I drove down to my Father's this morning - a short, two-hour drive through beautiful countryside - and I must say that it was a relief to visit him without spending 8 hours, most of which was on I-95. I left the basement of my rental home with about an inch or more of water - down from the 8 inches that accumulated as a result of the remanants of Lee. They're saying we had 10-12 inches of rain, and I'd believe it - it felt like it would never stop. For the past few days there was a narrow band of rain running almost straight through the DC area and Philadelphia - heading north. So, now I can add flooding to 'earthquake, tropical storm' as my list of hazards since I relocated to the DC area. Oh yeah, 'terror threat' too. Can't forget that one.
After I realized that the basement was flooding, I called around - and already every place I called was out of sump pumps. So after I arrived at Dad's today, and after his healthcare person left - he and I took off and had lunch at a new little italian place, and then stopped by a Lowe's nearby and I purchased a small sump pump. When I go back tomorrow I'll try and get the rest of the water out, that is - what hasn't drained out. There is a drain in the basement floor - but if I had to guess, the pipes are long deteriorated, and nothing will drain out until the soil starts to dry out a bit. Fortunately I didn't have much downstairs - I had my salvaged longleaf pine up pretty high (the bottom board did get wet), and some of the boxes I was saving got wet - plus, I couldn't get to the washer/dryer - hopefully they'll be fine (they came with the house, and thankfully weren't mine).
My experience in Lowe's with my Dad was interesting. It was probably one of the first times when I was out with him, that I was pretty sure that people we encountered were aware that I was taking someone out shopping who had dementia. Everyone was quite kind - but often looked at me and smiled a knowing smile - a smile that translated into 'I understand'. We were heading towards the checkout lanes, only 10 or so feet away, and he would stop whomever walked by and ask them where the checkout lanes were. He would sometimes be looking straight at them. I will say that dementia or no - he is as friendly as ever, perhaps even more friendly. He talked to just about everyone in the store.
Now we're home - and I just got layers for a yellow cake out of the oven. This week is Dad's birthday, so I'm making him a birthday cake that we will take to his brother's tomorrow for lunch. It'll be an early celebration - but I'm glad that I could be here to do this. I was thinking today about last year at this time - when I stayed with Dad for almost two weeks - and I made him a different cake (a more elaborate one) for his birthday. While I'm in the kitchen, he is watching westerns on TV, often ones he's seen a dozen or more times already, but each time they are new to him.
When we were driving back from the Lowe's today, we went a back road and I couldn't resist stopping and taking a photo with my Blackberry camera of this abandoned chicken farm. I put the flashers on and jumped out really quickly. When I got back in the car, my Dad said that he bet I couldn't remember the last time I went somewhere without taking a photo of something. He was right.