Well, we have just had the first of the summer storms in Brisbane last night … how did you fare? I trust that all is well at your place.
At “Chez Nous” the husband and I brought out the candles just in case, and settled down to wait it out. The winds were savage and a number of branches came crashing down, the lightening was fantastic and the rain, bouncing off the road, made it impossible to see the houses on the other side – we absolutely loved it.
Now you may find this an odd response to a rather severe storm – but let me tell you if it had happened last month things would have been very different. You see we had been having real problems with our gutters for some time. Each time there was a storm they would overflow, both outside and inside the house. We would spend the time dashing from room to room with buckets, mops and towels. We had to move furniture away from walls and mop up pools of water from under windows. Luckily we have hard floors but nevertheless we were exhausted at the end of the storm and collapsed dead beat and furious.
It was bad enough when we were home when the storm hit, but can you imagine what the place was like if one hit when we were out? And we are so often out these days.
Of course, all this could have been avoided if we simply replaced the gutters, and we always meant to. After every storm we made a determined decision to get someone in to give us a quote, and once or twice we actually did so, But warm dry weather shone brightly again and we were back to hand watering the garden and the problem didn’t seem so important … until the next storm.
Unfortunately there are many other people who feel the same way we did, things are only important when they impact on us. Problems that only come to light when the causal factors kick in can safely be ignored … until the next time. And if the problem is only intermittent then we are not going to be bothered with it very often, so curing it does not seem so urgent. Consequently we put up with the occasional inconvenience without too much trouble. That is until the inconveniences start to worsen.
In our case the intermittent drip became the all too frequent flood, but while it was really annoying when it happened, one cannot really say that the storm season has been too bad over the last five years, so the memories soon faded. Until last year.
I didn’t need the Weather Bureau to tell me that Brisbane is returning to the pattern of good summer storms – my increasing mopping up sessions were a dead give away. And of course because the problem had now lasted for so long (at least five years that I am admitting to) the resultant water damage was now making a real impact on us. In fact only a month ago, during a really short but intense downpour while we were out, we lost some very important papers which caused no end of trouble. We had failed to undertake the usual damage control action of moving our furniture away from walls and windows and the water poured in and ruined everything on the desk.
This was the final straw – and enraged by the loss and the inconvenience we not only got a quote, we had all the guttering removed and replaced. It only took half a day!
In our case, we had let what was at first a simple but occasional problem, develop into a disaster waiting to happen. In addition to our loss, we are still assessing what hidden damage has been done to the house because of continuous water damage. The cost may be higher than we had anticipated.
Unfortunately, with all our busy lives this is far too often the case in other matters. Slight problems that only appear to be blips on our radar can, if left, escalate to all out war!
A photocopy machine that needs a slight repair can end up having to be replaced because the damage has gone too far. A disagreement with a colleague that could easily be sorted out is left to fester until there is no chance of making things up.
I am not sure who said it, but there is truth in the statement that a small smouldering log is much easier to put out than a roaring bush fire. So too the problems in life are easier to deal with when they are niggling little inconveniences rather than put them off until we risk loosing it all.
Is there something not quite right in your life … or home? If so, fix it now. If you put it off you might find that in the end the cost in both money and time, and to your relationships could be catastrophic.
So we are now regretting the years of dashing around with the mops and buckets, and as we poured ourselves a glass of wine by candlelight at the height of last night’s downpour we toasted the coming storm season in perfect peace and security.
But oh how I wish we had done it earlier.
Michele @ Trischel