Hail, Friends, and a Stainless Steel Helmet

For all my rascally friends who are inordinately interested in how I look with a bowl on my head, here you go.

Today the earth is bright and clean, and I’m not soaking wet, but in this picture I’m clutching the shovel that I used during the pouring rain and hail to dig a trench around the house yesterday.

The story of the Stainless Steel Soldier began quite innocently, with a calm woman rocking her little boy to sleep. Keane was snuggled against me, limp and drowsy, eyelids heavy, when I noticed how hard it was raining outside.

“Children, look!” I called. “It’s raining like crazy!” Stuart and Desiree ran to the window to watch, then Stuart exclaimed, “Mama, that’s hail!”

I looked closer, and sure enough, pea-sized pebbles were pelting the ground. “Run out and let Lucy off her leash!” I instructed Stuart. He dashed out through the hail and let the dog go so she could find better shelter on our porch. By that time, the hail changed to quarter size.

My emergency mode kicked in. “I’ve got to get our SUV under cover,” I thought. I put down my little boy who was no longer sleepy, snatched the keys, and headed for the door. But wait. By the sound of things, the hail was hitting hard! I didn’t feel like being stoned, so I grabbed the best thing I could think of at the moment–a stainless steel bowl. I managed to move a few things in the shop and squeeze in our vehicle.

By the time I got back to the house, a pool of muddy water snaked out past the kitchen island. My heart sank to my shoes. This was fast turning into something I could not control! All my attempts to call Will were in vain (because he was on the job, working peacefully with his ear protection on).

“Get all the towels you can find!” I ordered Stuart. “I’m going out to find a shovel.” Stuart heaped towels and blankets and rugs by the kitchen door where the water was streaming in. Before I dashed outside, I left a frantic Facebook message that our house was flooding.

Donning my stainless steel bowl and bracing myself for the storm, I sloshed through water over my shoes to find the shovel in a shed out back. I ran around the back of the house to where the water was pouring over the patio, and began digging a trench. My poor knees aren’t in very good shape right now with my kneecaps being too loose, but I dug anyway!

I got the water level below the top of the door threshold, but it was still raining and hailing, and I had no idea how long it was going to last, so I kept digging. Then two men in rubber boots appeared! Relief whooshed through me as one of our neighbors and another good friend took up the job of shoveling to drain the water away from the house.

Soaked to the bone, I returned to the house, and found out another friend from town had been calling around finding help for me! Her husband showed up with a shop vac and started sucking up water out of our (new!) carpet. Meanwhile, Will arrived, and I could finally relax that things were under control.

A neighbor later said that the town got 3.5 inches of rain in 45 minutes, and where our house sits, we get quite a bit of runoff. I wish I would have had the time and presence of mind to take pictures. Even the shop was totally flooded with an inch or two of water.

I can’t say how utterly thankful I felt to have good people in my town come to the rescue! To top it off, when Will was out sweeping and cleaning the water and mud mess in his shop, two friends drove in with hot pizza from Pizza Hut for our supper! Seriously, people are so kind! I promised a fresh pie to each of the people who came to help, not because they would expect or ask for it at all, but because it’s just fun to be friends.

Once I got warm and dry again, I posted an update on Facebook to let everyone know we were doing fine. And then I saw a different aspect of my friends. People, I have the strangest bunch of friends. Some of them willingly came and helped, and others…they laughed. Why? Because I had a stainless steel bowl on my head.

They were laughing up their sleeves, if not laughing openly. I can imagine how funny Rosina looked with that bowl-helmet!

They laughed, and said mercilessly, Pictures, pictures please!

Some friends.

8 thoughts on “Hail, Friends, and a Stainless Steel Helmet

  1. EG

    I’m wincing to think of your painful knees, but otherwise what a great story, super woman! 🙂 I love how your friends came to your rescue–angels in rubber boots. My kids devoured every word (and the picture ;)) when I read this to them.


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