“A Flood of Happy Memories,” Ensign, August 2014, 76
Because of old plumbing and an unsound foundation, my childhood home flooded whenever a storm produced enough rain. Because storms in Virginia, USA, can last for hours, water invaded frequently.
We lived in that home during most of my growing-up years, so I thought flooding was normal.
After several storms, we improved our flood-fighting tactics and learned to work together. Storms often hit in the middle of the night, and my parents would wake us all up to work at our posts as the water encroached through the basement like slow-moving lava. My brother and father would bucket out the stairwell while my sister and I quickly sopped up water with towels to save the carpet.
We giggled as we jumped and danced on those towels, feeling the squishy wetness between our toes and through our pajama legs. Mom hurriedly wrung out the drenched towels, hurled them into the dryer, and brought new ones fresh for stomping. When we were satisfied the house was safe, we went to the kitchen to dry off and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies for our labors. Then, if it wasn’t yet time for school, we would try to go back to sleep.
These floods must have given my parents great anxiety, but I remember them as some of the happiest moments of my childhood, even with the booming thunder and the flashing lightning. In fact, the smell of wet carpet still makes me nostalgic for family time.
My parents could have fought the flooding alone, but I’m so glad they employed all of us in defense of our home. Fighting the water was a joyous event because we were together and we each played a part.
Now that I am grown, I think about those days and wonder how I can create the same joy of working together in my own children. Though grateful that my home does not flood, I know that something unwanted will inevitably encroach upon our family.
No matter what trouble my family may deal with in the future, I hope we stay together and work together in defending our values, our faith, and each other. Then perhaps, even in adversity, we can laugh, smile, and feel happy as we labor side by side.