Now, you know we've been getting rain. We found this water in our mudroom Sunday morning. It doesn't really hurt much of anything, but it's a mess to clean up...
So I was doing that, when a friend called about what was happening in Upper Canyon. You won't believe what a dose of perspective we got yesterday.
The Rio Ruidoso is really just a creek most of the time and in most places, you can walk in it or through it or jump over it. You can catch fish in it where it pools near bridges and stuff. But most folks don't really think of it as a river anymore.
On Sunday it was a raging river doing untold destruction.
Behind our Chamber of Commerce
I'm glad I didn't see it going over this bridge. The culvert under this bridge is big enough to drive a car through. When I saw it, the water wash washing against and over the top.
Two Rivers Park: Just one river today; over the banks, through the playground, and into the street. We couldn't get further up this road, but could see the river roaring over it in the distance.
I heard he bought this property just a few weeks ago. That fence is brand new, and wasn't placed in water! Used to have a huge back yard. I guess he will again, but he won't think about it quite the same.
Oh, yeah? (the small print says, "No River Access")
This and the next two were taken by my friend Frank. Can you begin to imagine what this woman must be thinking?
This is in our Midtown area.
Don't know just where this is...
This and the next two were taken by my friend, Carol.
This is another view of the area above (Midtown area). Brand spanking new condo complex...bottom floor is sure to be flooded.
Thanks Carol & Frank for your pictures and permission to use them.
News last night showed a house being undermined by the river, then we saw the river lift it off its foundation and carry it down. Just a few feet further, it hit trees or the bank or something and just split apart. I understand that there are nine bridges out in town. One of them was brand new! We went into Upper Canyon where a lot of damage is, but didn't have our cameras. There will be some people still stranded in the back end of it who are unable to get out of the canyon at all. Over 500 people have been evacuated.
We heard rumors of 3 dead, but news does not confirm that. KWES radio does report one death. There were several swift-water rescues when people got swept up or knocked down by the current. One story told of a couple who were pulling furniture & stuff off their deck: just as they stepped back, the river took the deck completely off their house. They missed going with it by just seconds.
And all of Ruidoso must boil water, I think. I've heard that from only one news source, but it seems like a good idea. Update: I'm now hearing that the boil water order is limited to some specific areas, not our neighborhood, thankfully, though we've boiled some to be sure.
Oddly, it was business as usual for most of the area. Restaurants were busy, midtown shopping was brisk, lots of us were out to see what was happening. Traffic was very slow everywhere because so many roads were/are closed.
"When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
On the roof, it's peaceful as can be
And there the world below can't bother me
Let me tell you now" From the Drifters, by way of Gerry Goffin and Carole King
The gutters needed cleaning. Ok; I can do that, right? Sure! We didn't get pictures of that - I wish we had; it was work. and Nasty! ugh! or...yeeuuuuuuwww! But I did it, and I love braggin' about stuff like that. And I really like that our roof is so easy to access. So that was very cool. And we realized that if we put gutter guards up, we might not have to do this nasty job again; or at least, not too soon.
We found some at Lowe's. Perfect; inexpensive... They're still just partly done. See, if you're on the roof, you can reach into the gutters (with a tool) pretty easily and without hanging over too far. For the guards, though, one must snap the little critters onto the outside lip of the gutter. And that's hanging over, as far as I'm concerned! Some of them are still not up. sigh...
Then, last night we noticed some seepage thru a cinderblock and concrete wall in the mudroom. That's not too awful - the mudroom is all concrete floors and nothing is really there...just a mudroom.
I thought that it had just rained so much over so many days, that the ground was saturated...water had to go somewhere. And THEN Joel noticed that a gutter in the back of the house is overflowing - right above the seeping spot.
I hadn't even thought about it. There are no trees within 30 feet of the back of the house. How could it be full?! ...well, it was, and now we have seeping/leaking and it's raining like a son of a gun with predictions that it will continue for a couple of days!
So, I guess I get to go up on the roof, again. I made Joel go get the camera so I could prove it, and I made her stay on the upper deck so someone would hear me scream if that turned out to be a good idea...
The cats found a nice dry spot to watch and comment. Chortling is not attractive in your own cats.
But it's all done now, and I've got the photos to prove it:
I also found out, during both of these operations that I love being on the roof; I MUST go up barefooted, and I'm freaking terrified of falling off things. AND I proved once again, that I am terrific at 'doing things scared'. So there!
This has come around to my inbox so many times that it is clearly popular. This is the best video I've seen of it and I decided to place it here to keep it archived. It is old video, and those who've documented this believe that Christian the lion has most likely passed on. How wonderful to have this kind of memory of him.
A friend (Thanks, Frank) sent a wonderful slide show of animal baby photos with an incredible vocal performance of this wonderful song. The artist wasn't credited, and in the search for her I'm finding some other moving performances, so...
This post will be entirely video versions of Over the Rainbow. If I find a way to post the slide show, I will. I just want to have these here together for my personal edification. Enjoy, if you've a mind to... :)
Simply MUST start here, with Judy:
Then, Israel Kamakawiwo'o:
Then the beautiful guitar of Tommy Emmanuel: (Jim, this one's for you)
One of my personal favorites, Katharine McPhee:
And who could resist the charm of Britain's 6 yr. old Connie Talbot
Now, I'm dating myself, but I must include Doris Day:
And a beautiful rendition by Eva Cassidy:
It's Eva in the slide show... maybe not the same recording, but her voice none the less...just lovely. And even more poignant when I learned that this angelic voice now resides in an actual angel somewhere...Eva passed in 1996 at the age of 33.
You still inspire, Eva. Thanks.
Found a new one - a dobro ditty:
Looks like I can't 'embed' these anymore... but here are some more versions (added 9-27-11)
Today, my friends Jim & Vanessa got married. It was a small and perfect wedding in a beautiful setting in the Hondo valley, about 25 miles east of our mountains. Some of you art fans may remember Peter Hurd, a wonderful artist who lived & painted here. The wedding and brunch was held on some of that property and the recent rains made everything lush and gorgeous.
There was beautiful classical guitar provided by a local virtuoso, Tomas Vigil. There were red roses everywhere. And, of course, I cried - just a little. I LOVE to cry at weddings.
Vanessa thought of providing fans as favors; each one inscribed and dated. They came in handy now & then though the day was truly perfect. And Jim thought of giving each of us a carved turquoise bead tied to a tiny card with a quote from his favorite poet, Kahil Gibran. He asked us to put it in a pocket or purse or somewhere, and to think of them and send them love & good wishes for their first month together as husband & wife. I think that is an extremely cool thing to do.
I'm holding mine now. I already love them. And now, there is an 'us' to them, in a different way than there has been before. It's easy to wish them well. I'll do it every day. Thanks for including me.
I didn't take my camera to the wedding, but I did take this one for my own memories...
"Let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit." - Kahlil Gibran
As usual with airlines, we went to Florida from New Mexico by way of Denver. Considering the 3hr drive to the airport from home, you'll realize that Tuesday was devoted to traveling...ALL of Tuesday. We arrived in Orlando about 10:30 and by the time we got the shuttle to the hotel, we were pooped.
Dad picked us up the next morning and took us back to his home in Rockledge about 40 minutes east. We spent that day and one night there, then repacked for Clearwater - our favorite beach and our chosen fireworks location. We had such a good time there! As you can see, the 3rd & 4th were as different as two days could be.
Clearwater Beach ~ July 3rd
What a day this was. We were able to find parking close to the beach. No crowds. We found a little restaurant with great grouper sandwiches. While I waited to take them back to the beach, I indulged in a shot (tequila, Laura) and a beer. We're old pros at keeping our picnic out of the hands of marauding sea gulls. The weather was cool & overcast, but that was fine with us; we'd forgotten how HOT Florida is!
Clearwater Beach ~ July 4th
Clearwater on the 4th was another matter entirely. We thought we were there early, arriving about 9:30, but no. Parking was already non-existent, so I let Joel out with 90% of our stuff and headed off on a parking search. I'm not even going to tell you what I paid to park that car, but it was covered and walkable. By the time I schlepped back, Joel had us set up in a great spot. The photo with the two umbrellas is our little piece of beachfront property. It was great fun.
I think we enjoyed watching the little kids more than anything. Some were clearly first-timers and there seemed to be no half measures: either parents couldn't keep them OUT of the water, or the couldn't get them IN. Just way too cute & funny. We had a great day, used tons of sunscreen and got burned anyway, and watched the crowds ebb & flow. By sunset it was beginning to clear out and the crowd was changing to teen couples. We moved our stuff up to the walkway and picked out a spot for watching fireworks. FUN! We both love fireworks and enjoyed both the planned display and the impromptu exhibits from the beach visitors.
We didn't really know how everything was planned though. We didn't know that the fireworks had been set off from the causeway, or that the causeway was closed to traffic after it was filled up with cars. We didn't know that there was no other way off the island. So... I didn't know that my 10 minute walk back to the car would then leave me with a 80 minute 'drive' back to Joel and the beach. And then another who-knows-how-long drive back to our motel. Everyone was in a good mood, though, and all in the same boat. There may have been trouble somewhere, but we only had fun!
Sebastian Inlet is near Barefoot Bay where we lived for about a year in 2004. This map is a good place to look if you want to take a bird's eye view of the coastline.
We happened to go there on a day they were having a regional surfing contest and watched this young man teaching his two boys about the glories of surfing. too cute.
Lone Cabbage ~ Restaurant & Airboats ~ on the St. John's River
This ride was a ton o fun! Even though the river was low and our ride was only 30 minutes, we saw 3-4 times the number of gators as we did on a longer ride 4 years ago. And beautiful skies, lots of birds. The 3rd picture shows a decent shot of a Great Blue Herring as our guide consistently called the heron. So, he's cute & funny; he doesn't have to be smart, too.
For much of the time, we explored places where we had lived. We saw a lot of the wildfire damage from this summer south of Melbourne. And there was still damage visible from the hurricanes of 04. I'm happy to say that Barefoot Bay looked pretty good. It was hit hard just a few months after we left. It is clear that a few just cleared off, left the foundation and moved on. But most were repaired or replaced and were again homey & welcoming.
Our favorite marina was partly still there. Boats are moored and a new building is under construction, but our favorite seafood restaurant was gone with the wind...
Dad & Frankie in Rockledge ~ and Birthday Girl, Alison with hubby Bob and the travelers in Vero Beach