Finding Myself OMG: A Bullshit Quest

Well, where do I start? I'm struggling, I suppose, to find out who I am outside of who my parents want me to be, who my friends want me to be, or who my own perfectionist tendencies (totally personified) want me to be. I don't know if this blog will really document my progress in, ahem, coming of age, or if it will just basically be a place for me to vent and blab about nothing. We shall see.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Um, yeah. Once again, I don't even know where to start. This is not a good year, that's for certain. First my dad dies and now... this.

Those of you who know me in real life are aware that last spring my house got flooded. (You can see pictures here.)

Well. We got through spring without being flooded again. We mistakenly thought we were in the clear. And then this last week it rained a lot. A ton. But we didn't think that much of it. The river was high, but then again, the river (the Susquehanna) is often high. My house is three up from the bank.

Monday my mom was taking the dog for a walk down to the river. She saw bicycles on the bank and could hear voices. Some teenage boys had swum out to the little island that's in the middle of the river by our house. Now, this is not a river you swim in. Ever. It's kind of toxic to start out with, and then it's got all kinds of currents. People who attempt to swim in the river generally end up being searched for a day or two later. Living as close as we do, we've seen a lot of search and rescues.

So my mom comes into the house and says, "Mar, there are kids on the island. What do you think I should do?" I told her she'd better call the police. So the police came and the boys made it back safely with just a GIANT lecture. As my mom said, "Why, if you were going to swim to the island in the first place, would you pick today to do it? The river's not exactly low."

Little did we know then what was to come.

So it's Tuesday evening. It is, as is usually the case in lovely Binghamton, raining. My mom goes out on the deck to start barbecuing supper. Our next door neighbor, Glen, is also out barbecuing. My mom makes some innocuous comment about barbecuing in the rain and Glen replies, "Yeah. Chip just told us the river's going to come up again."

My mom's all, Thanks for telling me, asshole. Although of course she didn't say that outloud.

We're able to enlist help to move our washer to higher ground, and we move our cars. There's the problem of the garage, though, which is currently storing all of this gorgeous antique furniture that my mom had just moved up from my grandma's house in PA but couldn't get into the house yet. We figure we'll move the furniture into the house if we have to, but don't worry about it yet.

At around midnight, a police officer comes to the door. He just wants to make sure that we know the river is rising. It's apparently 15 feet from the road at this point, which means it's not even up to the flat, grassy part of the bank.

My mom and I finally settle down enough to go to bed around 1, 1:30. I'm reading, I haven't even fallen asleep yet, when my mom comes in at 2:00. She says, "You'd better get up, Mar. The water's already filled up the field."

The field is on the other side of our next door neighbors' hous, so it's very, Oh shit. So we call some of our neighbors, and they're nice enough to come down and help us move all the furniture from the garage into our living room and dining room. By the time we get all the furniture inside, the water's up in the street past our next door neighbor's house and to our driveway. The backyard's totally filled. My mom starts taking stuff out of the freezer, I start grabbing clothes and toiletries, we gather my dog, and we head out to my aunt's house. (She lives in Vestal Center, on a hill, so she didn't get effected.)

Just as we're leaving, two fire trucks come down the street (it's about 2:30, 2:45) and start telling people to start the mandatory evacuation.

We wake up yesterday morning at my aunt's. There's a state of emergency in Binghamton and pretty much everywhere else around here, the Susquehanna is still rising and not supposed to crest until that afternoon (it turned out to be that night) unnecessary travel is prohibited.

My friends call me on my cell to make sure we're okay. My friend Caitlin who also lives on the West Side, but not near the river, takes her dogs for a walk down by my street. She says the whole street is under water and she can't see my house that well, but it's covered the front steps totally and our neighbor says it's in our first floor. Mind you, that was around noon, and it didn't crest until the evening.

So yeah, God only knows what condition my house is in right now. There's all kind of pictures on of devastation, and they even talk about how bad it is in Binghamton on

My mom and I were able to make it to Target last night to get any essentials we forgot. Today, more of the roads were open, and they've eased the travel restrictions, so we're going to try to get over to our street and see if our house is still there. We doubt we'll be able to get to it, but hopefully we'll be able to at least see the house from a distance.


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