ANN BAILEY: Sloshing will, inevitably, lead to slappingSlosh, slosh, slosh. Those sounds have been haunting me all spring and likely will continue to ring in my ears for more days to come. They are the swishing noises that my rubber boots make as I walk through the water. That’s because last fall’s wet weather and this spring’s rains have combined to raise the ground water level at our family’s farm southeast of Larimore, N.D.
Slosh, slosh, slosh.
Those sounds have been haunting me all spring and likely will continue to ring in my ears for more days to come. They are the swishing noises that my rubber boots make as I walk through the water. That’s because last fall’s wet weather and this spring’s rains have combined to raise the ground water level at our family’s farm southeast of Larimore, N.D.
The water level is higher than our basement, so a few inches of water cover the floor. Though, our two sump pumps run pretty steadily, with the groundwater level at about 6 feet, they can’t keep it from pooling on the concrete.
I wish I could just shut the basement door and forget about going down into the depths until the water dries. However, that’s not an option because it houses our washer and dryer. Unless we want to take the clothes to a Laundromat, we have to brave the basement.
Washing clothes when the floor is wet requires a strategic approach. The battle plan includes having several clothes baskets available, careful execution and a boatload of patience.
The game plan
Because we can’t put the sorted clothes on the floor, we use three of the clothes baskets to hold the clothes that need to be washed and one of them to hold the clean clothes. Some of the clothes are extremely clean because they have been washed multiple times. No matter how careful I am when I open the dryer, a sock or two and a T-shirt invariably falls out of the drum and into the water.
That’s where the patience comes in. After muttering an “Oh no, not again,” or something to that affect, I pick up the item, wring it out and carry it back to the washer for Round Two. Or Round Three. Or…
Another unpleasant reality of the water is, of course, that it ponds when it comes out of the basement through the hose. Maggie, our mischievous yellow Lab, loves to dig her nose into the end of the hose where the water is coming out and then root around until her face is covered with mud. Then she tromps around in the water for a while until her feet, belly and sides also are muddy. Needless to say, Maggie has been spending a lot of time in the outdoor kennel these days.
My hope is that the weather turns warm and sunny so the water dries more quickly. If it doesn’t, battling mosquitoes likely will be the next challenge for me and my family. Our small basement water pond is a drop in the bucket compared to the water in the fields that are west of us. There are acres of farmland under water on both sides of the mile and a half of gravel road that runs between our house and the highway.
Unless the ponds dry soon, they will be an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and we will be under attack whenever we step outside. Slap. Slap. Slap.