Everyone has probably heard the saying “when it rains it pours”. This can be a good thing in the world of miles and points when there are super lucrative promotion, great fare sales, etc. that seem to happen in quick succession. However, the saying more often has a bad connotation. As in, when bad things happen, they happen in abundance. Today it just so happened that my family experienced “when it rains it pours” literally. It rained, and it poured. And it kept pouring.
The funny thing is that just a year or so ago we were in a severe drought, but now we are flooding. In fact, much of the Houston area is experiencing some sort of flooding right now. It’s like someone turned on the faucet, and just hasn’t remembered to turn it off. Last night we got about six inches of rain in a four hour period. Given that we were already saturated from other recent rains, this rain just immediately became some serious runoff. Our french drain in the backyard couldn’t keep up, and within a 15 minute window of when I got up the first time around 3:00AM to check on the flooding situation, and when I got up the second time around 3:15AM, we had taken in water through half of our downstairs. I was literally scooping water out of my house with a yellow bucket that two weeks ago had been used to build sand castles at a resort. My how things change quickly!
By about 4:00AM I had called my parents to help as we couldn’t get ahead of the water. By 6:00AM the water extraction/restoration folks were there. By 6:15AM we realized how bad (i.e., expensive) the problem was. When they gave us the quote just to do the minimal amount of work that was recommended, my husband and I both felt the air go out of our lungs. They kept repeating how lucky we were, and how good it was we got up when we did, and the damage would have been way worse, etc. I’m sure that is all true, but it doesn’t help much when you watch dozen and dozens of holes get drilled in your walls, kitchen, etc. to help air out the water in the walls to try to prevent mold. It took a bunch of work to get the house fixed up the way we wanted it, and such little time for it to be flooded, and subsequently torn up. I love to travel, but I also love being in my home. It’s not just a place I store luggage between trips, it is where my little family lives. It hurts to see it torn up, even if the damage is considered “minor” compared to how bad it could have been.
It’s amazing how quickly priorities change. We were just days away from making a major purchase for our family, and as soon as we got the quote this morning and realized the extent of the damage, my husband and I both knew without saying a word that that dream was shelved for now. In fact, I wish some of my upcoming trips were refundable so we could redirect the funds and focus toward fixing our home and redoing our drainage system so this doesn’t happen again.
We don’t live in a flood zone, so hadn’t yet taken the time to purchase flood insurance. We had talked about it, but not actually done anything about it. That was very silly, or as Homer Simpson would say, “Doh”. I highly encourage my story to be a lesson. We have lived in this house for two years and never flooded. Today that changed in a matter of minutes. For about $200 a year we could have been covered with flood insurance. We will now be covered in exactly 30 days, but that won’t help us this go ’round.
I am grateful that we were both home and could work together to minimize the impact. Had we been traveling and returned home days later, this would have been much worse. I’m also grateful that we have the savings to start to fix the problem. It could have been much worse for sure. In fact, I’m sure for others in our area it is much worse. We’re a little shell-shocked and sad right now, but we will work to make the best the situation. For the next several days our house will be inundated with dehumidifiers and blowers. After that we will start the reconstruction process. I’m sure we will have many trips to Lowes, so at least the timing is good for the Ultimate Rewards 10x points offer.
We also made some great unexpected progress toward the $25,000 annual spending bonus on our United MileagePlus card. When we hit that target we will get 10,000 additional United miles. I’m not really in the travel mood right now, but I know I will be again before too long, and it will be nice to know that we made the most of a crummy situation on the miles and points front. Truthfully, overall our family is so blessed that this really should just be viewed as a minor blip on the radar. Hopefully after we dry-out, patch some of the holes, and repaint, it will be just that (and an important lesson).
Apologies in advance if I’m offline a bit more than usual in the coming days. With my husband now out of town again for a work trip, I’m crossing my fingers that the heavy rains don’t return for a while. Stay dry, have flood insurance, and use a points earning credit card when all hell breaks loose.