A Single Burst of a Water Pipe

Last year the theme for our summer inter-related arts half-day camp with the non-profit I started back in the 90’s was “Give Me Water.” I’ve written before about water and its necessity to sustain life and its ability to take it away. A week ago I discovered a place in between: how a single burst of a water pipe can drown a home. A few years back I fell in love with a house in Danville, Kentucky. Truth is, Kentucky is one of the most beautiful places on Earth and I can say that because I have traveled around the world. Okay, so I have traveled around the world…doesn’t mean I’ve seen it all. But among the samplings of the wondrous places I’ve had the great fortune to see, I can tell you Kentucky marvels the rainforest with its lush greens and tall trees, the Serengeti with its thoroughbreds racing across fields of bluegrass and the Austrian Alps with its enchanting mountains and limestone palisades. I often tell people who have never seen it that Kentucky is one of America’s best kept secrets, perhaps not so much now since I say it so often. And Danville is a lovely small town centered between horse farms, moon rainbows and bourbon. And my modest 1920’s two story stucco with its art deco fireplace and hardwood floors just minutes from Main Street is my place to call home. So when I got the call that water was exploding from the upstairs bathroom and the house was flooded, it was almost like hearing that my best friend had been hit by a bus and that first visit into intensive care when you see your loved one battered and torn to shreds, well, you want to throw up. I live by the mantra that “it’s not life and death” and the latest variation of “I have two legs” inspired by the young mother I saw at Christmas while I was shopping for a new pair of boots and she and her family were laughing and joking and full of good cheer even though she only had one leg. We are whiners in this country, we really are. So I hate it when I feel so bad for caring so much about nothing more than wood and mortar. But I do, and I feel so bad that I wasn’t there to take care of her, of it, of that place of my own that I call home. I am fortunate that I have wonderful friends to help me through this not life and death crisis like Pat and Emily who offered me places to stay. And Guy who took the time to check on the house to give me a bird’s eye view before I arrived by plane. And Susan who pulled my antique doll from the drenched closet and my husband, Mark, who calls me hourly to keep up my spirits. And Bruce, who I trust completely to tend to her wounds just as you want the very best doctor to care for your loved one when hit by a bus. When all is said and done, I know this is small potatoes. Not a tornado. Not famine or war. Only a single burst of a water pipe heard no where else in the world. I’ll survive, and so will my house. After all I have two legs.