May 10, 2008

Dessert for the Broken-Hearted

A broken sump pump. Over a foot of water in the basement. Everything ruined. Furniture. Decorations. Speaker system. Boxes in storage . . . full of videos. CDs. Important documents. Mom's china. Tea cup collection. Family heirlooms. Childhood mementos. Wedding dress. Greeting cards. Letters.



And photograph albums. All the photographs. So many photographs . . . Weddings. Vacations. Births. Parties. Holidays. Family. Friends. All smeared into a sticky, stinking, wet mess.



Sloshing barefoot through cold water, I nearly slipped on the slimy concrete floor. Mold has begun to take over. Cardboard disintegrated on contact. Paint cans and plastic Halloween pumpkins floated.

No one noticed the flooding. Not for weeks. No one went downstairs.

I spent the afternoon sorting through nearly every picture I've taken since high school. Most of them ended up in a trash bag, unsalvageable. My hands were stained with ink, which was sliding off the paper at my touch.


Maybe it's fitting that all the photographic evidence of the past 15 years of my life has been destroyed. A sign? I don't know. I can't bear to think about it.

Nevertheless, my heart is broken. In more ways than one.

So, I'm self-medicating tonight with . . .

Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler

adapted from Simply Recipes

4 cups rhubarb, stems sliced 1-inch thick
1 1/2 cups frozen black cherries, thawed
1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter, diced
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a bowl, mix rhubarb and cherries with sugar. Let sit for about 30 minutes.
  • In another bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the mild and egg until just moistened.
  • Pour fruit into a 2-quart baking dish. Drop batter by spoonfuls on top.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  • Serve with freshly whipped cream.

The filling was a bit runny, watery. I thought that appropriate . . . considering.


Joy said...

So sorry, Kelly, that's an enormous loss.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Oh, that is so sad! I hope you are able to salvage some things at least! Hope the cobbler helped. :)

Anonymous said...

That is so terrible - I really feel for you and hope next week is a better one for you! Hx

Anonymous said...

How horrible! My heart goes out to you! We went through something similar about 4 years ago. A water pipe burst in a bathroom and flooded that room and went through the floorboards and flooded the basement as well. I happened to discover it because I came home for lunch that day and heard what sounded like a waterfall in the house. We were fortunate to catch it as it was happening (though not soon enough), but still - so much was damaged or destroyed. I remember laying photos out on the upstairs living room floor, our bedroom floor, wherever there was space, to try to salvage them. So much had to be thrown away.
Now that I think about it, some cherry rhubarb cobbler might have helped...

White Sugar Brown Sugar by Rachel Garlinghouse said...


I'm so sorry to hear this. We never head to our basement either. Easy mistake. Saying a prayer!

Denzil said...

I'm really sorry to hear about the flooding. I can't even imagine.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh... I can't imagine how horrible it must be to lose so many important things!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. I can't imagine how you must feel. Hopefully other family members will be willing to give you copies of what they have? I know it couldn't possibly replace what you've lost, but it is something...

ironstef said...

ugh. I'm so sorry. this made my stomach knot up. I can't imagine. big hugs, girlie!

Anonymous said...

I always loved that picture of you from when you were a little girl...

Wish I could have saved more for you.