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Down came the rain and washed the spider out

When the sun came out this morning after the latest round of Colorado-wrecking rain, I caught a glimpse of what looked like a shining wreath suspended between two trees. I went outside and saw a very large, very busy spider repairing a web. I’m hoping the spider knows something we don’t. It’s safe now. Spidey sense signals all-clear.

It’s time to rebuild, or in our case, reclaim and reclean. We had a minor flood in our basement. Rainwater seeped through a small window that was partially obscured by two floor-to-ceiling shelving units. We kept extra bedding, some clothing, throw pillows, quilts, and unfortunately photos on these shelves. We thought being off the floor was the safest spot for these things. Most basement floods start from drains backing up. We never though about a sideways assault. Also lost: two rolls of carpet.

water droplets on spider web


The photos are the most painful loss. Right now, dozens of 4X6 memories cover our garage floor. I peeled stacks and stacks of photos and negatives apart and left them out there to dry. I hope it works. And then, I’ll spend all my free time scanning them. They’re from the ancient late-90s, before we had digital cameras. I should have scanned them in long ago, but, you know. I’m kind of busy.

spider web with water droplets

~suspended in the sky~

Oddly, after getting over the initial shock and having a bit of a cry, I enjoyed looking at the photos. I didn’t realize how much Ollie looks like Aidan. And there was Teddy in Ryley’s sweet little face. I saw my late grandmothers holding my babies, everyone all smiles, everyone oblivious to things down the road and around hairpin corners. I peeled negatives apart and held them up to the garage light. There’s a baby in a high chair, but who? I can find out if I take them to an old school photo developer.

But there are thousands who don’t have negatives from their photos to hold up to a light source. They’re downstream, buried under mounds of boulders and mud. Our devastation is about a .23957 on a scale of 0 to 10, compared with fellow Coloradans. I feel almost guilty sharing what happened. But I am sharing, if only to acknowledge our own failures and false assumptions that we had escaped unscathed. And also to draw attention to these startling facts from Denver’s 9 News:

Here is a breakdown of the damage, according to the Office of Emergency Management:

Fatalities: 6

People “unaccounted” for: 708

People evacuated: 11,700

People in shelters: 1,872

Shelters open: 26 (in 15 counties)

Structures damaged: 17,494

Structures destroyed: 1,502

The Denver Post shares ways to help victims of the Colorado Floods. It’s estimated there are still close to 1,000 people stranded. Hopefully, they have ample supplies of food, water, and medications to see them through. The clouds have parted so National Guard helicopters are in the skies again, searching for people to evacuate and dropping supplies in the more rugged areas where landing is impossible. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, friends. This is far from over.

4 comments to Down came the rain and washed the spider out

  • I’m so sorry for your loss, Gretchen, and the mess you have. Yes, you still have your home. No, you haven’t lost as much as others, but don’t sell yourself short. Your loss and the impact on your lives is just as important!

    At least the sun is shining right now.

    Hopefully soon all of this devastation will be just memories tucked away in a box for when we have time. 😉

  • Amy

    I have been glued to the Internet the past few days looking for little bits of news from my home state. The loss of life, property and infrastructure is overwhelming. Even though your loss is small compared to others, it is still a loss. Pictures and mementos are the most treasured of all possessions.

    As I know from having lived through the Nashville flood in 2010, the rebuilding process is going to be long. And while your family may spend the coming months safe and snug in your own home , you will suffer with those who have been less fortunate. It’s what we Americans do.

    I’m so glad the sun is shining again and that the rebuilding has begun. Even if today it’s just evident in a spider’s web.

  • Melanie

    I have been thinking of you Gretchen. Glad to hear that your family is safe. I am sure anyone who reads your blog could relate to the pain of losing your photos. When life moves so fast, it is always nice to look back and relive old times (and babies.) God bless.

  • Gretchen

    Thank you, friends! We are well and now our basement is the spiffiest it’s been in years. Upside!

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