Although it was only about 4 in the morning, something woke me up. Maybe it was the tongues of my two dogs, both trying to climb into my bed, both shaking apart. Or, as I quickly figured out, maybe it was the storm itself. It only took a second to realize what was happening since lightning brought my bedroom into full view and I hadn’t flipped the switch yet.
I got up, threw a robe on over my man-sized t-shirt and headed out to the living room. Now, I’d spent the last two days on my hands and knees using our beloved “acido” to wash the floors. I’m not a big fan of the discoloration the tiles get in the cracks down here in “the tropics.” But, as clean as they were, I still couldn’t understand why the tiles were reflecting the windows so well. And, my couch seemed to be moving; something was definitely not right. So, I turned on the lights. That was when I saw the water and there was a lot.
You see, I live on the island of Cozumel, Mexico, and we have the appropriate weather that comes with our little bit of paradise. Usually it is quite lovely, but we do have our moments and this was one of them. What I call home happens to be a cute, but small apartment located on a second floor in the Corpus Christi neighborhood of San Miguel. It only has two rooms, but with a galley kitchen, a bath, and it all comes with a huge cement deck. The deck was definitely the reason I took the place. I’ve been busily filling it with plants, furniture, and whatnots and, soon, there will be a mural painted on one of the walls, it’s going to be perfect. But, at about 4 this morning, perfection was far from my mind. In fact, I wasn’t too sure of anything other than the fact that my floor was getting washed, again.
My place is quite inexpensive, which is a good thing since I live on a teacher’s pension. But, that old saying that you “get what you pay for” applies. My kitchen sink leaks a little, as does my toilet and, apparently, my roof, walls, and windows too. Ironically, what doesn’t “leak” are the storm drains on my roof deck. Due to the screening that my landlord put over the holes, all it takes is a single leaf laying against the grate and all the water backs up. On more than one occasion I’ve stood in the pouring rain clearing off the leaves and all of the other bits of stuff that can accumulate on a deck so the drains can do their job. I also worry about my landlord’s home downstairs since all the water is probably not just laying quietly on my deck. Since so much leaks from my roof into my apartment, I can assume that much would leak into his if I didn’t keep the grates clean. So, I try to keep ahead of the flood.
But, this time it must have been raining for quite a spell before my dogs got me up. The water was coming in from all angles, the roof, windows, walls, and underneath my doors due to the disabled storm drains. Oh, and let me mention that, once I came back inside from clearing them off, I noticed that my couch was now in the middle of the room. I felt relief knowing that, in case of a true flood, my little couch was still big enough to hold both me and my dogs. Sort of a Noah’s ark, but with pillows.
Out came my collection of flood materials. My mop, broom, and all the towels I could collect. I started to “sweep” the water out the doors (I have another smaller deck out back) and then laid down towels to try to stop the small amount that was still coming in. I also put a couple of ice cube trays underneath my flat bottomed couch to help it to stay in one place and dry. Meanwhile my dogs were smart enough to stay on the elevated section where my kitchen and bedroom were. They just stood there and watched. Actually, my Metta gave up altogether and went back to her dry bed in the bedroom. I have smart dogs.
Now that the storm has passed, here I sit writing down the experience. I do try to talk about all the good stuff, and there is a lot, but it hit me that a good dose of reality is sometimes necessary as well. Still, I have a hot cup of coffee, a dry bedroom and bed, and two happy dogs now that the lightning has stopped. My floors are cleaner than they’ve ever been, and my deck is too. So, all in all, it’s still paradise, just with a lot of damp towels and well placed fans. Salud!