Friday, September 13, 2013
They told us to stay home today, but it wasn't raining and there was no apparent damage to my apartment nor its surroundings, so I decided to make a run to the grocery store, to stock up a bit more for the continuing crisis. The sidewalks were clear and traffic was flowing (though just about half the usual number of cars were traveling this busy street). I told myself that if I encountered obstacles, I could just turn around and come back home.
At first things seemed fairly normal. I saw a young runner, a man on a bicycle and another on a skateboard. True, the service station on the far corner was closed, but that was no reason for concern.
I then came upon a stretch of sidewalk totally covered with mud, but I circumvented it by stepping onto the grass along the side, wondering how the mud had gotten there.
When I reached my grocery store, I found that it was closed, and that a big vehicle with a giant hose attached was vacuuming out its interior. It seems that during the night a great wave of water had come crashing into this area, sweeping many of the contents of this store from the front and out the back. I was told that it might be many weeks before the store would be able to open again.
Reluctantly, I turned back home, stopping at the coffee shop next door to the grocery (it was undamaged) for some comfort food--a small poppy seed cake, a piece of spanikopia, and a small bag of chips. I returned home and had my delicious lunch, thinking of all those who had lost everything in the flood, or who were still stranded and waiting for help to arrive.
I felt again extremely lucky to be spared any real inconvenience or loss before this Biblical event (it is now accepted that this is indeed a 100-year flood, and some even call it a 500-year flood). I realized that in fact I have been quite near other such major disasters without experiencing any real loss or damage. I was in San Francisco for the great earthquake of l989 but my house stood firm (it was old but built on bedrock, it seems.) I was also in S. F. during the huge fire that devastated much of the Oakland hills, in which many lost their homes and some even their lives. I was in Boulder when a major fire destroyed much property just west of the city, even threatening the west side of city. But in none of these had I been a victim or even suffered property loss.
So I offer prayers for all those who were not so fortunate, and hope that things will improve soon--though more rain is predicted for the next few days, and there may be even more damage.
(image from internet)