How the Flood Created an Island (Part 1)

I really should have written about this as it was happening. But at the start, no one knew that our flood would produce an island.

It was early September a couple of years ago. I had done my usual weekly shopping and after putting away the groceries and freshening up. I sat at my desk to catch up on the work of the day.

At this point in time, our kitchen was a typical 70s kitchen. I guess is was typical. I’ve seen others like it (often before remodeling), and it typifies the kitchen that only one person works in: a nice square space with the breakfast bar that separates the whole of the kitchen from pretty much everything else. At the lower left corner (see the sketch) was a small opening where one person at a time could make their way into the active area. It looked something like this (rough sketch):

Original Kitchen Layout

The crazy thing was that when one person was looking into the refrigerator, the other person was locked out because the space between the refrigerator and the “breakfast bar” was so tiny. We must have bumped or waited for each other to get by that space 9000 times over the years.

When we first moved in, the “arm” was set up as a breakfast bar, about 12 inches lower than the other counters, further setting up a disastrous obstruction along the pathway between the 2 doors if chairs had been set along it, as I believe was the original designer’s intention: One person working in the kitchen, everyone else sitting at the breakfast bar scarfing food. Now if that isn’t a 50s image, I’m not sure what is (even though it was built in the 70s). So one of the first things we did after moving in (along with removing about what seemed like 40 fluorescent lights above the hanging ceiling and replacing them with 2 incandescent bulbs) was to raise that breakfast bar up so at least it would be usable counter space.

Anyway, to continue with the story… I was working away at my desk in my office and my husband was working away in his office. My office is farther from the kitchen, and generally I can’t hear much of anything that’s going on in there, unless it’s rully loud. OTOH, my husband has ears like a bat. So he was hearing “me in the kitchen washing vegetables.” He didn’t think twice about it, although I don’t usually wash vegetables right after I bring groceries home (but that’s another story). So then it was dinner time and time to start fixing. (We do this together, unlike the 50s).

First thing was the noise, yes, like someone washing vegetables, but a lot louder and steady, a hissing-rushing sound, not really like someone washing veggies. And then we saw it. About 2 inches of water over the entire kitchen floor.

F0r what happened next… stay tuned.

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