Murphy Came to Town

“Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time.”
~Murphy’s Law

So last Friday Chris and I were chatting about this weeks work. He told me that he had forgotten that the guys needed to be ripping off the old roofing and doing the prep so David could go crazy with his nail gun when he got here. Monday would be tear off day and Tuesday & Wednesday for prep. In my usual cautious way I said, “Are you sure it’s a good idea to rip everything off on Monday given that the weather has been kind of overcast?” Chris assured me that if things cleared up we would go ahead with Plan A, but if it looked even a bit overcast we would go with Plan B and hold off a day to start.

Monday was bright and clear and hot. Tuesday was bright and clear and hot. Tuesday night was not. We had a slight drizzle around 8 pm, but neither of us considered it something to be concerned about because it barely got the ground wet. I remember washing last nights dishes and thinking, “Wow, it feels like we’ve got some super protective barrier over the roof because none of the rain came through.”

Then along came Murphy.

After being asleep for quite a while, hours it felt, I woke up with a start and the first thing out of my mouth at a really high volume was, “CHRIS, IT’S RAINING!!!” Not drizzle rain. Rainy season rain. July rain. The kind of rain that leaves a small lake in our yard. The only thing between us and the great outdoors was a layer of plywood – with old nail holes and small spaces where the pieces joined.

We ran and started grabbing anything and everything electronic and threw it all on shelves where there didn’t seem to be anything leaking. Then it was bedding and other important stuff. Somewhere in the mad dash I realized that I had no idea what time it was so I looked at the clock – just after midnight. We grabbed mops and brooms and started trying to get as much of the water as possible. It was coming in so fast that it was going right through the floors in the loft area down into every other part of the house. Seriously, streams leaking through the floors.

As I kept sweeping water I realized that for the first time I was so grateful for Haitian construction. When they build a house with a cement or tile floor, there is always a layer of rubble and gravel under the cement. In the places where our floors were cracked the water was slowly draining down into the ground. When the rain finally stopped and we got our bearings a bit I realized that the only dry place in the whole house was the small section of floor holding the shelves with all of the electronic stuff on them. Computers, stereo stuff etc. All of it was dry. I’ve also been cleaning up and moving a bunch of stuff around in the house and that has been the staging ground. Stuff that would be such a pain to clean up and dry out.

By the time we crawled back into a partially damp bed (Chris took one for the team and switched sides of the bed with me and slept on a towel – that’s love) I was pretty much done. I turned into a blubbering mess. I was mostly tired. A lot disappointed because I now had to stay home from Port, which I was really looking forward to, and clean up the house, by myself. Oh yeah, and overwhelmed. I was feeling like a big, overwhelmed been in the bathtub too long raisin.


I spent the morning washing sheets and bedding, cleaning up the suitcases from upstairs and getting them out in the sun to dry, getting rid of the rest of the water upstairs, and started cleaning up the house. Without an inch of water on the floor it really wasn’t that bad. I decided to be optimistic about it and look at it as a prime opportunity for spring cleaning. All of the stuff that got a bit wet in the process of moving all works, so that’s a relief. I thought the toaster was the first casualty because it would crackle and then pop off the first few times that I tried it out which wouldn’t have surprised me at all considering it was sitting on top of the microwave along with that container in the picture. After a little while though it came back to life so so far we’re batting 100. The bed that David was supposed to be sleeping in became a giant sponge last night, so he’s going to have to sleep elsewhere for a couple of nights, but other than that I think we’re all good.

As I was sweeping and dripping wet last night I couldn’t help but think about God’s sense of timing or irony. I didn’t even want to think that maybe it was his sense of humour coming out because there wasn’t a bone in my body that thought it was funny. Okay, that’s not true, there was one. It was the one that made me think of the conversation that Chris and I had just the day before about how we would protect the house and contents in the event of a hurricane…Ha! At least then we could close the windows :)

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

One thought on “Murphy Came to Town

  1. Mom told me that I should stop by and read about this… oh dear. I’m glad you’re so upbeat about it though! You’re such a trooper!

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