Thursday, February 13, 2020

Highs and lows of living near water

One of the advantages of living in the middle of nowhere is that nobody bats an eye if I wander down the hill in my pajamas to check on whether the creek has washed away my driveway in the night. This morning I startled a bunny as I made my careful way down the wet muddy gravel, flashlight in hand, to confirm that I would indeed be able to leave the house without swimming. Fortunately, our bridge was still standing and the driveway was intact, but who knows what might happen if the rain keeps up?

I knew the creek was getting high last night, and opening the door confirmed the danger: if I can hear our normally quiet creek from the house, it has to be pretty high. But it's impossible to tell whether water has covered the driveway without walking all the way down to the bridge, and it always makes me nervous to stand on the bridge with all that roiling water roaring underneath. Our bridge is pretty sturdy but that doesn't mean I want to be standing on it when it finally gives way.

It seems like just yesterday that the creek washed away our driveway (and garden shed and bench and tools and all kinds of other stuff), but it turns out that was way back in May of 2018. We've had a few high-water days since then but nothing quite so catastrophic, which is good because I have too much to do today to worry about finding a gravel guy and clearing debris off the bridge.

But this morning the bridge was fine and the driveway was fine and, aside from a few mud splatters on my bathrobe, I was none the worse for my early-morning walk. Now I'm on campus and I won't be home until this evening so the water has all day to recede to normal levels--or rise up higher, if that's what it wants to do. Either way, we'll find a way to cope, because that's what we do, and lately we've had plenty of practice.


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