You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘flood’ tag.

It is a lovely day here. No rain, not even a drop. There is still debris in a lot of places – trees, boards, roots, and parts of people’s lives. But those lives are moving on, forward, ahead, and towards the next thing.

In the case of my half-house, the next thing is how quickly ex-Pat can get a new water heater, because apparently, when he has to scape the mud off the top of the water heater, the insurance adjuster considers it a total loss. And that’s one of those important things for doing dishes and showering. They cleaned out the last room yesterday, and I have lost a lot of photos and slides, which makes me very sad, but I’m hoping there is some way of salvaging them.

My anxiety levels are still super-high, but a little bit better this morning. The eye doctor, much as I love her, didn’t help by telling me that I have some pre-cataract thing in my left eye (seriously, body, how old do you think you are??????), so that added to the anxiety-cold-sweat-o-meter today. MKL says he will still love me if I go blind, and he has fabulous descriptive powers, and cataracts are surgically fixable. So. Yea.

I think I will try one of my newly prescribed Xanax before bed.  As I say, a beautiful life goes on.

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Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Loss carves out a deep, hollow pocket. There’s no magical way to fill it, no medicine or Band-Aid or surgery to cure it. I suppose that over time you get used to it, but the feeling never totally goes away. And the more time you spend on earth, the more pockets you’ll collect. But it’s part of living. It’s life.” — Suzanne Selfors

Daily gratitudes:
Improvements
The little girl with the “Where the Wild Things Are Umbrella” as big as she was
My fluffy Mr. Man
MKL’s support
Peace
The sound of the ocean waves

 

 

This is not a view I had today. It is a view I had in June on one of our lovely road trips. But I liked it for today because it is dry in this image, and it is anything but dry here. We had another day of rain and are still under flood warnings. Boulder Canyon may be closed for a month, with residents up in the mountains having no way to get to town other than a 2+ hour drive around through Black Hawk. Ex-Pat has been in touch with the flood insurers, which is good, and we are preparing to contact FEMA as well. My anxiety levels are huge, and I feel like my muscles are trying to bust out of my skin. This is the first time in my life I ever wished for Xanax.  It’s not reasonable, but it is what I’m feeling nonetheless, even though things are calming down. Sigh. One day at a time. Colorado strong.

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From Terror Creek Winery, Paonia, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.  The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time.  On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops.  Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.  I am haunted by waters.” — Norman MacLean

Daily gratitudes:
The lucky penny the House Spirits left in the kitchen this morning
Alfred Hitchcock movies
That the Broncos are off to a good start this season
Spending most of last night and today with Kelsea
Prayers from friends

 

 

It has been a very difficult few days here in Boulder County. As you’ve probably heard, unless you’ve been under a rock, we have had rain and flooding of biblical proportions. I have lived in and around Boulder for over 30 years now and have never seen anything like it. Have never felt anything like it. The closest I have experienced was in spring of 1995, when I cut a business trip to Philadelphia short to come home and hope that I still had a house. The flight attendant gave me a bottle of champagne, saying I could drink it to celebrate if I did, and to drown my sorrows if I didn’t.

I did. I still had my little white house surrounded by lilacs on the banks of Coal Creek. It’s still my house in name and mortgage payment, but now ex-Pat and Kelsea live there with the menagerie of two big dogs (Roscoe and Champ) and two yellow cats (Dusty and Mel). I left five years ago on Halloween, taking very little with me but a lot of hope and fear and pain.

The little white house has a very special place in my heart. Ex-Pat hasn’t taken good care of it and that makes me very sad. But it’s still my little house with its giant fireplace and knotty pine walls and huge lilac bushes. And the gentle sound of Coal Creek, sometimes trickling at the bottom of the 20-foot bank, but more often dry. Not something you would ever expect to see raging.

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That shot was from today. Kelsea took a video yesterday that I wish I could share, but I can’t figure out how to embed it.

When Coal Creek flooded yesterday, I was worried. I was calling them constantly, checking on the status. They had received notice to evacuate at 5:00 pm. Pat chose to ignore that. (That’s Pat.) But in one of my check-in calls, he told me that the water was coming in under the kitchen door, more and more of it. It was ankle-deep in the old part of the house (which is an old mining cabin from 1910, with no foundation but dirt.) The root cellar under the kitchen floor, which houses the furnace and the water heater, was full of water, up to the top of its stairs. They started gathering things to leave, even though the bridge by the house was completely submerged by floodwaters. Kelsea’s voice broke as she asked me if I had a digital copy of the picture of her and her Grandma that she keeps on her wall.

They loaded things into the truck. They put the dogs on leashes. They put the cats (fighting and hissing) into the carriers. And then waited a little more. The waters stopped getting deeper and just sat there. And then they started to recede, to vanish, to soak into the carpets and floors and anything sitting on them. They stayed on the couch and watched movies, since they still had power, water, and cable. And the waters were gone. The creek backed down. The huge backyard stopped looking like an ocean. They were all right.

It was so painful to not be there. I felt helpless. I felt powerless. It felt like when my Mother was dying, except I couldn’t be there. It showed me my need to be in control, to be fixing things, and you can’t be in control of or fix a flood. I was breaking, for my daughter, for my animals, for my little house, for the things I left behind – heirlooms from my great-grandmother, that I left so that Kelsea’s home would not feel so strange after her mother left. So much of some many hard things coming back to haunt me.

I watched the news until 2:00 am, waiting for a 30-foot wall of water that fortunately never came. I slept fitfully by MKL (who had the flu, my poor baby, but I was so incredibly glad that he was there) for a few hours, waking to find that my bus route was shut down and travel was inadvisable, so I worked from home. At the end of the day, I drove over to ex-Pat’s.

The downstairs was a wreck.

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Friends from down the street and Niece #1 came to help. We moved furniture, pulled up the rugs, dragged them outside. Sadly, I lost some books that I’d had for 30 years. We worked for a few hours, mopping over and over again to get rid of the mud and leaves and dirt. The house has flood insurance, a requirement of the mortgage, so ex-Pat is trying to get the claims person to come out. He is concerned about mold from all the damp, and the water was pretty toxic. But the house still stands. For now.

The rain stopped enough for clean up efforts to get underway, but it’s supposed to rain more tonight and on Sunday. The creek rose two feet in the last hour I was there. However, the house is on the high side of the bank, and the flooding last night was more caused by the city unwisely opening a spillway at the back side of the town. Hopefully, they heard enough harsh words for that decision today to keep them from repeating it.

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It could have been so much worse. So many in Boulder County have lost everything. Beautiful little towns like Lyons are cut off from the world, with residents having been evacuated by the National Guard. People have lost their lives. This experience again makes me examine my relationship with and attachment to “things”, something I have ruminated on for many, many years. I don’t think I’m ready to write about that yet. But I will in a while. Right now, I am still coming off the shock and fear and surreality of the last couple of days, feeling a wee bit of PTSD, and hoping that the sunshine will stick around for a while.

This was the 100 year flood that was way overdue. Meteorologists say that it was so bad, it probably won’t happen again for 1,000 years. I know that, either way, I am glad I won’t be around to see it again.

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After yesterday’s whine, I started out today making lists in a new notebook.  It’s really garish, so should be hard for me to lose, even among the evil clutter of the cottage.  It’s good for me to make lists.  Lists serve as a second brain.  I suspect they will continue to do so until I can instill some stillness and quietude into my mind. 

One of my friends says that meditation is a good tool for adding stillness – and would be good for me.   I tend to think this might be true, but where does the time come from?  I am already making time for exercise.  And now I must add something else to the mix that involves taking care of myself ?  Preposterous!!

I never used to like meditating.  I always returned from a session feeling a little bit “off”, as if the universe had shifted just a hairs-breadth while I was away.  It was disturbing.  It reminds me of the feeling you have when you’ve experienced a very small earthquake, like something stable has been ever-so-slightly disarranged.  I voiced this concern to my Mother, who had recommended meditation to me during my turbulent teens.  Given how it made me feel, she agreed that it was probably wrong for me.  I know now that part of what she was saying (or rather not saying), was that I wasn’t protecting myself properly.

The concept of psychic protection is an interesting one.  I am only recently re-learning to surround myself with the white light, the blue eggshell, to take refuge in the safe spaces of my soul when dipping my toes into other realms.  Mother gave me some guidance around the white light, as did a few weeks at Theosophy Camp during the my 15th summer.  More recently, I have received some instruction in this technique from my wonderful Shaman.  It’s not something that comes to me readily, but I have a strong sense that it’s something I need to cultivate, especially these days.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t think that meditation would require psychic protection.  But I guess in my case, it does.   Something related to that sensitivity or “shine”, no doubt, makes me more vulnerable to the strange swirlings of crossed-over worlds.

Anyway, I was reading a few things on meditation in my web travels last night.  The Zazen school insists you must take a class – can’t learn it from a book – and sit with a ramrod-stiff spine.  OK, I don’t buy that.  A couple of other sites were entirely too woo-woo.  “Just breathe and clear your mind – it’s that simple.”  Don’t buy that either.  I don’t want to contemplate my navel – it’s too hard to see past my boobs.   Thinking about the word “EON” makes my head hurt.  There’s got to be a technique out there that feels simpatico for me.  Maybe I just need to try it, instead of looking for the answer in the written word.  And as Yoda likes to say, “There is no try, there is only do.”  (He may have added “..or do not,”  but I don’t remember.  I’m not as up on my Yoda as I might be.)

I’ll keep you posted.

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I don’t want you to miss out on your history lessons for the day:

Today is Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln’s wedding anniversary.

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Lincoln wedding

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It’s also Walter Cronkite’s birthday.  He was my favorite anchorman of all time, the one I grew up with, and learned about the Vietnam War with.  He was slightly older than my father, and his daughter is about the same age as me, so I felt “close” to them.  His daughter must be having a difficult day today.  I know I am.  Today is my father’s birthday as well.  But I can tell her, as with everything after your father dies, the first one without him is the hardest.

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It is the 109th Anniversary of the Tube in London.  I have never had the privilege of riding the Tube, but I have admired the signs.

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And it is – in what strikes me as a remarkable coincidence – the 676th and the 43rd anniversary of the massive flooding of the River Arno, which nearly destroyed Florence, Italy on both occasions.  No pictures are available from 1333, but here’s one from 1966:

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Finally, it is Zero-Tasking Day, and I have already been remarkably busy.  Time to celebrate by doing nothing!

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