Saturday, December 26, 2015

Peace (And a Lot of Rain) on Our Earth

The fire pit filled with water.
Holiday cheer came crashing down on Flat Top, with more than 9 inches of rain in a matter of three days. Admittedly, it rains a lot here in Chattanooga. I read news of the U.S. drought and feel guilty. And lucky. But the Christmas Day deluge?

Most of it fell overnight into Christmas morning, when we were planning to leave the mountain and do Christmas with Mom in town -- that's what we call Chattanooga, Hixson or Soddy-Daisy -- anyplace where you buy more than gas, Bud Light and lottery tickets.

The rain from two days before had already pushed our creek over our road, rushing with impressive importance for a creek that normally trickles, gurgles and burps. The firepit was already turned into a koi pond, minus the koi.

After a slight lightening in the skies, we called Mom and told her we were going to go for it.

Today the creek was still over the road, though barely.
Yesterday? It was almost scary.
Wow. Not only was our creek spread wide over our little road, the massive gravel hill just beyond it had become a river. Rivers. The rushing water cut 6" deep and 24" wide ruts in the gravel, which was bullied down the hill by the force of the water and left in a large pile at the bottom and alongside the ditches.  Damn. That little stretch of road had been one of the best in our miserable 2.5 mile trek to civilization, aka the hard-top road.

Along the rest of the dirt road, three or four creeks had claimed the right of way. Water reached the running boards of the Jeep at one point. Once we hit the asphalt, I called Mom to report our success. And to report that I would be needing a stiff drink. (DAMN, this is when we realized we forgot to bring homebrews... ACK.)

So how did we spend the day after Christmas? No mall for us. We dug gravel and dirt and rocks and mud, creating new ditches at the top of our road for better runoff. We've done this before, and I'm sure we'll do it again. Damn ATV'ers like to ride over the berm we create to guide the runoff down into the gully, rather than down our road. All we can do is keep trying.

So, I'm sore, my back seizing midway up and a fat broken blister on my right palm. Mason swears he isn't sore, but I'm certain that's just because he didn't work as hard as me. (Payback for that septic tank digging.)

And then, in the final hour before darkness began to fall, we hear the gunfire. It started with a single shot at 9:08 a.m. Christmas morning. (Someone got a new Glock for Christmas? How sweet of Santa.) But right now, it's rapid fire. An automatic? Pop-pop-pop-pop-pop.

"Whatever happened to peace on Earth, assholes," Mason yells.

On that note, we hope your Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Boxing Day or other family gathering be dry, restful and quiet.

My perfect little April Pink camellia, which isn't supposed to bloom till spring, got tricked by the warm weather.  This is the only camellia the deer have yet to devour.