December 1, 2007
Rained all night. Still raining at 10:30 this morning. I can hear the creek roaring from my studio (it's maybe a hundred-fifty yards away).
Had a chicken crisis last night. When J.D. and I added on the mini-condo in the center of the coop we didn't bother putting a roof on it. I didn't even think about it until I was driving home from the office last night.
Of course it was dark, and pouring out when I pulled into the flooded Spanish Driveway. Put on a bomber jacket and went out with a flashlight and there were the six Silkies, miserable and stacked on top of each other in the far corner, peeping pathetically. Went out to the tractor garage and got an old BBB booksigning sign and climbed up on the roof of the J.D. Chicken Complex and put the sign over the corner where they were huddled. Couldn't do much more by myself.
When Kathy got home at eight, we both went out and while she held the dogs (they both really, really wanted to help), I went inside with towels and dried the little boogers off, best I could. Then I went into the covered coop and got some dry straw to give them at least a dry roost for the night.
Woke up several times in the night, with the rain coming down in sheets and imagined my little chickadees treading water like drowning rats.
Went out first thing this morning and they were each, well, madder than a wet hen. Ha. You wonder where some of these sayings come from, and there it was, right before my eyes. This time we brought two pillow cases and cornered the two big hens and put them in the sacks, then herded the little Silkies into the semi-dry coop (multiple drippings and a few rivelets mark J.D.'s haphazard roof design). Then we put the two, crusty old hens in the new condo, but put in extra hay. They seem to be doing okay, and hey, the water dishes were full.
From there Kathy and I took Peaches and Buddy Boze Hatkiller for a walk in the rain. Went up Old Stage and a veritable stream of water took up half the road. Socked in clouds, couldn't even see Black Mountain or the Seven Sisters. Walked down to the creek at the Rockaway Hills crossing and saw three trucks on our side and a BMW on the other. The water was really ripping and looked like Lava Falls in the Grand Canyon with big brown shocks of water cascading skyward as the rushing water hit the rocks beyond the concrete roadway. I'm not a water expert, but I'd say it was hitting 30,000 CFS, at least.
Turns out, the smallest truck, a little early-model Toyota, had been there all night. The guy tried to cross last night at midnight and stalled-out in the middle. He had to push his truck back out to the east bank. Frankly, he's lucky to be alive.
The second truck, a big Ram Dodge, had brought jumper cables. A woman in wading boots came down off the hill and claimed she had never seen it this bad. Kathy and I just smiled (we have lived out here 21 years and have seen it much worse).
On the way back up Rockaway Hills, the dogs were running and jumping around like kids at recess, and I said to Kathy, "Did I ever tell you about my girlfriend in Kingman and the rain?"
"Probably. Which one?"
"Well, I was a senior in high school and I finally got a date with the girl of my dreams. I remember we went to a movie at the State Theatre (Manchurian Candidate) and when I brought her home, it was raining. Feeling frisky and impulsive I said, 'Hey, let's go walking in the rain.' She laughed, like I was crazy and said, 'Maybe some other time.' As I drove away, I thought to myself, 'Someday I want a girlfriend who will walk with me in the rain. And now I've got one."
"Every day is Christmas Day to a dog."
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