Slice of Life, Chapter 15

(This is part of the Slice of Life Project)

It used to be that I would dread waking up in the morning and opening up the basement door. I always expected to be greeted by a layer of water. Noah, I wasn’t. Sometimes my fears would come true. We live near the bottom of a hill and gravity pulls the streams of run-off water from other homes beneath our house. It didn’t help that our foundation had cracks in which water would visibly bubble up from beneath in the rainy seasons (spring and fall). It was horrible. I remember spending long hours lugging buckets of water up the stairs and out the door and then worrying about the mold being left behind.

It was the health concerns that finally moved us into action.

Two years ago, we got smart. We invested a good bit of money for construction to fix the mess. The guys came in one day and dug a trench around the entire indoor perimeter of our basement, laid down some pipes and fed the collected water into a sump pit, where we put in a sump pump that has earned it rightful place in the family album.

This time of year, the pump seems to work non-stop, glugging away like some monster in the basement. The strangest sound, though, comes after the pump has done its work. The water first flows up, and then over, and then out into the drain-water system (we may be illegally hooked into the city’s pipes, so you must swear to secrecy). There must be some trap door in the piping and the water sloshes and galoshes as if it were the ocean. It moves back and forth and back and forth (When my poor dad  sleeps over, his bed is on the couch in the living room and that is the soundtrack he has to listen to all night — the pump kicking in and the water moving through the pipes — not exactly soothing night sounds — Hi Dad! — he reads my blog sometimes)

I went down there with my voice recorder to capture the sounds, although it doesn’t do it justice. So, today, I offer up this audio Slice of Life from the confines of my basement. It’s dry down there. Plenty dry. But water still flows.

Take a listen to the water flow.

Now we just pray the pump never fails. We’re in big trouble if that happens. And if it happens, I am packing up and moving to the top of the mountain for higher ground.

Peace (in pumps),

  1. It’s so funny. I looked down at your story before i started reading and saw a sound effect and thought, “cool, rushing water”. That’s not what I expected. I have to say though that the podcast was crystal clear. Were you using your mic there attached to your computer?

    I am SO glad I live in a condo. Tuvia though has house responsibilities. I’m not envious.

    Getting ready to pack,

  2. I used an Olympus voice recorder (I found it via a link and post from Wesley Fryer) and it works great.
    The only thing is that it does not record as MP3, so you need to convert the file for podcasting.

  3. Kevin-some people pay big bucks for homes near natural running water or buy soundtracks to hear that flowing sound. You are so lucky. Okay, so I offer this tongue in cheek. I also offer this with empathy having had the same problem when we rented a house in Boston one year. A big rain brought sprays of water through cracks in the basement. My husband, ever the problem solver said, “Get a shovel.” I couldn’t figure out why til we dug an outside trench on the outside perimeter. Actually helped. Great use of a podcast. Added so much to the text. Thanks.

  4. You win my vote, if we were voting, for best Slice Of Life ever!! Loved having the sound to go with your words. That was really cool. Lucky for me, I live at the very pinnacle of the hill in our neighborhood.
    ~jane S

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