Time is short and the water rises. Should things get critical over the next couple of days, I wanted to zap off this quick report and update beforehand.
First off, the shower project has been completed! Thanks to fellow-father-in-law Rich, without whose plumbing expertise we'd have been at a total loss. Rich worked tirelessly, cheerfully, and regularly to do what had to be done. I mostly stood around, occasionally held this or that, and practiced the art of idle chatter and shoot-from-the-lip quips as entertainment. Plus I fed him well. The finished shower looks great and works wonderfully. We are so grateful…
Second, the orange-yellow crocus seen above are the first blooms of the season to appear in my yard. They poked their colorful heads up Tuesday, and actually bloomed yesterday. I have hundreds of other crocus scattered around the yard, hillside, and amongst the planter beds alongside the house—but these are always the first ones to put up green shoots and the first to bloom. You know it's spring when the crocus blooms!
Third, below is a recent shot of the river. The first thing anyone asks when they see the stream's proximity to the cottage is, "How high does the water get?" Here's the answer. This is the upstream view. You can see most of the narrow deck which spans the front end of the house, the little landing which is at the top of the steps—now invisible—which normally lead about 12 feet down to the water, a bench, some of the stone patio I put in last fall, and a tiny bit of the wider side deck plus a small portion of the stone corner wall of the cottage; the front door is about two feet to the right, just out of the image. From where you see the water now, to get to the cottage's threshold is perhaps an additional 10-12 inches of rise. Not much leeway. Once inside, there's another 6 inches of rise needed to get above the level of the small entryway and actually onto the great room's floor. So as the situation appears in this photo, I have approximately another 18 inches to go before I'm in trouble.
In the past, that has always been enough. In fact, the water has never been any higher than what you see in this picture—and that has only occurred three or four times since moving here six years ago. This time, however, we could be in trouble. Snowmelt and days of heavy rain over that past week or two have left area fields saturated. There's no cushion of absorption. All and new water can do is remain on the surface and run off. The forecast is for heavy rains Friday and Saturday. Flood alerts have been issued. Many area homes and roads are already underwater. The river here is currently going down—and is, in fact, a foot lower than in this shot which was taken yesterday afternoon. But I'm afraid it won't fall fast enough to give us the necessary "freeboard" to make it through the weekend unscathed. I hope I'm wrong…but time will tell.
I'll post as I can. Your prayers and thoughts would be appreciated.