The Flood: Carpet

Commemoration events are happening in Lyons and in Boulder County. To commemorate the flood in my own life, I am posting part of my flood story every day this week. This is the sixth of those posts. Here are the firstsecondthirdfourth, and fifth. Rather than simply tell the chronology of my flood story, I’m hoping to share some of the feelings I experienced. Down, up, and sideways. 

This is my story, but it is not one of significant difficulty or hardship. People are still experiencing extreme difficulty and hardship because of the flood. Please consider helping through a donation to Lyons Community Foundation.

Hello Linoleum!

Hello Linoleum!

We’re going to sleep at home tonight.

Not for good, only tonight. We can’t drink the water from our well yet, and Chris is still in the middle of moving his shop, so we’re going to keep living in the campground. But tonight, as a treat, we’re going to sleep at home.

Excitedly, I buy a celebratory feast. Grass-fed steaks, horseradish, salad greens, and strawberries. Chocolate: a bar of dark chili chocolate for Chris and salt and almond chocolate for me. Red truck wine and three dog bones. Water–a five gallon container and a pottery crock. I walk out of the grocery store to my mud-splattered, dog-filled truck and hum to myself as I put the groceries in the back seat. A woman walks up to the car next to me; she looks at the mud, the dogs, the “Lyons: We’ve Got Grit” bumper sticker. I can feel her soaking it in.

“You look like you are going on a trip,” she says.

“I am–to sleep at home tonight!” I say, and explain that I’m from Lyons.

“Do you want some dill pickles?” she asks. I am confused and she explains that she cans and sells her own pickles and that she’d like to give me a jar. She has opened the trunk of her car, which is full of boxes of pickles, and is holding a jar out to me.

“Sure!” I say. Today I’m happy. I’m sleeping at home AND a stranger just gave me a homemade jar of dill pickles.

I drive home, through the checkpoint, surrounded by military vehicles and massive trucks. I pass a standup piano sitting in a dirt pile on the edge of the road. Helicopters are flying the river. I take my new, roundabout route home, let the dogs loose in the yard, put the food in the fridge, and watch one mule deer amble slowly across the hill above the house. This almost feels normal.

Chris comes home and we grill our steaks and sit on the deck and drink red wine. The stars come out. A little respite. For a little while, I can forget about the lack of infrastructure in my town and in northern Colorado. I’m home.

The next morning, I don’t want to leave. I pace the house. I bring in the houseplants that have lived outside since we evacuated. I pack up our winter coats, just in case. I’m restless with the need to do SOMETHING.

I look at the carpet.

I’ve hated the carpet since we moved in. It’s old and dirty and catty.

Fine, I think. If everything is going to be turned upside down, I’m pulling up the carpet. And I do. With utility knife, screwdriver, and hammer, I pull up all the carpet and padding in the living room, revealing old linoleum underneath. I make a big pile of rolled up carpet in the garage. I fill a trashcan with dirty, disintegrating padding and sharp tack strips.

With each trip to the garage, roll of carpet on my shoulder, I feel better. I am joining the chaos. The world is turned upside down. Nothing will be the same. Some things might even be better.

Goodbye carpet. Goodbye old roads. Goodbye, pre-flood life.



One Response to "The Flood: Carpet"

  • Love this! From the pickles to the piano to the carpet. Love it all!

    1 Melissa said this (2.22.2011 at 00:08)