A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Friday, October 14, 2005

Water, water everywhere

The bulbs and plants that I ordered for fall planting have been arriving since early October. I didn't want to plant them then because it was still so warm. I like to wait until later in the month when the weather and the soil has cooled down. Now I can't plant them because it has been pouring rain for days.

Much like New Orleans, the state of New Jersey is slowing disappearing under flood waters. We are not below sea level. We are just overdeveloped and the water literally has nowhere to go. As more and more land is paved for roads and parking lots, there is less and less land to absorb the rains. Instead, it collects on the roadways making driving extremely hazardous. Communities that have been foresighted enough to provide adequate drainage are causing a different problem. All of those storm sewers empty into the local rivers which cannot handle the increased volume of water. The rivers overflow their banks higher and higher each year as more and more water is poured into them from the inceasing roads and parking lots. Communities that have existed peacefully on the riversides, sometimes for centuries, are flooded and in some cases destroyed.

And still it rains. It has been raining for a week now. Hopefully it will stop this weekend. Then we just have to wait for the rivers to crest. For the flood waters to finish draining into our swollen rivers and streams.

I have been fortunate. My town and my house are far enough away from the Raritan River that I don't have to worry. My basement will get a few inches of water in it when the ground has reached its maximum capacity to absorb water, but that is a small price to pay compared to my fellow New Jerseyans whose homes are completely underwater.

I have suffered only one casualty this week. Me. I have a tooth that has bothered me on and off for years. My dentist had been unable to figure out what the problem is or even which tooth it was. Tuesday night, it started to ache. I was fortunate enough to get into the dentist's office Thursday afternoon. It was obvious which tooth was hurting. What wasn't obvious what was causing the pain. After poking, squeezing (?), blowing air on it and applying cold, he determined that it is fractured and that I will need root canal. Thanks to his examination, what had been a minor, annoying ache had turned into a throbbing nightmare.

When I got home, I noticed a lot of birds around one of the feeders. I checked it and discovered it was nearly empty. I store my birdseed on my basement steps both for convenience and lack of storage space. In my haze of pain, I forgot that wet shoes and stairs are never a good mix. My feet flew out from under me and down the stairs I went. I managed to catch the banister about a third of the way down and stopped my fall. It's funny the things you think about when you are hanging from a banister in so much pain that you are nauseous. I kept thinking "I'm all alone. There is no one to call an ambulance. I have to get to the phone". Of course, once I made it back up the stairs I realized that if I could climb stairs, I didn't need an ambulance. I limped into the living room and laid down on the couch until the pain had subsided enough so that I could breathe. I kept moving the leg that I had landed on to make sure it wasn't broken. Then I stood on it, then walked on it, then noticed that I had completely forgotten about the pain in my tooth!

I filled the birdfeeder and went to bed. When I got up this morning it was still raining.


At 9:02 AM, Blogger Beverly said...

I hope the sun shines soon for you. Happy Belated Birthday ;) WATCH YOUR STEP!

At 2:59 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Thanks Beverly! It's probably the only time I was ever grateful that I never lost the 15 lbs I gained when I quite smoking. At least I had a little padding.

At 8:22 AM, Blogger Kasmira said...

Ooof, sorry about your fall! I know what you mean about intense pain making you nauseated. I've experienced that once (when stung by a man-o-war jellyfish) and that is NO FUN!

We are still in a drought in Ohio. In a way that's good because I was able to plant bulbs a little early and not worry about them getting started. But it's also a pain because I still have to water my new plantings. You can send some of that rain our way!

At 8:31 AM, Blogger kerry said...

I have been so in my 'own little world' that I haven't kept up with the news. I didn't realize you all were so wet up there. I hope it stops before any more damage is done. Glad to hear you are in a safe area.

Ok safe except for the stairs. Ouch. I'm guessing that the morning after had a whole new set of pains related to the muscles that were pulled when you grabbed for the railing. I did the same thing once, catching myself just as I was about to fall head first down the stairs. For days afterward I couldn't figure out why my back, side and upper right arm hurt so much.

At 9:01 AM, Blogger crazygramma said...

Ow I feel your pain I did the same thing last winter on my steps leaving for work. The snow that I had cleared left an invisible layer of ice, and the thought of being alone flashed through my mind as well, in fact my cell phone is always hooked on my belt hook now just in case. Hope you are feeling better.

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Sylvana said...

It's a good thing that you waited to plant your bulbs. All that rain might have killed them.

That stair things seems like a set up. Do you have any reason to believe that the birds might want to do you harm? ;)

At 2:32 PM, Blogger Alice said...

I've just caught up on your blog again. I hope the tooth problem will be fixed quickly and without too much pain. Hopefully you are recovering from the bruising and shock of your fall.

The weather throughout the world has gone crazy, and I fear that it is us humans who have largely caused the problems. I hadn't ever thought about the connection between urbanisation and flooding before. Do you think we will learn our lesson before it's too late for this beautiful planet?

At 1:12 AM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Sylvana, that thought did cross my mind, but then I realized that if I were laid up, there would be no one to fill the feeders so it would not be in their best interest to cripple me.

Alice, your garden is wonderful! I will be visiting your blog often this winter when I am missing my flowers!


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