Beginning January 1, 2013

Stop by and let us know what you think of the new look!

Friday, April 1, 2011


The Floods of Spring
Ruth J. Hartman

Last week was wet. Outside and inside. We’d had several feet of snow melt, causing muddy yards and swollen rivers. Then, it started to rain. Pour, in fact. I was home that day, since I was off from working at the dental office. Our furnace, which hadn’t run as often since the temperature warmed, still should have bumped itself on at a certain point. Oh-oh. Never good. I fiddled with the controls, thinking maybe I’d hit a wrong button previously. I hoped that was all, anyway. But no. It wasn’t.

I e-mailed my husband at work. I told him what was going on. He e-mailed back.

“Have you looked in the basement lately?”

“Hmmm. Well, no.” I try to avoid it at all costs. It’s a damp, smelly, spider haven on the best of days. It’s not what some people would call a family room or rec room. It’s more of a dungeon.

And this time the dungeon was surrounded by a mote. A big one.

Our plumber, while ankle deep in water down there, informed me that everything was wet.

“Well, duh.”

“No, everything. Your furnace. Your water heater. Your water softener. Even the dehumidifier that’s supposed to keep things dry.”

Well wasn’t that an extra kick in the head while I was already down?

Trying to get ready for work the next day was interesting. The temperature outside had dropped again, so we were huddled in blankets while we drew straws to see who had to endure a not-so-hot shower first. I left for work early just so I could sit in my Jeep with the heater on. But I was halfway to work before it thawed me out.

So I wasn’t looking forward to the following day much. Yes, I would be off work, but I’d be cold at home. My days off were when I got most of my writing done. But I knew I wouldn’t be inclined to sit in front of my computer wrapped in a blanket while attempting to type with numb fingers. And typing with mittens is just plain silly.

But it didn’t come to that. I watched our outdoor thermometer steadily rise. Once it hit 55, I had the windows open. It was warmer out there than in here! And with the open windows came the sounds of early spring. The shrill cry of the blue jays. The twitter of chipping sparrows. And the chatter of yellow and purple finches. My two cats sat in the open windows and avidly spied on the unsuspecting birds. I stuck my head out the door. Crocuses popped their heads above the ground, checking to see if it was time to get up yet. Ah, spring. As my body thawed, so did my mind. Creative juices flowing, I dove into my current work in progress with a silly grin on my face.

If the rains hadn’t come causing my furnace to malfunction, I would never have opened my windows. I would have missed the exhilarating signs of early spring.

Who says a dungeon with a mote can’t bring happiness?

Bio: Ruth J. Hartman is a published author as well as a licensed dental hygienist. She lives in rural Indiana with her husband and two extremely spoiled cats. More information about her published works can be found at

Buy Link for "Purrfect Voyage" (e-book) (print)


Maria said...

Yes! Finally we are getting warmer temperatures and it looks as if spring is here to stay:).....I have a very large blue spruce that is near my bedroom window so I get to hear the birds chirping during the spring and summer and I just heard them this past week. I'm very excited about it! Hope that things in your basement dried out and that it doesn't cost you much to have things repaired if they need to be fixed. Great post!


Tamara said...

We just had a cold front move through before that we were already getting temps in the 80's, but I live in GA the weather is so unpredictable at this time of the year. The blooms have been out for quite a few weeks now and it is beautiful here, of course next comes summer and the sweltering heat!

Karen H in NC said...

Spring has sprung where I live too...finally! But I shouldn't complain because winters here in NC are very mild indeed! That's why I moved here from Michigan!

But I can relate to your pain of a flooded basement. A typical hazzard in the northern climes when the snow melts and the rains come! I remember the first year I lived in my house with a basement. The landscaping wasn't finished yet and the grading around the house needed more work. That year, I had 2 sump pumps running 24/7 for about a week just to keep the water level at the top of the sump hole! That was after we got the 3" of water all over the floor pumped out! I don't wish that on anyone and I certainly don't want to re-live it!

Karen H in NC said...

oops! forgot my email address! It's early...I've only had 1 cup of coffee!

kkhaas at bellsouth dot net

Ruth J. Hartman said...

Thankfully, we got the basement dried out, a new water heater, and had the furnace repaired. Now we're warm and dry :)

And even though it's a little chilly in Indiana this week, the sun is out, the flowers are blooming, and the fat, birds-with-egg are happy!

Jean P said...

So glad you got your basement dried out and everything working again. Hopefully we have had our last snow! Birds are busy chirping and the flowers are starting to push their way out of the ground.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Rebekah E. said...

Sorry to hear about your flooded basement but at least you were able to look to the bright side of things and enjoying spring coming. I can't wait to start my vegetable garden should be fun.


Writercat59 said...

Poor Ruth and the flooded basement. Good you could look on the positive side of how it made you appreciate early spring that much more.

JoanneR said...

Sorry about your flooded basement, but at least you have the beautiful weather outside to help you remember that good things are still around you.

lastnerve said...

LOL, welcome to the land of ME! Stuff like that ALWAYS happens to me. I agree with the opening of windows, With the weather being so crazy, I've had mine, open, closed, open, closed hahaha but there is nothing like listening to the birds sing. Just when I get relaxed, my dog (who's a runner) jumps, through the window knocking out the screen and takes off to roam the neighborhood. THEN, I'm forced to go outside. :)

lastnerve2000 @

Debbi said...

I am so looking forward to this spring...winter here for me has seemed long, so the leaves coming out on the trees, the flowers in bloom, and the grass turning green again, are all making smiles across our neighborhood. I am really looking forward to escaping my dungeon!

Debbi said...

Shucks! I forgot my email address: thanks guys!

Debbi said...

Shucks! I forgot my email address: thanks guys!

Melissa McClone said...

We still have rain and cold weather. The sun keeps teasing us! It hailed on Sunday even though there were patches of blue sky!

Sorry about your basement!

melissamcclone @

Sarita said...

Oh, yuck! Sorry about your basement. That happened here in January. A burst pipe can certainly make a huge mess!

Faith said...

Luckily we live on a hillside well away from the creek that runs through the valley, but when we get a lot of melting snow or rain, it does wash off the top of the hill and flood out our carport. We lost a lot of our things when we first moved in due to a heavy rainstorm.

I hope it doesn't take long to clean up everything and have it replaced.

Maureen said...

Even when the weather hasn't been springlike you can hear the birds and our cats are running from window to window trying to see them. Good luck with your furnace.
mce1011 AT aol DOT Com

Gabby said...

Sorry to hear about you furnace problem, I know what that's like though we didn't have a furnace at all last year and I'm sure at least some people remember how cold it was.

There was even a moment when my dad put us up at a hotel because it was so cold in out house.

It so sunny here though, I tied back my curtains. Good luck with your furnace!

cheryl c said...

So glad that you are experiencing the spring thaw in body and mind!

castings at mindspring dot com

booklover0226 said...

We had a teaser spring a couple of weeks ago. It was sunny and warm; I opened up all the windows to let the fresh air blow through my place. got cold and dreary, again!

I'm so ready for spring.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Sheila said...

Sorry to hear about your basement.
It seems like the heat hit with a bang in AZ. We got a little rain here this winter but no major snow.:(

Tracie said...

There is nothing worse than something like that happening. Unfortunately we don't realize how dependent we are on something like that until there's an issue. Hang in there, spring is coming. Good luck and happy writing!

Ingeborg said...

Sorry about your basement flooding

katsrus said...

Just was starting to warm up again a bam winter peeked around the corner. LOL. I love your book cover. Very cute. We had to replace our furnace once when it was in the zeros. Not fun freezing.
Sue B

Judy said...

Goodness, what a problem! I hate those kind of predictaments. I live in the South, so it is becoming hotter daily, had a cool front the other day it got down to 46 and up to 81:)


Ruth J. Hartman said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. It sure sounds like we're all ready for spring :)

Tooth Fairy said...

Gosh, did any books get wet and ruined? Hope things dry out for you and you enjoy a sweet spring and summertime!
@toothfairycyber FLying by!!

Anonymous said...

We even had an April fools snow...but thankfully today we FINALLY hit 50 and I went out to the garden to attempt to clean up all the branches that the heavy snow broke off all the trees. I am hopeful that I will be able to spend time this week in the garden. Spring is my fav season..always feels like a breath of hope !



Donna B said...

Amazing sometimes what it takes to get us to pay attention to what's around us! LOL Your book looks really cute!

Ruth J. Hartman said...

I just got out of bed this morning. And it's POURING outside. Better check the basement!! :)

Karin said...

What a great way to find the silver lining in your situation. I would hate to get up to that kind of cold in the morning.

Denise said...

So sorry to hear about your end of winter woes, but kudos on discovering that flipside. There is absolutely nothing like that first day when you can fling up the window and let fresh air sweep in to clear away the winter doldrums. Hope that truly alls well that ends well for you.

Denise Golinowski

Vanessa A. Johnson said...

Isn't it amazing how we can find the slightest glimmer of hope in the gloomiest of situations. Just shows, inspiration can come from anywhere. Continued blessings.

Ruth J. Hartman said...

Outside today, we've got green grass, yellow daffodils and blue sky. And even after yesterday's heavy rains, our basment is dry! Yay!

Crystal said...

Late to the comments, but I can totally understand how it is ALWAYS SOMETHING going wrong with a house. SIgh.
On a more cheerful note, I just went out and read the first 25% of Purrfect Voyage on Smashwords. It is fabulous and I'm planning on purchasing it when I get home tonight. Such fun!

Ruth J. Hartman said...

Thanks Crystal! Hope you like it :).

It's gorgeous here today in Indiana. Beautiful sunshine. We looked outside and there was this enormous dove sitting on the fence. My husband laughed when he saw it and said,"Is that a hawk?"

EdgesAngel23 said...

Oh wow that had to have totally sucked! We've never had our furnace brake down, but we DID have a couple of winters when our gas water heater refused to stay lit and run! I got some great upper arm strenght hauling huge pots of hot water from the stove to the tub though lol.
I'm glad that ther is warmer weather now and that we have a brand new electric water heater that NEVER lets us down!
Ashley A

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

ugh, i hate when it rains right after the snow melts. So much mud and water everywhere

Ruth J. Hartman said...

Sarah, you're right. Very messy!

Ruth J. Hartman said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments!