Overcoming adversity and stress with humor has been my operating philosophy for years. On March 30th of this year I found it hard to find any humor in the fact that after returning home after an unusually long day at work, that I was standing in water in my living room, bedrooms, office and kitchen. The recovery service that responded to my home estimated that the water had been running full-tilt from a broken pipe above my centrally located water heater for about 11 hours.

My son David and neighbors responded quickly to help remove furniture and art to higher ground and collect my dog and neighbors cat who were both hiding under the bed with wet bellies.

With furniture stacked ceiling –high in the garden room and garage, I moved to my son’s house to wait out the salvage effort, carpet replacement, water heater and wall repairs. My son and his family treated me like a queen for the five weeks I lived with them.

I was scheduled to visit my youngest son Mike and his family in Massachusetts before the flood. Thinking this would be a nice diversion, I left on the trip with the understanding that I would return 4 days later to a newly carpeted but otherwise filthy mess. I dreaded having to clean everything and put it back in place. While in Massachusetts I contracted the stomach flu and a severe migraine. Again, it’s hard to laugh when one feels like they are circling the toilet bowl.

What I did not know was that a band of friends from my sharing group and neighborhood were secretly contacted by my neighbor Lee Bird (even before I left for Massachusetts) to perform a complete house make-over while I was gone. In three days with the initial help of 10 AGR fraternity men (who returned heavy furniture to the right rooms) this band of angels painted, scraped scum from floors, cleaned everything from wall to wall and floor to ceiling-including cupboards, plates, curio items, and even light bulbs. They literally put my house back in order better than before the flood! After a long day of travel, still hung over from the flu, I opened the door from the garage and behold it was all done. It was a magnificent cite! I walked from room to room, tears running down my face in awe of the generosity, creativity and dedication of my friends: Lee Bird, Paula Johnson, Robin Purdie, Suzi Burks, Sandy Belford, Carol Headrick, Gayle Carberry, Jeanne Croka and Marge Overholt. It is amazing how much 9 people can do in about 20 hours (or 180 woman – hours) plus the strong backs of 10 AGR’s, several pizzas, and limited cleaning supplies.

For those that know me, you know that my short term memory is not all it should be. My friends correctly assumed that if items were moved, different pictures hung in different places, and curio items reorganized, that I would not remember where stuff belonged anyway!

I will never forget the gift these individuals gave me in my time of need. Thank you dear friends and family for your love and service. While they all have full lives and plenty to keep them busy, they came together one weekend to help me.

If you find yourself in a similar disaster, feel free to call them at 1-800- Miracle. Forever grateful,

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