This is a story about perseverance.
The year was 1998. We had just moved out to the country. I had always dreamed of living in the country – a nice little bungalow, a fresh-water well, a big yard with lots of grass and trees, friendly country neighbours.
One morning, I was carrying a box of books down to the basement. I stepped off the bottom step and sank into a cold, soggy, wet carpet. I looked around in dismay. I had lived in towns and cities my whole life. In my experience, water just went down drains and then disappeared. I was not prepared for this.
Then it occurred to me that every problem has a solution.
I ran upstairs, snatched the phone off the hook, and called the person I was married to at the time. I’ll call him Bob to preserve his anonymity. “Bob, the basement has flooded!” I cried. “I don’t know where the water is coming from. What do I do?”
Bob grew up in the country. His reply was immediate and confident. “Check the sump pump.”
My response was not quite so confident. “The what pump?”
Bob spoke again, calmly, logically and self-assuredly. “A sump pump is a pump that pumps water out of a sump. A sump is a hole in the basement floor – a hole that collects water drainage from around the outside of the house. You’ll find the sump pump in the basement, in the little alcove off of the spare room. Check to see if the sump pump is working. It should be pumping water from the sump, through a hose, to the outside of the house.”
I hung up the phone, ran back down to the basement, stepped into the cold water, made my way through the spare room, and opened the door that led to the alcove. The alcove – the cold, dark room where spiders and bugs lived. I wasn’t a big fan of entering an alcove where spiders and bugs lived, but I was a country girl now. I needed to face the realities of country living.
I turned on the light and peeked into the alcove. Bob was right. There was a big hole in the cement floor. That must be the sump. Yes, water was definitely overflowing from the sump. I could hear a pump noisily churning the water round and round. That must be the sump pump.
I ran back upstairs and called Bob. “Yes, Bob, the sump pump appears to be involved in the flooding. What do I do?”
Bob said, “Go outside. Look under the front steps. You’ll find a wide hose coming from the sump pump room. It’s supposed to be draining the water. It might be blocked. If it’s blocked, you’ll have to unblock it.”
I hung up the phone, put on my boots and then looked down at myself. I was still wearing my red flannel pyjamas, but never mind…. this was not a time to be concerned with fashion. I threw a jacket over my pyjamas and stepped outside onto the cold, icy veranda. I flew down the steps and looked underneath them. There it was – a long grey tube that looked like a vacuum cleaner hose. I picked it up and peered inside.
Ice! It was filled with ice. “I have to get the ice out,” I thought to myself. I started whacking the tube against the cement steps. Solid as a rock.
Then I had an idea.
I ran into the house, filled the kettle, and put it on to boil. Then I darted down the hallway to the bedroom, grabbed the hair dryer, and ran back to the front door. I stepped into my boots again, and ran outside and down the stairs. I plugged the hairdryer into the outdoor socket and blasted it – high speed hot air. I alternated between blow drying the tube with hot air and whacking the tube against the steps. Still solid as a rock!
Time for Plan B.
I raced back into the house. The kettle had just boiled. I unplugged the kettle and ran outside with it. I poured hot, boiling water into the end of the tube, over top of the tube, and all over my boots. Then, I whacked that tube as hard as I could against the steps – over and over again.
My persistence was starting to pay off. Little bits of ice chunks began to fly out of the tube. The harder I whacked it, the faster the ice chips flew out into the air. As the last of the ice came flying out – finally – the water blasted through the tube and started draining the overflowing sump pump.
I was ecstatic. I jumped up and down, waving the tube around. I had done it! I had persevered!
Just then, I heard a dog bark. I turned and looked across the street. There was my new neighbour, shoveling snow from her driveway…curiously staring at me. I smiled and waved. Then I turned around, hiked up my red flannel pyjamas, picked up the kettle and the hair dryer, and headed back into the house.
I had saved the house from drowning. I had faced that dark alcove where spiders and bugs lived. I had tackled the ice block with grit and determination – and…a little creativity. I had persevered. I had learned something new. I felt good.
Sometimes, we come face to face with seemingly impossible circumstances. We may not know what to do or even where to start. I am here to remind you that there is always a solution waiting to be found. “In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not through strength, but by perseverance.”
One week later, the infamous Ice Storm hit. The lights went out. The water stopped running. The toilets stopped flushing. The basement started flooding – again. This time, I was prepared. This time, I knew where to find the sump pump.
P.S. That adventure happened 19 years ago. Since then, there have been countless more adventures. The latest adventure (a very exciting one) has been learning how to build our online business. If this is something that interests you, find out today how you can easily start your own business and thereby create more freedom for yourself. Click here to receive your free 7-day video training series.Let's Keep In Touch...