200,000 Gallons of Water and a Miracle

On a late night in February of 2017, my husband and I had packed the Jeep a few days earlier than we had planned. A Blizzard was set to hit Cape Cod, MA and there was talk of the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges being shut down due to the anticipated wind gusts. We had planned to leave the following week, so the race was on to pack for two weeks and two rambunctious Boston Terrier girls, Sophie age 2 and Sadie age 1. Getting on the Highway from our MA home to our New Hampshire log cabin in the deep White Mountains my husband and I both looked at each other with a sigh of relief as we stopped to get gas and coffee for the almost five hour drive, Last minute ‘to do’s’, prevented us from leaving at the planned 7:00 p.m. goal.

Nearly 8:00 p.m. now, toll money set, coffee and snacks – check, full tank of gas – check and two fur-babies – snug warm in their crates, both with a bout of intoxicating gas fumes, (Boston owners know the struggle is real.)

Joey and I talked about the plans for the two weeks in the deep North and if the security cameras were showing just a play on the 4 feet of deep snow that had fallen since we were last at our cabin.

We arrived shortly before 1:00 a.m. Not being able to see anything as we opened the Jeep doors, we left the headlights on and the heat on in the car for the girls. The lights reflected a winter wonderland of snow around the garage. The side door was 6 feet deep in snow thanks to the drifts and the front was even worse. As Joey and I made our way through the snow, we were able to walk on top the four plus feet of snow without falling through. It appears that layers of ice were under the snow as well.

Awaiting to smell the familiar red cedar smell of the log cabin, I happily awaited for Joey to open the door, which in itself, was a struggle. The snow was high, but, there is an overhang on the door, so the door stop was clear enough to open the door.

Joey puts the key in the door and we are inside. The house was freezing. Too cold for the heat that was left on 55 degrees. All of a sudden the sound of water pouring in the basement shot fear through me. My husband ran down the stairs, to the basement. I looked over the rail and saw no water, everything looked the same as we had left the house a few weeks earlier.

I made my way down the stairs and up comes Joey. Both of his hands holding his head saying, “I can’t believe this.” In 25 years, I have never seen my husband have this demeanor,  the look of shock. “What happened?” I asked. “Several pipes burst and there’s water all over the basement.” Joey said. I made my way down the stairs. I looked at my husbands sneakers and there was a few inches of a water line on his jeans, around his ankles. I looked into the small hallway, that was near the downstairs bedroom and stopped. There appeared to have been just a few inches on the floor. I looked up at the ceiling tiles in the guest bedroom and a few had fallen from the ceiling, but they were not that wet. I thought how odd that was – did this just happen as we were on our way up to New Hampshire?

Having a pretty awesome plumber, he awoke at 1:30 a.m. to come over to our home. As he walked through the door carrying an industrial heater for us (completely unexpected – the house was at 32 degrees at this late hour) he helped to get the heater set up so we could have some warmth. The pups and I scurried to the master bedroom, jumped on the bed, the electrical fire place was on high, electrical blankets stacked one on top of one and we got settled in. “He said he will be by in the morning to fix everything. A few pipes busted he said.” My husband looked tired but optimistic. I remember drifting off to sleep around 4:00 a.m.

Next morning the plumber and his apprentice arrived just as Joey was walking in with some hot coffee. Coffee is great but this morning, it was the best I had ever had. Cold, snow, no heat would make a mug of hot water with nothing in it seem like heaven.

I spent the morning in the bedroom with the pups, under the blanket. Joey was with the plumber and the young man for a few hours. The plumbers apprentice said he had never in his life, never not seen water upstairs with this amount of broken pipes, all the water remained downstairs and in reality, there was not a big amount. This got me thinking, no water at all on the first floor where all the bedrooms, living space was. This was odd.

The Plumber and his apprentice worked for a few hours to fix the pipes. They walked upstairs and looked at the radiators. No break in any of them, but there was brown residue next to the heater by the front door. The young man said,  “I have never seen a house where the pipes did not break upstairs especially in this kind of cold.” It was true, it was odd.

The water was turned on as the pipes were flowing with water. The Plumber asked us to watch the pipes in the rooms. The second guest bedroom began leaking black water. “It’s leaking in the guest bedroom,” my husband yelled downstairs. That was a quick fix and soon, the house was getting warm.

We spent our two week vacation cleaning the water. Some things were lost. Our sons baby books were damaged, photos, everyday items – some salvageable, some not. Rug in the hallway and guest bedroom – had to be ripped up. It was a long few weeks/months until everything was repaired. Back to the first week of the flood …

There is a knock at our door. I look through the kitchen and I see a man standing in the sunroom with Joey. I continue busying myself with paperwork at the kitchen table. Ten minutes went by and he was still talking to the man in our sunroom. “Thanks for coming out,” said Joey.

Sipping on some tea, I look up and see Joey looking at me with big eyes and a look of shock. Knowing this look, there was a moment of silence between us as we made locked eyes. ‘So, guess who that was?” said my husband. “I’m not too sure, who was it?” I asked. Joey said, “Well, that was the Water Department, they were coming out because they got a water reading and knew that something was not right.”

I was anticipating a few thousand gallons of water. “200,000 gallons of water was lost.”

Two Hundred thousand gallons of water and only the basement had less than three inches of water on one floor. It was discovered afterwards that the oil reading was at a hundred gallons of oil and no fuel had been used due to the tank running out and the fill of the oil tank was too late. By that time, the pipes had already frozen.

My husband and I are both practicing Roman Catholics. Our Faith is the core, in every aspect of life. We have a strong devotion to the Brown Scapular. My husband and I both wear a Scapular everyday. At the beginning of each month, we will put a new Scapular on and donate the ones we wore. When we first purchased our home, we had a spare Scapular and we decided to hang it in our basement. It is the only place in our home that has a Scapular.

There are so many promises and Miracles that are attributed to the Brown Scapular.

There is no doubt, in my mind, or my husband’s mind and afterwards, we also found out that our plumber is a great believer in the Brown Scapular. The reason why the upstairs did not flood and the downstairs only had a few inches of water, is truly because a Miracle, a Promise that the Brown Scapular kept and the Brown Scapular, protected our home.

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