Can you believe it has been one month? One month since the stream started breeching its banks and our world began turning upside-down. One month. Crazy. We have lived a lifetime in that short time, and yet it has flown by. It is hard to describe how the measurement of time changes in a situation like this.
So where do we stand now – one month out from the disaster and full evacuation of our family and farm?
We are home, along with our chickens and rabbits. Our sheep and cows are still “refugees” being housed far from the disaster area. It is still unknown when they can come back.
We have a basement with all the flooring torn up. We have electricity. We are close to having a feeble temporary set-up of town water that we can hook back into, but have been warned it might not be reliable through the winter. We are still without sewer. We still don’t have safe road access, and thus don’t have access to propane gas for our heat.
We have set ourselves up to have running hot and cold water, with a 175 gallon tank that we can refill from water brought in on the back of my husband’s truck. We have heat for the main part of the house via wood stoves, but the rest of the house has pipes at risk for freezing if we can’t get propane in here soon. We have a camping toilet set up in the bathroom.
That is the basic bare bones of what we do and do not have. Is it surprising, the situation at a month out? Somewhat. I guess I always saw disasters on TV and figured they were pretty well off by a month out. I mean, obviously I knew houses that had been destroyed weren’t cleaned up and rebuilt a month later. But I never really knew how bad it could still be a month out for the people who didn’t totally lose their houses. Now we know ALL TOO WELL how very time-consuming the process of rebuilding infrastructure is. And we know first hand how long people in disaster areas go without what most people consider the basic necessities for housing and utilities.
We also know how it feels to have your family and friends gather around you, encourage you, help you, support you, and show you love. We know how it feels to let others step in and pick you up when you don’t feel like you have the strength to go on. We know how it feels to have practical strangers send you money to help you in your time of need. People who have never seen your face, and barely even know your name, reaching out to help you. It is humbling, and awesome.
We may not have a lot right now when it is listed basic bare bones and it is about basic comforts of living in America. But we have so much else. We have each other, and have grown even closer because of this. We have family, friends, and even strangers that care about us enough to give of themselves and the things they have been blessed with to help us. We have our home and can live in it, even if it doesn’t have normal utilities and access. We have our lives. We have every single animal that we started with, even if they aren’t on our property, we still own them and get them back when we can have them back.
We also have hope, hope that our little farm will be back to normal and we will be writing about “normal” adventures someday on this blog again. That is, if you consider shooting rats in wood piles, cats with their feet stuck under cow hooves, hovering over incubators for hours, garden soil woes, cows surprisingly giving birth a month earlier than expected, butchering road kill elk for food, a dog saving a baby bunny by laying on it, butchering the butchering process, and anxiously watching nests for a hen to lay an egg normal life……….which we do :-).
The journey continues. I wonder where it will take us a month from now. As I always say…time will tell.