"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Sunday, May 24, 2015

An Auspicious Beginning

We were so close.

A three day week-end with all three kids, and their kids, here for some or all of it, working together to build a tree house…a forever tree house.  Design the thing, pulling input from engineers of all stripes. Buy the wood, nails, ladders, bolts. Make a menu, stock up on groceries, drinks, snacks. Throw a puzzle or two into the mix and some panchos for the possibility of rain now and then. We could handle a little rain….now and then.


We made a great beginning.  The supplies arrived on one of the few clear days we have had.  I tarped it
because, let's be honest, it has rained most days for a month and there was no use being Pollyannaish about the endeavor.
      The Korenaks arrived with tools and man power and the building began. One man and two boys in tool belts, with hammers in hand, started at the beginning. We got the legs up and the floor brace in place and bolted tightly to the tree. This is one of the two boys. We were short on men.

Zane and I even managed to pull a few onions before lunch. Our first of the season.

Then it began to rain, and continued to rain for the rest of the day and some of the night.  There would be no more building that day.  We brought out the quilts and had "hot choco" on the porch. Tricyles zoomed back and forth. The sandbox was thoroughly dug. Puzzles were begun, books were read, movies were watched. Spaghetti and green beans were enjoyed for supper, along with birthday cake for Audra.

A peaceful night followed with no crying babies. Hooray! I had wonderful dreams of Danny.

Early in the morning Zane and I peeked out the east door to see if the rain had stopped. It had.  However, there was a roar of water coming from beyond the trees. We slipped out of the house, donned our rain boots and made the first of many walks to the bridge to check the water level.

Skeleton Creek was out of its banks and all the way to LP and Martha's driveway. Not yet across the road, but up. "Big creek's up", as we say.

When the creek floods, the water runs red with shale and flows fast to the south. The few swallows who nest under the bridge were out and upset about the possibility of losing their nests.  They probably will be fine because it rarely (I've never seen it) reaches the top.  Zane said it looked like the river of chocolate he had seen in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" a day or two before. It did in fact.
We saw no bodies, human or otherwise, floating by, but  did see several tree limbs and lots of debris. One entire tree trunk lodged crossways against the upright, swinging back and forth in the current.  Zane swore the bridge was moving and not the tree. It wasn't, but you know that feeling I'm sure.  That bridge was built for the flood of all floods and this wasn't that one.
      We walked on and placed a gauging rock at the spot where the water was highest. We found a 5 gallon green plastic bucket in the middle of the road. It should serve us well for housing the turtles we will find this week for Farm Camp. (Yes, that's coming up next week-end….rain or no rain.)  I took him into our little church, which is where we go if a tornado comes, just so he'll know the place if we ever have to use it.
    We came back home, had a great breakfast with the family and began adding support beams to the tree house.  Rowan and Zane hammered a few more nails on their practice boards and took a wander through Maggie's Wood with me. The mosquitoes were fierce and forced us back to the patio.
     We talked Zach into taking a break and joining us for a snack on the porch.

The forecast for today was 100% for rain, all afternoon. The same is expected for tomorrow.
It made no sense for people to come out to the farm if there was the possibility of being unable to get back out again. (Actually, once the creek is 'up' it usually goes back down in a few hours, as it did today. By 4:00 it was back in its banks despite rainfall all afternoon. But I'm jumping ahead.) 

We placed the calls and the others decided to stay in OKC. *sigh*

It began to sprinkle….which quickly turned into honest to god rain. Lunch was served to the little ones. The van was packed up and the Korenaks headed back to the City so Audra could work tomorrow. Sad faces all around. The tree house is an ongoing project and I look forward to having the family out often to work on it.

      Later this afternoon, after returning home from a visit with the neighbors, I heard sirens. We hardly ever hear sirens out here in the country. If we do hear them, it means one of our close neighbors and friends is hurt. This time the ambulance turned west and came down our road. Impossible. Besides the three households in this valley, there are only three more until you get to the highway and they wouldn't have come this way for those three.
      They were lost, it turns out, and came flying back by very soon, heading east.  In that direction there are more friends. I called some houses to check on people. No one answered. Later, when I called again, I learned that someone had discovered an oilfield truck overturned in a creek east of here. There was a search for bodies for awhile. The owner of the truck was found to be on the rig and working.
Thank goodness, a false alarm this time.
     The wind sound weird to the west of here and I hear rumbling thunder in the distance. I'm off to check on the weather for tonight, before I hit the sack.

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