's a crazy amount of water. I think you handled it very well. Good luck sorting things out with the insurance company.


Hilary said...

those pictures are unbelievable! Doesn't it make you crazier when you are so upset and your husband is so calm?

Sarah said...

Usually it does make me almost insane when I am in a stress and hubby pulls one of those 'life isn't that bad' numbers on me. But, that day, I needed to be calmed......I was still in the middle of my shift at work and as the only other manager was about to go home, I had no choice but to stay and carry on as normal. It kinda helped that customers were trying to drive through the water and ended up having to abandon their vehicles somewhere in the middle, or got water in their cars from doing so. There were plenty of other people in the same situation and although I wouldn't wish that on anyone, it's easier to cope with when you are not alone!
I should find out whether its a write off today.

JustHeather said...

I'm so sorry that your car was stuck in the middle of all that. I know I'd be upset too. I love my car! I hope you get some good news back about it today.

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