Pulling on my boots I waded through the water to temporarily bandaid the sump pump and then continued to move the items that shouldn't remain wet to dry ground. What exactly did I learn from this experience?
1. Never be the first one awake to go into the basement on a wet day.
2. Melamine shelving absorbs water really well, so you might not want it in a basement.
3. More sump pumps don't necessarily help if the wrong one breaks.
4. To be grateful it only took about an hour of work.
Does that last one seem strange to you? It wouldn't if you grew up in my house. Occasionally when I was a child our sump pump couldn't keep up or it broke down and we kids had to 'bail out'. What that meant is you raced up and down the stairs carrying water in a bucket (from the pump) and then ran outside and tossed it in the grass, all the while knowing it would be absorbed back into the ground and enter into the house again. It seemed kind of futile and yet necessary.
It was exhausting work and usually lasted more than an hour by my recollection. Certainly that is something I never want to repeat. Still, I am grateful not just about my morning starting out in reasonably short unexpected labour, but I am also grateful I even have a house with a basement that is able to flood in this weather. I can't imagine living without shelter and warmth in the cold season.
We will be okay. We will move on from this, but there are many brothers and sisters of humankind that don't know the kind of blessings we take for granted. In other parts of the world houses have been permanently destroyed by disaster, and in our own country there are many (including families with children) that simply have no home. It's easy for us to say, "Well, if they'd just...(enter your own great intelligent answer here)", but truly we can't know their situation. I think it's best to just stay out of that line of thought.