Thursday Rant: I HATE YOU RAIN!!

My feelings exactly

My feelings exactly

I live in northern Colorado, the epicenter of the recent flooding. It has not been fun. Do you remember the scene from Forrest Gump where Lieutenant Dan is on the boat screaming at the storm? That pretty much epitomizes how I have felt this week. OK, I’m being a little over dramatic, but just a little.

Here is a synopsis of the past 10 days:

Saturday, 9/7: The gutters on my home were in bad shape, so I removed them. Since we live in the high desert of Colorado, I wasn’t in a big hurry to put new ones on. “It probably won’t rain for another month!” Queue the evil laughing and suspenseful music please.

Post hole/mud hell

Post hole/mud hell

Sunday: I finished digging 11 huge post holes in my yard. These were for a couple decks I’m putting in. After I was done, the yard looked like it had been bombed. There were huge piles of dirt everywhere. Digging post holes is miserable work. I am a computer programmer and have the body to match. I am the “before picture” in one of those GET HUGE!!! ads in the back of men’s magazines. My body ached. (Mrs. 1500 note: I dug half of one of the holes, thank you very much.)

Monday: This is the day it started raining. In one hour, we received more rain than June, July and August combined. With the dirt piles everywhere and no gutter, our yard turned into a muddy mess. To add insult, the rain washed a bunch of dirt back into the post holes. We have a small yard and there was just nowhere to move the dirt. (Mrs. 1500 note: Since Mr. 1500 has a job, it turned into MY job to set up totes to catch the rain that gutters would normally have removed. Then it became my job to remove the water from said totes. Of course, the submersible pump didn’t fit on the garden hose, so I had to bail water out with a bucket and toss around the yard.)

Tuesday: More rain, more mud. I dug out my post holes again in preparation for the building inspector on Thursday. (Mrs. 1500 note: three trips to Home Depot to get the right parts, and now the submersible pump works. Thank God! Now, instead of bailing water with a bucket, I run around in the backyard moving the pump.)

Wednesday: Even more rain. I watched out the window as my post holes filled up again and yelled profanities loudly. It then rained harder. I called off the building inspection. We also bought some gutters and threw them up quickly. (Mrs. 1500 note: It is a blessing in disguise that those old gutters were removed. They would have dumped enormous quantities of water directly behind the house, possibly flooding it, certainly doing something bad to it.)

The "BRIDGE NOT SAFE TO CROSS SIGN" makes me laugh because there is no more bridge. Only way you're getting across is if you can pull off a Dukes of Hazzard maneuver.

The “BRIDGE NOT SAFE TO CROSS SIGN” makes me laugh because there is no more bridge. Only way you’re getting across is if you can pull off a Dukes of Hazzard maneuver.

Thursday: The mud really hit the fan on this day. It rained like mad. At about 3pm, we were told to evacuate the neighborhood. We talked it over with the neighbors and all of us decided to stay.  Many of the adjoining roads were not given the order and they were lower than us. Besides, the river would have had to rise another 20′ for us to have been in any danger. (Mrs. 1500 note: I had left the house and crossed the river for what would be the last time over the bridge less than 1000 feet from our house. We went to swimming lessons, and by the time they were over, the river had risen above its banks and all roads across it were flooded and closed. We were less than a mile from home, but had to drive 20 miles south and 15 miles west just to cross the river at a point that had not yet flooded.)

However, we did notice that we could clearly hear the river from our house. Usually, the river is a little creek, 1000′ away. Now it had turned into roaring rapids and was within 500′ of us.

Friday: It actually stopped raining for a bit today. The sun came out and one of our neighbors threw a spontaneous party. Wooo!

Saturday: It hardly rained at all. Was the worst over? I dug out the *&^%ing post holes again.

Sunday: Nope. It rained like mad all day. More dirt washed into my *&^%ing, *&@#, &*%$ post holes. You’re probably wondering why I continued to fight this ridiculous battle. It’s because the rain is my enemy and I couldn’t let it win.

Anyway, we were given another evacuation order which we again ignored. I sat home and watched the Bears beat the Vikings (sorry Buck). I went to take a shower later that evening and found that there was no hot water. The hot water heater is in the crawlspace. Oh rain, don’t let it be true. But it was true. I went down to the crawlspace to check things out and discovered 3 things;

  • Bad: The sump pump was not working.
  • Worse: There was water everywhere.
  • &%$@#!*: Our almost new hot water heater was sitting in a puddle of water. WHEN WILL IT END!!!! Turns out, not quite yet.

Monday: Against all odds, the building inspector showed up and approved our post holes. I was surprised because I thought he would have had better things to do with all of the flood chaos our town had endured. I also rigged the hot water heater to work (don’t ask) until I waited for a new part to arrive.

Tuesday: We moved quickly to get cement poured in the post holes. It was miserable work, but we got 8 of them done. Have you ever carried 66, 80-pound bags of concrete? Again, the computer programmer body just isn’t built for it.

Wednesday: The rain came back again today and kicked me in the nuts again. We had 30 minutes of a really powerful storm. Remember those 3 remaining post holes? I’ll be doing more digging. I also learned that our hot water heater (again, less than 2 years old) is probably headed for the scrap heap. RAIN, I HATE YOU.

Right now, I feel beaten. My back is sore, my arms and shoulders hurt like hell. There is mud everywhere. Nothing is dry.

I started thinking things over though. You have to put events like this in perspective. No matter how bad life is kicking you down, you can always find things to be thankful for.

I have all new friends. The river, which usually cannot be seen from our street, was in plain site when the flooding was going on. The end of our street became a prime viewing area for neighbors to keep an eye on the rising waters. We met all kinds of new people who we have already seen again since the night of the party.

I still have my home. Many folks are camping out now at shelters because their home is in 50,000 pieces down the river somewhere. Even if my home was washed away, I would have had the money to buy another one.

I still have my life. As of now, 8 are dead and many more are unaccounted for. The death toll is going to go up.

IMG_6360

Thursday morning: What is that bright yellow orb in the sky? I don’t understand.

Finally, all of this rain told me that I moved to the right place. When the flooding was at its worst, the scene was surreal. People were walking everywhere because roads were shut down or flooded. There were helicopters everywhere. The streets were full of National Guard Humvees. It was nuts.

However, the community came together. On one of our walks, we noticed how a group of neighbors banded together to help put sandbags in front of a home in harm’s way. I checked the town’s Twitter feed and saw that they were asking people not to volunteer. I thought this was odd, but then discovered that so many people had signed up, they just couldn’t use anyone else. People really were going out of their way to help the less fortunate and it was awesome to see.

Rain, I still hate you.

Last Mrs. 1500 note: There was a report on the news yesterday about how people are staying behind in their homes rather than being rescued by helicopters, the ONLY way out of their town, because they want to stay with their pets. This is unbelievable to me. On the one hand, I completely understand wanting to take care of your animals. When you sign on to be a pet owner, you are responsible for that pet, and you must take care of it. If you don’t want to take care of it, then don’t have a pet. On the other hand, you are literally risking your life to take care of said pet, and I don’t think that is really in the contract. I don’t know the specifics, but why aren’t the rescuers offering to bring the animals, too?

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25 Responses to Thursday Rant: I HATE YOU RAIN!!

  1. Executioner says:

    I remember hearing that during the Katrina evacuations, the rescuers would bring people, but not pets. Therefore a huge tragedy occurred as pets were left behind to fend for themselves and likely die. I assume the same rules are in place for the Colorado evacuations. As a pet-owner myself, I’m not sure that I would accept an offer to evacuate by air if it meant that my dogs would be doomed to death, especially as flood waters are receding. If I didn’t have provisions on hand to survive an extended period without services (think wood stove, water filter, canned food, etc), I think I’d try to find a way to hike out with my pets in tow. Obviously this isn’t an option for everyone due to varying levels of physical fitness from one person to the next, the necessary gear on hand to hike (and possibly camp) for several days, and the specifics of the terrain you have to deal with.
    Executioner recently posted…The Nonexistent Part-Time PositionMy Profile

    • Mrs. 1500 says:

      It is just a sad situation all around. I just wish they could bring their animals, so there would not be further loss of life. The death toll will rise.

  2. Buck says:

    Wowee. Stay strong, 1500’s. We’ve been thinking a lot about you guys this past week.

    As an aside, a buddy was able to get tix to the Monday night Packer’s game in early Nov. I’ll be able to root against the Bears again then 🙂

  3. It really is amazing what rain can do. Sometimes you have to be there and see it to really understand what is going on. I grew up in a desert – our river was a dry river bed most of the year – but when it rained a lot, the raging rapids were something to behold and to take very seriously. The desert earth just isn’t built to endure the level of saturation that our ground can take here in FL.
    Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted…Extending the ~5 Year Consumer Product LifecycleMy Profile

    • Mrs. 1500 says:

      Our dirt isn’t designed to take it, either. So sad. Our neighborhood was unscathed by the flooding. The news makes the little 1500’s scared, so I am not seeing a lot of images. Then you see some, and it just makes your mouth drop.

  4. That is flipping crazy stuff. Thank God that things weren’t worse and that you were able to keep a good attitude, & even laugh about it. And yeah, it’s rad that your community came together so well during the flooding. Blessing in disguise?
    Done by Forty recently posted…How We Negotiate, Part IIMy Profile

    • Mrs. 1500 says:

      It was very nice to have met all the neighbors, but I really wish all the flooding hadn’t happened to other families. Really sad. And the problem is that it hit the people who could least afford it.

  5. Brandy says:

    I agree with Executioner. I could not under any means leave my pets to suffer. They are my family, my only family. Its my job to be there for them. I would get out on my own but I could never leave my pet or any pet behind.

    I’d be hiking holding my pets with squirrals, rabbits, chipmunks, possums. I’d look like Noahs Ark by the time I’m done.

    • Mrs. 1500 says:

      Brandy, it is really sad that these people have to make such a difficult decision. The biggest problem is that every single road into and out of many of these mountain towns have been washed away, winter is coming, you can’t pour concrete after a certain temperature, and the roads may not be rebuilt before late next spring. The rescuers are telling these people that they will not be able to come back for them, and they need to leave now. Such a difficult decision to make in a split second…

  6. Ree Klein says:

    First, I’m so sorry for the people, and their families, who lost their lives during the recent rains. Mother Nature can deal some nasty blows…

    You’re hysterical account of the last week and your hatred of the rain makes is all a bit more tolerable. I love the bantering between you and Mrs. 1500; you are both so funny in your own rights, but together…! I think you should have your own comedy show. Maybe let some camera men come live with you and record it all!

    I hope things get back to normal and you build an awesome deck 🙂

    Ree
    Ree Klein recently posted…Survey Sunday: When You Look Back on Your Life, What Will You Say?My Profile

  7. anna says:

    That’s so sad that there’s been deaths and so many unaccounted for. I haven’t been hearing it on the news, so I figured it stopped. Sorry to hear that it’s not the case, I really hope it stops soon. Please take care, 1500’s!
    anna recently posted…International Haggling for Fun and KicksMy Profile

    • Mrs. 1500 says:

      Thanks, Anna. Torrential downpour for about an hour yesterday afternoon, another one this morning that knocked out the power for about an hour. Go away rain.

  8. Micro says:

    Wow, I don’t know how I would manage having to re-dig those post holes over and over again. I hate having to redo work a 2nd time. I don’t know how I would feel about having multiple repeats of the process. I think I’d be looking for some TNT, lol.
    Micro recently posted…Did moving save me money?My Profile

  9. Most shelters won’t take animals, so the rescuers won’t take the animals either. It’s primarily an allergy thing – prioritizing human life and safety over animal safety. Even knowing *why* the animals are not being rescued, as a pet owner, it still sucks royally.
    Mom @ Three is Plenty recently posted…Credit Card Travel NotificationMy Profile

  10. Carla says:

    I was really sad about the pets, so I did some Googling. Turns out, rescuers are taking pets, and shelters are doing temporary housing. I don’t know how recent the change is though?
    http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2021859291_apuscoloradofloodingpets.html
    http://www.summitdaily.com/news/8189918-113/pets-humane-societies-society

  11. Simon Elstad says:

    Sounds like an awful experience and yet even in the thick of it you haven’t lost your humor. Inspiring.
    That said, our thoughts (and prayers) are with you and other affected families, there is really little one can do when mother nature strikes apart from let her spend herself of her fury.
    Best wishes
    Simon Elstad recently posted…Lending Club Review – Peer to Peer Lending Platform ReviewMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Thanks Simon! Awful is right, but things are looking up now, for me at least. There are plenty of others who will suffer for quite a while.

  12. Wow, that is quite the adventure, Mr. 1500. For sure you bought in the right neighborhood! I’m not sure the community would have come together so well in your old ‘hood!
    Pretired Nick recently posted…What is the best way to invest $100,000?My Profile

  13. Wow! What a story.

    Glad you & the Mrs are safe, your house is still standing, and you’re now extremely fit after having dug about a zillion post-holes.

    Am told by friends in Denver that the temps are dropping there — apparently lows in the 30s are expected. Hope you’re fully dried out by now!

    If I thought there was a reasonable shot at reaching safe ground on my own, I would never allow myself to be “evacuated” and forced to leave my sidekick behind. That’s immoral.

    However, if a fire were bearing down and it was a choice of leaving the animal(s) and getting out alive or staying with them and dying, of course I would flee.

    That’s why I don’t live in a flood plain or in an area where forest fires or brushfires are likely. Probably if I did live in such a place, I wouldn’t keep animals around.
    Funny about Money recently posted…Hounds!My Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Thanks! Ha, I’m still pretty skinny, but Mrs. 1500 tells me my shoulders are more muscular. I don’t believe it though!

      Yes, temperature is nice here now. It warms up during the day, but cools off very nicely at night. There is also snow in the mountains now. Woo!

  14. Frank says:

    I for one would not make arrangements to evacuate without including my dogs in the plan. I think rescuers should draw up a plan to include pets as they rescue people.

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