Todd: Soaked in thankfulness
My apologies to any of my neighbors who were wondering the other night what that misshapen object was on my deck reflecting the setting sun.
Yes, it was me. Taking a shower with a camping shower.
Thank you for noticing that I was partially clothed, and for not calling the Sheriff. I'm sure he appreciates not having to make that house call.
With all the rain and swollen rivers we've had lately, being short on water is the furthest thought for most in Ouray County, and all of Colorado for that matter.
A water shortage was the furthest thing from my mind Saturday morning. Fourteen golf teams, including mine, were slogging through the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce golf tournament in a relentless rain at Divide Ranch and Club. We all couldn't have been any more soaked. When one of our team members, Richard Kersen, had his driver fly out of his wet grip off the tee box, we knew it was going to be a sloppy, wet day.
Beecher was volunteering that day at the Sneffels Fiber Festival, and while at first I thought I got the better end of the day, I soon would have gladly traded a warm, dry 4-H Center for a miserably wet par three eighth hole.
When I got home late that afternoon, all I wanted was a warm shower. I turned on the faucet and nothing came out. I jiggled the faucet, gave it another try, turned on the sink and nothing.
I called Dallas Creek Water and was told a water main had blown and our entire street was without water, probably for days.
Anthony, who works for Dallas Creek Water, met me shortly thereafter at the Log Hill Fire Department and helped me fill up a few containers of water. He mentioned how people would think differently about water if they had to get it by the container.
He's right. We lived out of jugs and containers for three days and were amazed at how we had to adjust our daily lives.
Looking at the Front Range, however, the view from my perspective becomes much more clear. Severe flooding has claimed nearly 10 lives. Thousands are displaced from their homes. Seventeen counties affected by flooding. Hundreds are missing.
Never mind that two newscasters from Denver I watched one evening were calling this the "500 year flood" without explaining who among them was around 500 years ago. The devastation and effect on lives needs no hyperbole.
In this small state, everyone knows someone who knows someone affected by the flooding on the Front Range. Those folks are the ones really affected by water, and our thoughts are with them.
So, while my neighbors may have quickly looked away the other day when I showered on my back deck, no one on our street should have complained about having to get water out of containers for a few days. It could have been worse. A whole lot worse.
Alan Todd is co-publisher of the Ouray County Plaindealer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-325-2838.