It is fascinating how bad things turn into better things. We bought our house in December 2015. At the time it was totally gutted out. There was a supply of dry wall in the house for us to hang ourselves. We knew that we would have to put hard work and effort into making this place livable. But we didn’t care, because Nick and I love labor work and it actually seemed like a fun project to me. Not to mention, it was all we could afford and we really needed a house since our little girl, Audra, was born.

The house was originally built in the 1900’s with lumber from houses and barns that were torn down when 119 was put out to Spencer. The house was originally a two room house, but has been built onto twice. The first time anyone added on to the house was in the 20’s, and later in the late 50’s or early 60’s. Needless to say, this house holds a lot of history.

We worked for six months straight fixing the house to the way we wanted it to be. The bathroom space was bigger than the kitchen space so we switched them because we wanted a bigger kitchen. After living in a small two bedroom apartment, we could live with a small bathroom. A lot of the things we bought for the house were used such as the bathroom sink, which came from Habitat for Humanity. We kept the original floors in the living room, but had to replace the sub floors in the rest of the house. Once the subfloors were replaced, we laid down linoleum, which was a hardwood design, except in the bathroom, which was a tile design. The kitchen counter tops were from plywood and peel and stick vinyl tile. When we finally got to move in, Nick and I were really excited that we had a house to call our own.

One week later, we got flooded. I remember getting a notification on my phone for flash flooding and blowing it off like it was no big deal. I got these kind of notifications all the time and it just barely sprinkled. My sister in law and I watched the river rise together, but yet I was still in denial that it was actually going to reach our house. However, I told her that she and my 10 month year old niece, Kinsley, better come to my house because her house was closer to the river than mine. The rain continued and it got so bad that there was news of the Clendenin bridge falling in. The water eventually reached our porch. At that point, I knew it was time to find a safer place. We hopped in my husband’s truck and he drove us up the hill to a family friend’s house where we stayed for two nights. The night of the flood, my husband, Nick Richard, and his brother, Tyler Richard drove down the hill on four wheelers and got a jon boat. They used the jon boat to get about 20 elderly people out of the Clendenin nursing home. The next day, they drove back and forth on the four wheelers to check the level of the water. I tried to keep a positive attitude when they said there was about 3 feet of water in our house. Those were the longest two days of my life.

Here we are a year later with laminate wood flooring, real kitchen countertops, and real tile flooring and vanity countertops in the bathroom. The biggest help we got was from a church group from Suncrest United Methodist Church out of Morgantown, although there were many others that contributed to helping us build our lives back together. In fact, there was one particular lady who told me God told her to come to my house to help with repairs! There was another church group who donated about $300 dollars and I had friends send about $250. We have a quilt hanging up in our house from Suncrest United Methodist Church and on the back it says, “Each knot represents a prayer that was said for you.” I can’t thank everybody enough for their help and sacrifices during our tough time. Many of those effected by the flood consider themselves flood victims, but I’m thankful that through Christ I can be a flood victor! This flood was truly a blessing in disguise!

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