Water

It seems that I’ve been centering each of my posts around a central theme, lately. “Water” would about summarize our lives over the past many weeks…

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When I last left off with the post called “Light”, you learned that we functioned for WEEKS without bedroom or closet lights…. or beds (….or closet bars, shelves, bedroom furniture…you get the idea).

That has been remedied now. The girls have bedroom lights, furniture, and a lot of their personal belongings….though most of their things are still in storage, and ALL of Steve’s and my bedroom things are still in storage. For pictures of our bedrooms, read “Light”.

Here’s what our Master Bath and closet looks like as of now…

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Our plan back in May (2014) was to start building the wraparound porches outside, and then chink (put the concrete/mortar between the logs outside), in order to seal in the exposed insulation out there, before summer in Texas got too hot. (The exposed insulation is safe…but looks horrible outside. My personal pride can only take so much.) Then we’d return to the INSIDE of the house…finishing our closets, bathrooms, etc…..

Plans are funny, aren’t they? Do yours ever work out the way you think they will? (If so, please don’t tell me about it. I’ll be terribly jealous.)

Where should I begin with how badly our plans have strayed? I’ll start with water.

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When we were first stacking the log walls of our house in winter 2013, my neighbor (Mona) stopped by, fascinated with our house and build. She loved it, and said that the next time there was a flood in our area, she knew where she’d be heading…to our house. She called it “The Ark”. We had a great laugh about it then…but little could I have anticipated the potential reality of it mere months later…

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South Texas has been having A LOT of rain lately (in 2014)…a lot at one time, as opposed to a drought like we usually have.

Our land is downhill…

….and there’s a huge pasture across the street that floods easily….(see the field? Those are our trees to the right. See the field sloping down to the right?)

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It sends the water across the street…

…..into our land. (Can you hear the “doom” music playing in the background?)

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This presented huge problems for us during these recent storms, as rapidly flowing water literally poured off the waterlogged field, directly into our land…

…kinda like rivers, or waterfalls. Take your pick.

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Here was our property BEFORE the rains came. This is my view from various places on my front porch. The road is straight ahead, just on the other side of those trees, where you see sky.

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Here’s our “driveway”. Notice the lovely green grass to the right. The road is just past the grass. Our house is on the left.

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Here are pics AFTER the rains came.

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You can’t tell in the picture, but the bottom of the stairs is almost 6″ under water. Our feet were submerged past our ankles. The scum floating on top the water looks like dry ground, but don’t be deceived. This was a LOT of water!!

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The pile of wood sits by the driveway, remember?

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Here’s our dog walking in our…lake….where we park our cars and trailer.

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This picture of the tractor is when the flooding was STARTING.

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I’ve always wanted waterfront property….but this isn’t exactly what I had in mind.

It didn’t become too alarming until the water flowed under the house, around our concrete foundation pillars, and created a quicksand-like surface around them. When Steve stood beside the concrete pillars, the ground moved and jiggled like jello.  Remember the Jello theme song….”Watch it wig-gle…see it jig-gle…”? That was our sand.

I like jello! (Particularly cherry.) But not under my foundation.

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We have a septic tank for our water and toilet waste. It’s a big concrete box under the ground that the used household water goes into. Then there are drainage ditches just past it, for the overflow to drain into. Eventually, the water seeps into the ground, and is gone.
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With all the flooding, it filled up.

That’s when Steve got on the phone and called the local officials to come see, and told them to please do SOMETHING about our road to prevent this from happening again. They came out that day, and started fixing. They couldn’t believe the amount of water that came off that field onto our property. While they were looking, thunder was rumbling in the background, and the skies were dark. EEEk! They were all too willing to help us, and I was all too willing to give them a huge plate of homemade cookies.

Update? No more problems, and no permanent damage to our foundation or levelness of our house. WHEW!!! Disaster averted.

Before the flood, Noah [I mean Steve] had already built the front porch, and half of one side porch.

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ALL construction on the house ended weeks ago (mid-June 2014), but will pick up again now, mid-July (2014).

2 weeks ago we hopped in the car and headed to Colorado for vacation and to help our fellow LHBA (Log Home Builders Association) friends with their log home…

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They have a blog, too, showing their log home building progress in Colorado. http://www.ACabinIntheAspens.blogspot.com.

Jeremy already built a log garage in their backyard in Texas, after taking the LHBA class (he also built that rocking chair!)…

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Here’s a picture of their log vacation home in Colorado. Like ours, he is building with cash. It will be mortgage free when he’s done. It’s still under construction.

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Steve helped him wire while the girls and I hung out with Candace. (Oh, LOOK! Water…)
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They have a gorgeous river across the street from them.  The girls and Steve loved panning for gold and fishing.

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We went on a hike one day and found an old log home mining cabin.

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Jeremy took us to some incredible spots.

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One night, we were invited to Candace’s aunt, Teresa’s, house for dinner. Look at that SPREAD!!!

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That food was beyond delicious. Teresa is also an amazing gardener!  I was, seriously, in awe. Seeing her garden and hearing her talk about it reminded me immediately of the passages in John 15.

Teresa stays connected to her plants every day (like God stays connected to us).  She provides her plants’ needs, clips and trims their growth where necessary…even if it’s already healthy and green. As a result of her daily efforts and attention over these plants, and their inability to stop her from making alterations and taking control, they are as healthy and thriving as they can be! It was a great visible lesson for me to always let God have control over my life.  I need to permit Him to clip certain things out of my life…be it time-fillers, wrong goals, ways I spend my money, certain people who might be unhealthy for me, etc.  It’s not easy to let someone else be in charge…but my life could flourish like these plants if I just stop resisting God’s attempts of pruning and guiding….

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Her garden also made me think of Jesus’ words, “It is to your Father’s glory that you bear much fruit.”  I look at that garden and obviously know that those flowers didn’t just end up like that naturally.  We logically know that a person shaped and nurtured every inch of it.   Therefore, the gardener automatically gets the praise and accolades and compliments…not the flowers themselves.  When our lives are flourishing in others’ eyes…hopefully God receives the accolades and back-pats for it all.

Colorado is absolutely gorgeous. We literally lost count of how many roadside waterfalls, rivers, and streams we saw. (You cannot escape the “water” theme, no matter how hard you try.)

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Steve is a fly fisherman. He taught the girls. Such a gorgeous setting…

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Our dog, Aspen, caught a stick. (smile)

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We then headed for Ouray, Colorado. It’s pronounced U-Ray. The mountains are always snow-capped, and jagged. It’s called “The Switzerland of America.”

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That about sums up our past two months. I told you “water” was the appropriate theme.  Thank you for continuing to read our story.

2 thoughts on “Water

  1. Wow 🙂 Those were very beautiful pictures that you have Gretchen. It shows the wonderful creation God has given us if we are only a good steward to it. I love the garden, the river and the mountains. It’s good that you were able to take a rest and enjoy life.

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