The banks of Bear Creek were not filled to capacity this year. I vividly recall that very spot a year ago when the creek was overflowing, swollen from unseasonably late summer rains. This year the creek displayed an inviting architecture of large exposed rock, offering an adventure for anyone willing to leap their way across the water and down the creek.
Our annual Steen family reunion brought us back once again to the country setting deep in the mountains of North Central Arkansas. Kindling Trail Cabin, near the banks of Bear Creek, is always a welcome destination for our family to gather and enjoy a day of food, fun, and fellowship. We did just that, and after the day of eating and merriment we headed down the crooked and steep two-lane road for the three hour trek home.
The drive home was fairly uneventful as some of the kids watched a movie and a passenger or two napped off and on. It wasn’t until we were in about the last thirty minute stretch that the little people became antsy from the drive, but we managed to hold our sanity together by a thread and cruise into Greenwood in one piece. Surprisingly, most of them were hungry when we arrived. I’m guessing that none of them had been the glutton that I had, because hunger was not exactly at the top of my list. Happy to be home and fed, we began the process of running everyone through the bathtub and shower marathon.
It was at around bedtime when I discovered that the bathrooms were not the only place in the house that the water had been flowing. As I walked through the upstairs hallway barefooted, a sick feeling came over me as moisture squished between my toes. There was water in the carpet!
Katrina continued pushing the kids along to get them in bed while I gathered towels and began my new mission for the evening, soaking up water. The condensation from our second floor air-conditioner had somehow backed up and began to leak, seeping out into the surrounding carpet. I gathered a couple of fans and fired them up and continued to soak water as fast as I could go.
The day had been very hot, in the mid-nineties, so we were definitely not interested in shutting off the air. Sleeping in the heat would be our last option if I could not get the air-conditioner to stop leaking. I took a few breathers from soaking up water to pray with each of the kids, trying not to alarm them too much with our stress. When I went up to pray with Bradley he sensed that something was wrong and asked me why I was in such a hurry. I then told him about the water problem, and he followed me from his bedroom to watch the show.
The condensation overflow continued with a steady stream for a little while longer as I kept a towel and a bucket under it to catch any additional downpour, and then, finally, the air-conditioner kicked off. The thermostat had shut it off, and the water soon ceased. Hallelujah!
Now that the river had stopped, I doubled my efforts to make sure the water was thoroughly soaked up. As I did this I thought back on all of the times that our house had been flooded. Let’s see, there’s the downstairs bathroom, at least twice. Then there was the washing machine with the goofed up overflow valve that didn’t work. And then there was the time when one of the kids thought it would be a hoot to clog up the shower in the master bathroom and let it fill up while they played in it. The bathroom floor sure got a good cleaning that day. And the one that takes the cake, the time that the fish tank in the living room got demolished, sending glass, fish, and water everywhere.
It’s sure a good thing we live high on a hill well out of the floodplain. Otherwise, we might experience some real water problems. Tonight, all is well on Stonebridge Hill. The air is cool, the floor is dry, and bedtime has arrived once again, thankfully much less eventful than last night.
Written by David Steen, with God Smiling, September 19, 2010.