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My vision is to create a business from my garden, so that I can afford to leave my job, have the garden as income, and paint and write. I also want my customers to read the story of my garden, look at pictures, and get an idea of the process of the work of the garden.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

It's been a while, but I needed to take some time away from writing.

We had dramatic weather from Hurricane Ivan moving through the area, but not as bad as other places. First the rain. We woke up at 6 am with the rain of biblical proportions coming down, and knew we needed to get up and secure things.

There is a very hilly area right behind the house, and the water was coming down in a torrent such as I have never seen in the eight years since we have lived here. The basement was collecting water and filling up. We figured out what to do, or rather my husband did.

The basement has a cement floor, with a channel for water to run through, out a drain in the southeastern wall, through which the water passes, runs under the side yard, and out another drainhole onto the road. But we had so much water coming in at one time that it began to build up too quickly to drain adequately. We also have a sort of retaining wall behind the house, and we had in a couple of years past, taken out a section to make an easy passage. Now the water was rushing through it straight for the house. My husband got a wide board and fashioned a secure barrier and diverted the water so it ran away from the house. Then the water in the basement began to drain out as it usually does.

The road however, looked like a roiling creek, as the ravine which cuts through our property was unable to keep the water from jumping onto the road instead of from under it. Boulders, soil, rocks, logs, branches, everything was being pushed down the ravine, and it clogged the drainpipe that goes under the road. So like with Hurricane Floyd in 1996, we were out on the road trying to unclog the drainpipe so the water would go under the road, as water was cutting a ditch by our stone wall next to the house and the road, and by the mailbox.

We worked on that for six hours, and the rain was beginning to abate. I walked over to my elderly neighbor's house to check on her, as we had no phone service. Then a neighbor from down the road came up to see if we were all right, as she and another friend had tried to call, but found just the busy signal that comes on if there is no service.

There we found out that they were evacuating the village, and we then drove down to see our friend and her little girl, and offered to have them come to our house. We had recently purchased a new-ish freezer, and we brought up her freezer meats and other stuff from her freezer, and they moved up to our house. I later went down with her to her house, and we tried to move books and other stuff up on the staircase, as we had no idea if the flood waters would come up that high.

On Sunday, we all went down to see the river, and it was flooding. Rushing, brown, the power of the water was amazing. Rumors were flying--there were houses coming down the river. We were all waiting for that, to see if our beloved bridge--built by John Roebling, who also built the Brooklyn Bridge, would be able to withstand the rushing water, and the impact of the houses flying downstream. And it turns out there was a house that was coming downriver, but it broke up at a railroad bridge ten miles up. The river crested at 10 feet above flood stage, my friend did get water in her basement, about two or three feet, and she and her little girl spent three nights at our house, as yesterday she still didn't have any electricity. But she does now, so they will probably move back this afternoon.

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