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Posts tagged cabin

photolast night i was told that my cabin on the river is gone, wiped out by the colorado flood. my neighbor said there is nothing there to even see anymore. my neighbors have lost everything. the neighborhood i have shared for months here on the blog is under water. the owner of the ranch has been in contact with my landlord, and i read on their facebook page that all the horses and critters are safe. so far, they have only lost one horse. the place i so warmly have talked about, the place where i healed my soul, is a disaster. even if she was always housing bugs and spiders. even if there were things that were not as convenient as city living, i loved living there.

i am in a state of shock, i can’t stop crying, i couldn’t sleep last night. in fact, i couldn’t really sleep all week. it has been such a strange 5 days. monday, i woke up with the sunshine and did some errands. i came home to find that wylie dog had gotten into the grapes i had harvested from the front yard. all i have heard lately is don’t give dogs grapes. i rushed him to the emergency vet unsure if he had consumed one, two, twenty, or none. the vet suggested he stay the night to be on fluids to flush anything out, as grapes can be deadly to dogs. i left the cabin on the way to the vet with a huge storm hanging over the mountains. by the time i left the vet it was pouring. that evening, though i was a mess about my boy, the neighbors were making me dinner. i decided the best thing to do was to go have a good time and get my mind off wylie. there were two couples that lived across the river from me and we often hung out drinking wine on their river beaches, my landlord too. needless to say they became my friends and my social outlet there on the river.

it wasn’t uncommon to discuss the flood that happened here in 1976. it killed over a 140 people, and there were signs all over the neighborhood cautioning flood- climb up, not out. my parents were the first to tell me about it. i never actually thought it could happen again. we are too sophisticated and smart now, right? i thought it was impossible. plus, how could it happen to us? looking back, the word flood came up too often.

to give you an idea of how bad this is. back in 1976 my neighbors knew the water was 4 feet deep in their house. today, the water was to the roof. thats at least over 9 feet. it swelled enough to take out my cabin which sat above the river at least 10 feet, yet it still swallowed it. my neighbor said my garden is still there, the tomatos still turning red.

we sat under a terrace monday night eating ribs, drinking wine, laughing and sharing stories. the rain was like a blanket, we actually kind of enjoyed it. the thunder started just as the sun was going down. it was such a fun evening and i was happy to have met these wonderful people, and i was sad i was leaving. that night, i couldn’t sleep. wylie wasn’t in bed with me, the movers were coming the next morning, and the rain danced on the roof. every time i woke up the sound of rain was soothing, yet something felt strange and eerie even then.

i got word in the morning that wylie would be fine and i could pick him up later that day. the clouds still hung low, it felt like a day in the PNW. the movers moved everything out and we went to the storage unit where again i heard the word flood. “what kind of flood insurance do you want to have for your storage unit?”

i picked up wylie and went back to the cabin to finish cleaning and packing the car. i had a junk removal service come pick up my couch, the driver mentioned how high the river was. i had noticed too how much it was rushing, but thought it was normal considering all the rain. i gave my new neighbor that had just moved in a few weeks prior a bunch of stuff from our fridge. we had recently had many conversations about our life experiences, why we both wanted to live in a cabin- i was bummed i wasn’t staying longer to get to know her. her house is gone now too, and i was told her cats were in the cabin.

that night i spent the night at my neighbors across the river. they made me dinner, a bass they caught on their most recent camping trip. we ate inside, because it was still raining. i was curious if this weather was normal. i asked laura to see her wedding album, i wanted to see their lives in a little more detail. that night i slept better, but the rain still fell. we woke up and had breakfast together. all week and even that morning laura kept trying to convince me to stay. i wanted too, but everything was settled so, i said my goodbyes i went back to the cabin to gather up the rest of my things and finish up the small details. the weather was so gloomy and wet. it didn’t seem or feel like the colorado i had come to know. i was annoyed to pack up the car in the rain, my sandals still have mud on them. i was annoyed that i had already mopped the kitchen floor 3 times. i got in the car and as i drove off i felt distant from this place. normally, i look at every detail, i get sentimental about every little thing. i look around to soak in all the memories…this time…i just left. i wanted to get out of that rain, even if i was driving to washington, where rain is normal. something didn’t feel quite right, but i didn’t even know it. i thought it was just sadness about leaving and i was simply avoiding my feelings.

i drove north on I-25 in heavy rain for over 2 hours. i contemplated turning around because i HATE driving in heavy rain. i get anxious. i kept going powering through. the rain finally let up a few hours outside yellowstone. i arrived to my little lodge and had a big glass of wine. the next morning i woke up early to hit the park. cell service was shotty, but about an hour in i got a text from my neighbor that they were in flood conditions. again, i took it lightly, thinking it was maybe a few inches of water. by that evening i had a conversation with laura and she explained it was bad. friday morning i woke up and couldn’t stop thinking about my neighbors, about how i wasn’t there. how did i miss this? by the time i arrived at my brothers in olympia, washington i got news that my neighbors lost everything, that my cabin was gone. it’s just gone. The water is up to the roof on both my neighbors houses. The river is 5 times wider.

i do not think luck is something you have, i think it is something that just happens. i don’t believe in fate really, i don’t even believe in god, as an individual being anyway. because why would god save me and not the others ?it was pure quincidance. i missed the start of the flood by 24hours. just 24 hours. i was paying rent until the 15th, and since i had made that arrangement, i still wanted to move out before for some reason. i was a bit anxious to get going, even if i was sad to leave. i had decided to have the movers come on the 10th because 1. i was superstitious about moving on on september 11th 2. i wanted to make it to my brother’s by friday to spend the weekend there. there are so many what if’s. what if i had extended the lease another 6 months? what if i had stayed until the 15th? what if i had stayed till the end of the month. back in beginning of august, i would have done so in a heart beat, but as time went on and i started packing, i wanted to just rip the band aid off.

i put my stuff in storage and it had me thinking lately about what all our stuff is. possessions. what not. are they necessary for our happiness? i was glad to be rid of it all for a bit. to live simply. i think that is strange i was thinking this way now. some stuff is just stuff, but some of it precious memories. all of it money and time. it is not something anyone can take lightly and i certainly dont anymore. I admit i have tried to imagine if i had still been there, if i had to evacuate, what i would take. how would i be feeling now, how would i handle it? i guess now i know my decision was the right one. either way i would have no place to live.

i can’t completely explain my emotions right now. i am sad, i am in shock, my eyes hurt from crying. my heart breaks for my friends and neighborhood. it is just all gone. all gone. it is a surreal feeling. there are moments when i know i am fine, everything is ok. there are moments i just want to cry again in shock of the reality of how close i came to being there, how my friends have to start there lives over. how the road up to estes park is pretty much gone and the death toll may continue to rise. everything feels like a different world now, that little piece of heaven for me- it feels like a dream. the beginning and the end. as if i was never there.

please keep all the people of colorado devastated by this flood in your thoughts.

Ribbet collagethe photo on the right is looking over the bridge to my neighbors. well, there once was a bridge there under that pile.

the second photo is an arial view of the property and the dam. that big swell is where my cabin and the neighbors once were.

 

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I just received these photos last night. One is my garden. The other cabin sat where the river now is. The other photo is of my parking spot. My cabin was just to the left of the spot and those bushes.

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the past 9 months i have lived on one of the recommended scenic byways in colorado. a river flows through my backyard and i am surrounded by horses. i can walk onto the original dirt road to estes park and did almost daily. every time single time i have walked out my front door i can honestly say i was filled with gratitude, happiness, enchantment, and luck. every time i came home, i felt content.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul”- John Muir

when people ask me why i moved to colorado, i am not exactly sure how to answer it. part embarrassment, part not wanting to spill my emotions all over their lap, and partly because i never knew how to put it into words. i have alluded to it many times here on the blog-it’s always easier for me to voice through written word. i had hit a very unhappy point in my life in LA. i felt stuck and unsure, i was deeply hurt in a battle of who’s right and wrong, disappointed by failed “relationships” or lack there of, my insecurities may have grown deeper than they ever have in those last two years, and i was left not knowing whom i was anymore. i needed to escape. i needed to learn to be alone. i needed to feel something greater than myself.

“Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.” – John Muir

i took this chance with such certainty. i was nervous, but not scared. i knew it was the right thing to do. i have grown to love myself again even if there are a few demons occasionally turning the thoughts in my head. nothing and nobody can be perfect. i have come to realize that this life is precious- it is wonderful and worthy and our doubts and questions are what leads us to find that. i have found a peace that DOES exist, for me at least and a contentment i will have to work hard at keeping without the glorious earth presenting herself literally to me daily.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

in my heart, i feel it is time to move on. i admit i worry i will loose what i have found here when i leave, but that fear can’t be what keeps me from going. this time i am scared. i am certain i must go, i am excited to be on the road traveling and visiting friends- (i am calling it tour de friends!) but i haven’t a clue where i shall end up. maybe it is back in LA, maybe it is here in Colorado, maybe it is Chicago, i am day dreaming of europe. i know one day, i shall see myself at peace in the country again- whether it is in my dreams or a reality.

“The mountains are calling, I must go.” – John Muir

my emotions run deep, my sensitivity high, my empathy and even anger can sometimes fuel me, and my dreams soar high every day.

i am a what they call a dreamer. i dream up trips and adventures, i dream up love stories, i dream up lifestyles, i dream up different kinds of businesses, i dream up creations. sometimes, i even get to live out some of my dreams. they may not manifest with exact execution, but they exist. i learned that on this colorado adventure. How can i not consider myself lucky? i leave here a better person. i leave here with more than i expected.

“The power of imagination makes us infinite.”- John Muir

as for the blog- i don’t know where she shall lead. i have contemplated starting a new section: on the road, as the majority of the next 4-6 months will be just that. my life is packed in boxes and shoved into a 7×10 cube. i admit i am kind of excited to be rid of “stuff” for a bit. traveling makes it a bit more difficult for me to blog, because i do not have a laptop. there are many ideas floating around about what to do- we will just have to wait and see how it all flows. for now, you can follow me on instagram if you like, sunandglory, where i will be sure to update often with photos, because i am addicted.

oh, and sun and glory was written up on the UK online magazine THE UPCOMING. today, started off as a really good day. recognition is humbling and a true honor. check out the article here.

this isn’t goodbye, but another beginning. first stop, yellowstone national park.

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is it narcissistic to do a curiosity space on my own house? perhaps, but i do find my own house curious. i find it curious how quickly it can become a mess, how fast dishes pile up, how cleaning is so hard for me to start to do. maybe thats why i moved away, so i didn’t have to clean for guests, because i rarely have any. just kidding. i did however think how, really, i am kind of creating my own art residency. i don’t consider myself an “artist”, but maybe one day i would like to. really, i just want to work on the things that make me happy. i felt distracted in LA, and besides my kitty being terribly sick the past week, the distractions are on a much smaller scale here. i have a work room where i can actually set everything out, leave it out to come back to, and just somewhere that feels like i am doing something right.  i think besides my work room, the living room is my favorite. i love the fireplace, although from time to time i feel ultra guilty using so much gas. i love the saddle blanket i found at an antique store down the street (have i mentioned the plethora of antique and thrift stores around here? amazing!) that sits by the fireplace, i love looking out the window and seeing the horses across the street. i did  buy a few new pieces when i got here since i lost all those built-in’s in LA.

the kitchen, has taken some getting use to for me, coming from the one i had in LA which i am pretty sure that one will be hard to beat out for a long time. i don’t have as much storage and i have not been as inspired to cook yet, but i think that will just take some time. i do however, have a lovely window that brings so much light in. i have a few herb plants basking in the sun there ( i need more!!! i do miss my year round garden terribly). i also now have a kitchen table. something i didn’t have at my last place in LA. it doubles as a work space for cooking and general dumping grounds when i walk into the front door.

the bedroom has also become my office. my long desk sits in front of windows that overlook the river. in a way it is kind of nice, not just because of the windows, but because the computer is like having a tv in the bedroom. except, i can’t stream anything because my satellite internet sucks big time, not because it won’t stream, but because it uses too many gb. let me say it again, satellite internet sucks big time! moving on, luckily, all my clothes fit in the closet. however, a pile still generally accumulates on the floor. the bathroom is tiny, but has a claw foot tub. my first home to have one!  the house also comes equipped with a laundry/mud room that leads into the side yard that is fenced in. i have the tiniest little washer and dryer and a place to store all those odds and ends. i haven’t set up the back porch or side yard yet. it’s not that it hasn’t been warm enough, but i think once spring comes around and i can start planting things again, it will be fun to spruce up these areas! so, that will be a post to come a few months from now. i miss having a california yard, not gonna lie. i miss my garden, but i am excited for the prospects of one down the road. i am excited about the seasons,and the changes they bring.

on a  lola update, since many of my friends know about my life through my blog, wink wink, she has a really horrible deep ulcer. it is not cancer, thank god, but we just need to get her to eat. the girl is slowly coming back to herself. it has been such a stressful time for me. lola and wylie are my babies, and its so hard to see her suffer. she seems to be doing well in general though and wylie has been a pretty good boy too, leaving her be and letting me give her attention, for the most part anyway.

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