Thursday, May 13, 2010

Review - The Flood pt. 4: The End is Just the Beginning

And now for something completely dif- well, mostly the same.
Everyone loves before and after right?

You can sort of tell how far this goes down the ravine. The water had to rise up before flooding us. I couldn't get a good angle, but it goes down about thirty or forty feet.

See this field?

Another shot. Now take a look again at the picture I showed you last week below.

The field above is the giant lake I talked about.

Here's some more perspective. Off in the distance you can see the baseball diamond.

Closer up. Now see below again, what it looked like, the day after the storms, when the water had already receded some.

This should hopefully give you a better idea of what overtook my place, since this is just separated by the ravine.

So here I am. I'm alive and healthy (other than having a sudden bad reaction to a peanut. Weird since I've been eating them for years) and my brother is alive and healthy. This is what matters most.

I had some destroyed notebooks that contained thousands of ideas that I had no room for in my overcrowded head. I lost the first chapter of a book I had recently begun writing. Many pictures and personal files were destroyed. These things are mostly what I'm sad to lose. Everything else is just stuff. Well, I miss my pillow, but that's because I'm allergic to a lot of detergents. But the point is, it's not really that important.

I had more stuff in my apartment then I normally would. Two days before the storms, we had brought several boxes from storage, intent on finally clearing out a unit full of stuff that had been kicking around forever. My late grandfather's weird little trinkets he'd left behind. My two late sister's stuff that just laid around not being used. All kinds of various crap each of us has accrued over the years.  

Sure the floods took out stuff I intended on still using, and some of what it destroyed, I would have sold. But it served to emphasize the conclusion that I had reached long before; It's only stuff. And I know that's something that everyone says, after a disaster, but it's true. After being stuck in a rut for years, seemingly unable to break out,  maybe a clean slate is what I needed. Course now I still have a storage unit full of stuff, that I can't sort and sell yet, but that's just a temporary setback.

No matter what, life is funny. You can laugh and make jokes or you can sit around and cry. Between you and me, I've done a little of both this past week. Which is alright. I'm sure after awhile there will be things that I'll miss. I know for years I'll be pondering over what else was in the apartment that I missed. Right now my concern is finding a job and moving on. 

The past couple weeks has been somewhat unorthodox as far as how I usually like to blog, but if you'll indulge me just a few moments more, I'd like to post the fragment of a poem that I found on one of the few readable pages of a destroyed notebook. Normally I keep my poetry separate on my poetry blog, but this piece seems fitting to me:

Take the day
Frame it
In glass with a real wooden frame
And hang it on my wall
For all
To see
Everything, admired
Is starting to unfold
And the only things that matter
Can't be held within these walls
So take the day
A picture,
A placard,
Your name.


  1. Those pictures really help show what the flooding was like. I can imagine getting that much rain ever. Glad you guys are fine, and I wish you the best of luck in reassembling everything. :)

  2. Wow, your pictures really put things into perspective. I'm sorry that this hit where you are and that you've lost some things (especially writing!), but you're right. It's only stuff. It makes you appreciate the rest!

  3. Amazing pictures--really puts things in perspective!

  4. That's beautiful and profound, TS. It seems destined that this piece should was one of the few readable ones left at this time. Breath by breath, keep finding your strength.

  5. god, i'm so sorry. i totally understand about losing photos & journals. that's the worst. i hope things improve for you soon. good luck!

  6. I cannot even begin to imagine.

    As far as the peanut reaction careful. A friend of mine had eaten peanuts for years with no problem - then one day - allergic reaction. She didn't think anything of it. Next time she had peanut butter, her throat closed in on her and she had to go to the hospital. She is now severely allergic to peanuts - and never was before. Just a heads up.

  7. The before and after pictures are very enlightening. I'm glad you were able to save what you could, but I understand the pain of losing things you've personally created. So sorry.

    And nice poem. I liked it. How long ago did you write it? I'm just curious because of how fitting it is now.

  8. Marlene, You're right, I will watch to see that I don't have another bad reaction.

    Rep, I wrote it a couple months back. I actually have a history of writing things that seem to fit, before an event happens. I'm like Edgar Cayce without the sleep or marketability.

  9. the pictures were, what i thought, highly effective before.... and even MORE effective with the before and after.... it is true that those material things are just things.... the thoughts and ideas and notebooks and photos are probably the hardest to lose.... these are the feelings that i can relate to the most.... people hold onto these things as if they have SUPER great meaning (and i'm sure that some of them DO have great meaning....) but in the end, they are just things.... those things come into your life, and they leave your life.... it's the PEOPLE.... the LOVE.... the BONDS.... that you carry in your heart FOREVER.... i'm telling you.... THAT is one of the main reasons i absolutely LOVE nursing.... it reminds me DAILY that life is just full of things.... and you bicker about the smallest, most irrelevant, unimportant things.... and you harbor anger, hurt, and or sadness.... what about the wonderful things in your life??? we lose sight of those far more often than we should.... the wonderful gifts we are blessed with daily.... like waking up to another sunrise.... i loved your poem! i love that you, in the midst of ALL that has gone on these past few weeks, have maintained such a positive attitude.... it's contagious you know.... =)

  10. It sucks that so much stuff got ruined.... It's nice to see that you've got such a great attitude about it!

    Stuff can be replaced but life can not.... Keep that positive attitude!

  11. Despite its darker nature, Tool's Aenema also seems fitting, hopefully the flood does serve as a new start man, and this blog should attest to the great new things to come! Awesome (but terrible) pics TS, amazing.. When the inevitable earthquake destroys my condo, I will return the favor

  12. I think we all have a fear of losing our possessions in a disaster like this, but you have actually lived through it. Makes me rethink my attachment to my elephant collection. :)

    I'm sorry for your losses, TS (the ones that weren't just stuff). I hope things are becoming a little more normal for you now.

  13. Oy. Just read through the 4 parts. Rough stuff. Glad you and the brother came out ok - though I'd be pretty upset about the lost ideas and trinkets.

    Hope the job search is going/went well.


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