Hope in the Bleakness

This is becoming a regular philosophical blog, isn’t it?  I promise more technical articles soon.  Life is a crazy hot mess at the moment.  Read on and you’ll understand.

We’re trying to sell our house.  The market here in Colorado is hot right now and I want to move back east and buy a farm.  We put our house on the market two Thursdays ago and had three offers by Monday, including a cash offer.

You might wonder why I’m anxious.

You see, we got close to four feet of snow last weekend.  Pretty rare event here.  Most I can remember is three feet in one storm and that was seven years ago.  If you can believe it, we had house showings smack dab in the middle of the storm.  Awesome, right?

The not-awesome part is where all of that snow had to melt and flood my crawl space, where my furnace and hot water heater reside.  It’s been damp down there from time to time, but now we’ve got rotten boards at the base of our foundation and standing water.  I can seriously watch it flow into the crawlspace.  This is Colorado.  We don’t have sump pumps.  It’s historically dry.

I rigged up my Harbor Freight pump and sucked out as much water as I could, but it flowed right back in as I watched in horror.  My biggest horror is that we’re having the house inspected on Tuesday for the sale.  I’ve already put in my notice at my job.  If this sale doesn’t pan out, I’m up the creek without a paddle.  I’ve been in the crawl space all weekend, pumping, shoveling, and covered with mud.  I’m weak, wet and extremely tired.

Being a man who believes in God, I’ve been praying.  I’ve lost my patience, gained it back, and lost it again.  I know God has a plan.  I’m just not sure what it is.  That frustrates me because I’m a bit of a control freak.

I did a run to the bus Friday morning before everything went to crap (or up the river, as it were).  I’m going to miss it terribly if we can get through this flooding issue.  I loaded a lot of gear I know we’ll be needing and I was praying while loading.  I heard a little bird flutter by my head and saw this.


It’s a chickadee.  Not a big deal, but it’s the Maine state bird on the high plains of Colorado.  I swear to you in all of my time at the bus, I’ve never, ever seen a chickadee.  Especially not one perched on the bus.  I hope it’s a sign of things to come.

Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,

Mike, Oscar, Hotel….out.







9 thoughts on “Hope in the Bleakness

  1. Hang in there Mark, at least you got a few offers on the house. Wish I could be there to help you out. Got to give all that water a place to go. Try to get gravity to work for you. Perhaps some trenching outside the foundation channeling snow melt to lower spots on the property might help. Do what you can and the rest will sort itself out. No use in worrying. If you can do something about it you do it, if you can’t, no amount of worrying will change things. The Chickadee is a good sign.


    1. It’s coming along and getting a little better. I woke up throughout the night to keep the fire (I shut off the electricity to the furnace because of all the water) and suck the water out of the crawl space. While it’s still coming in, it’s doing so at a slower rate. I’m pretty sure the deal will be off with the current buyers, but we will fix it and find another. I trenched it outside last night, but due to the rocky soil, I could only get down about a foot. Got somebody coming to look at it tomorrow. Hoping for a good resolution. I’m thinking maybe a French drain? Ever do one of those?


      1. Yes, a french drain is just a trench full of crushed rocks, an easy path for the water to go through. If you have enough of a grade to make it happen they do work well. It really don’t take more than an inch difference in ten feet. If you add some drain tile to it (flexible black 4 inch perforated PVC pipe) in the middle you can even help it more. I guess your trouble is on the upper side of the house with the snow melt coming off the hillside. If you can get a trench dug and give it an easy place to flow to it will leave your cellar/crawl space alone. Water always follows the path of least resistance. Get some fans going in the crawl space to dry things out.


      2. I might try it. I’m just not sure how far away from the house it should be. The other issue is that the water is coming in at the base of the foundation, which is 3 feet below grade. I’m not sure if I need to put it down that far or??? I’ve had fans going for the last 72 hours. Trying to avoid mold. The boards on the bottom of the foundation are already starting to rot. That worries me. It’s funny – my wife and I were just talking last week about what a problem free house this has been!


      3. Try to get a read on where the water is coming from and try to intercept it. If you are trying to catch roof melt you’ll want to be under the eves, right along the footing, but if it is from snow pack on the ground on the hill above you, you’d want to go further away. As I recall you don’t have a lot of room between the house and the hillside and most of it is pretty scratchy soil. So wherever you can get a decent trench with a little bit of grade in that space. Failing that perhaps a means to drain what gets in to the crawl space by gravity. Digging down to the footing at the lowest spot so it can go out on its own if it is at all possible.


    1. Thanks, Gorges. Yes, Mark is my Christian name. Mike Oscar Hotel is my “Mark Twain”, if you know what I mean. While I love to write and post stuff online, I don’t always want my name attached to it, if ya know what I mean!


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