Day After the Flood

I woke up this morning to hear the drip, drip, drip of the leaky gutter outside my window, but for the first time in days I did not hear the falling rain. Hallelujah.

I don’t have any dramatic stories of perseverance and survival like many of friends (Pamcakes, are you okay? Please drop your kids off at my house today.) and I feel grateful and a little guilty that these last few days have been a relative cakewalk for us.

Looking at the news and internet updates, you would think that all of Boulder is screwed. The truth is, a lot of it is.

Neighborhoods have been devastated, people are sleeping in makeshift Red Cross shelters, property has been destroyed. The atmosphere is surreal, last night sirens and loudspeakers droned almost non-stop. People are walking around to survey the damage, some of them too stunned to react.

My neighbor across the street spent the day saying goodbye to ruined wedding photos and mementos of her past.  Jamestown is leveled. Eldorado Canyon is leveled. Tim’s house was washed away. Like gone. Alan’s basement flooded and he took apart his washing machine to MacGyver together a sump pump from the parts. Chelsea was completely cut off from her home in Nederland and passed people kayaking down the streets just to get here. It’s shocking.

A fish found in Pamcake's backyard .

A fish found in Pamcake’s backyard .

What is one to do but put your head down and get through the work and just feel what you are feeling and wait for it to pass?

I am fortunate that my greatest challenge is getting Blue to go outside relieve himself. He didn’t like the feeling of the slippery, sticky mud that is everywhere on his little princess paws.

This is from today’s walk through the neighborhood.

I guess there is another challenge: a persistent feeling of creeping dread. I’ve done the total house destruction thing before. I know what it is like to helplessly stand by while your home is destroyed before your eyes. I am grateful that it isn’t happening to me again but I feel shut down and tired.

I just want to hole up in my room and pretend that none of it is happening. I don’t want to talk about it, I don’t want to answer the phone, I want to bury my head in the sand.

It seems inappropriate and wrong to feel this way, but I do. Like anything else, I’ll count my blessings and try to be useful.

Again, no pictures of crap today, but maybe I’ll get some together before the day is through.

13 thoughts on “Day After the Flood

  1. I feel shell shocked and sort of awful because we fared so well. I have friends trapped in Boulder Heights without power (or diapers) and friends who lost their homes or are totally underwater and all I want to to know is who is open for a beer. I feel pretty wrong about that, but I’m grateful that we fared so well. I wish there was more I could do this moment to help others.

  2. Hi Vivian! Thanks for sharing, I lived in Boulder long ago and am super sad to see the damage! Hope everyone is hanging in there. Thoughts from L.A.

    • Thanks for the kind words. Boulder will bounce back. We drove around town and were heartened to see business as usual. People were out there, cleaning up, walking dogs, getting on with it.

  3. 2nd that from “D,” thanks for posting the photos. I’d heard Boulder got some heavy rain, but jeez…I can totally relate to the kids thinking this weather event is fun & exciting, though (if your house comes through undamaged): in 1962 when I was 8, western Oregon and northern California were hit by the “Columbus Day Storm,” 120 mph winds, devastation everywhere, etc. Our phone was out for 5 days, the power at our house out for a full week. I remember it (no room for details here) as a great adventure, right there at home! Among the memories: sawing up wood for the fireplace; reading a biography of St. Thomas More by candlelight; also a kid I knew who got killed by a down powerline. So I can totally relate. You and your boys will talk about the Great Boulder Flood for years to come…

    • As we walked around, I told the boys to remember what this looks like, what it feels like, because hopefully they will never experience it again. It has been an adventure for them. Fortunately we still have our creature comforts and can extend them to tired neighbors.

  4. UGH I HATE HATE HATE flooding. My very first post I ever made on my blog as when my house flooded… My first house. 3 weeks after we moved in. Before we paid our first mortgage payment. Yeah. It wasn’t a river, we didn’t lose our home, but I can say it sucked.

    I feel so bad for the people who have lost so much in this flood.

  5. Viv, Glad you guys are okay!! I can’t believe the footage of Boulder, Longmont, Jamestown. Terrible. Thinking of you all.

    • Hi Kir! It took me a minute to figure out who you are. You found my blog! The house is safe but Frank is missing! When’s your daughter going to move back to Boulder? She can room with us.

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