Thursday, July 17, 2014

Working out the problems, one at the time!

   It has been awhile since I have posted on my blog. It just has not been in the cards. So much has happened, including," water under the table." Meaning really another Mississippi River  flood. I grew up close to the river and have seen a few floods before. Never as often as we are seeing them today. The River has a mind of it's own and man has tried over and over again to control it, but, I'm afraid it just can't be done.
 I made my self a promise last year after we had the third worse flood in history, it was 88 days from the moment we started sand bagging till the bags were taken away, that I would get out of my shop before the next flood. I guess I am just not smart. I have a house and a business on the banks of the Mississippi. Well I kept my promise. I closed my shop the end of June and the flood started the next day. Thank goodness I only had the house to contend with. The flood we had this year was a shocker. I really didn't believe we were going to have a flood. But, here it came. Thank goodness  for computers, you can go right to a site and see what's up with the river. It will tell you up to the inch how high it is going to be. I just think about in 1845, when my house was built, that those poor people had no ideal the river was coming up until it began to over flow it's bank. They had no ideal how much it would flood, when it would happen and how long it would last. At least we have that information today.
  In case you did not know it, I closed my shop, Downtown Antique Mall. I got tired of working 7 days a week and 5 years without a vacation. I have a friend that has a Antique Mall in Louisiana,Mo., about 9 miles from the old shop and I have taken several spaces in her mall. I am leaving all the responsibility to her, all the book keeping and so forth and so on that goes along with having a shop. I will work a few days in exchange for booth rent. I am hoping it is a win win situation for both of us. And the good thing is, it is not close to the river and never, ever will flood.
  My old 1845 house has gone through several floods in it's 168 years, three since I have owned it. I bought the house in 2006 and we had the third worse flood in history in 2008. It was a real learning experience.  Millions of sand bags were filled and we build a wall all the way around my house. It was a island. It was also a mess to clean up. Although the sand bags keep the river away from the house, water does seep under. This means several pumps were used to pump it back out. Someone had to man those pumps, fill them with gas and keep them running 24-7. That someone was me. It was a two month ordeal. I lived at the house with no utilities, had food brought in by boat and had to tight rope a sand bag wall to take Sissy to the bath room. But I did it and all was well. Cleanup took months.
   Every flood is different and different methods are used to fight it. The flood we had last year, we made a wall from gravel, right down the middle of the street, in front of my house. It went up much faster and was much easier to take away. Our little town of 450 people, paid for those two floods. It almost bankrupted the town. This year the city officials voted not to pay for flood prevention. It was up to each person to do there own. With the prediction being what it was, I knew where the water would be, so I just chose to let it flood. It was emotional, but it has worked out. I have some brown grass, dirty side walks and a very wet basement, but otherwise, all is well.
   I am hoping that some day, SOON, I can sell my home and get away from this flooding problem. When I was a kid, the floods came every 20 years. Then 15. Now it has been 2 years in a row. I am sure people messing with the river has caused this. When you build banks to hold the river back, it has to go somewhere. Damns have been build to control the debt for barge travel, I fear they can control the river, more than we ever will know. I love this old house, but enough is enough. I am sure it will be very hard to find a buyer, what with this flooding happening so regularly. Stranger things have happened.
  Anyhow, keep me in your prayers. Help me find what is right for me to do. And for now, all is well at, "My Old Historic House."


Simone said...

I am so sorry to hear what you have been going through. I hope you can reduce your stress and move to a place without floods.

I really enjoy your blog and hope you take us with you on this journey. Best wishes to you and Sissy.

maria13corvette said...

Hello Richard, I knew something was up when my husband and I took a trip to St. Paul MN, we went to the Mississippi River which ran next to a children's park. The next day we went again for a walk and the playground was under the river. I thought oh no, Richards house...your last post was Sea shells in the Library, well I thought those sea shells attracted the water alright. Didn't want to hear about you selling that beautiful home but I can understand your Frustration. We in California have a drought and need water, its a matter of fact we have been warned that if they see residents watering their plants we are going to be cited. Life isn't fair. Take care..Maria

Teresa Schubert said...

So sorry to hear of the flood and I know this must be stressful and costly to deal with. I think it would be gut wrenching to have to sell your beautiful mansion, but I understand a guy can only take so much!! I will say a prayer that you can figure it all out and know just what to do.
Blessings to you and Sissy,
sugar, spice and whatever's nice

Ivy and Elephants said...

Oh Dear Richard,
Although you have had a rough spring and summer thus far, it seems you are well on your way. The first big step was your shop. The right new owner will come along and you will find that next beautiful home to love just as much if not more. I will keep you in my prayers my dear.

Ivy & Elephants

Gina @ VictorianWannaBe said...

Oh Richard, you have been in my thoughts and prayers. I will continue to pray that God will show you the way. So sorry you had to close your shop, I will just have to come and visit you in Louisiana from now on. Your home is so incredibly beautiful and I thank you for sharing it with me the times I came to Clarksville. I know your next home will be just as wonderful, no matter how large or small it may be. You have such a gift of vision and decorating.
I want to share one of my favorite Bible verses with you...
"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to bring you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
May God bless you Richard.
Sending hugs,

Anonymous said...

I have been wondering whether you were having flooding, given the weather, and so you have. This must be heartbreaking for you, after all the work and love you've lavished on your wonderful home.

I wish you and Sissy the very best. I can't express how much I regret not having had a chance to tour your lovely home.

To see you change from being so proud of it to feeling defeated is a sad thing. Having had to give up a home I loved because it was affecting my health was one of the most disappointing things I've faced, so I can certainly sympathize with your situation ... and your decision.

But at least you still have the courage to accept change when it's necessary, and you have enough creative vision to make another beautiful home. Please continue your blog as you can find time. You have been so inspiring to me, and I want you to know how much I appreciate your sharing of your artistic and creative vision.

With best wishes,

molly- See you downtown said...

Hard to fathom how catastrophic another flood this year must have been for you. I love your house, but understand feeling a slave to a house, business, or property is no way to live happily. May everything happen as you'd like for it to.

Curtains in My Tree said...

Hi Richard
I have been thinking of you and Sissy

SELL it move on, easier said than done I know.
too bad your not a millionaire you could move it up the hill. Has the article come out about your house in the Missouri Life magazine yet?

Gail Wallace said...

It’s too bad that you had to leave the house that have been your home since your childhood. But then, it’s better to leave it than be stressed from the flood that you will always have to face come storm season. Let’s just be thankful that you were always advised in advance about the flooding. It definitely helped you a lot in prepping things up.

Gail Wallace @ Emergency Flood Masters

Lottie said...

Richard, it was good to hear from you, like a letter from home! I had wondered about the flood this year. But of luck with your new venture and best wishes with what you do with your house. The Mississippi is hard to fight every year. Please take us along on the journey.

jewel said...

Richard, it is a tough decision, one which you seemed to have already made. As you said, 'enough is enough'. We all love your house and it is easy for us. All we have to do is look at the pictures. You're the one undergoing the stress of it all. I pray that you'll be guided to the right away from the floods...but just as happy and fulfilling as, My Old Historic House!

Vickie H said...

I am so sorry you have had to go through another flood. I have been away from blogging and am catching up. Hope things are better for you.