Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “rain”

The Yacht Club

Sugar and I have invited outsiders to pay us for coming to our ranch for various purposes that, until now, involve horses.  For example, we have boarded horses, taken people for trail rides, given riding lessons, and hosted birthday parties for kids at which the attendees got to ride horses led in the arena.  We have a horse hotel, for which I got two inquiries this very week.  We even had a pumpkin ranch, but I don’t want to talk about that because advertising costs exceeded income.  I also don’t want to talk about our horse-breeding operation because our stud has been transformed from a stallion to a gelding.  He doesn’t want to talk about it either.

Today we just “launched” a new venture — The Cross Creek Ranch Yacht Club and Marina.  We are branching out from the horse facility operations.  We are going nautical.

The rains and flooding in Colorado have been devastating for many people, so I do not want to make light of suffering of others.  I am writing to report a new lake and, as an example of making lemonade from lemons, to envision a new business opportunity.  We looked out our bedroom window and saw a large lake that was not there last week, prior to the rains of Biblical proportion.

Therefore, those of you who own yachts will be interested in this opportunity to join the yacht club and get in on the ground floor.  I will give you a real good deal, but don’t delay, this is a limited time offer.

It might dry up again.

In the meantime, we have some lots on the beach available exclusively for members of the yacht club.  I am humming the song, “I’ve got some oceanfront property in Arizona.”

Beau, who enjoys living on the beach, would welcome some neighbors.  By the way, members of the yacht club and residents of the beachfront community are allowed to bring dogs, provided they can swim.

Feast or Famine

As the High Park fire in Colorado was burning out of control, we hoped for and prayed for rain.  I am thankful that we got a lot of rain, particularly July 6th and 7th, in a downpour. Now we are dealing with the consequences of that rain.

The rain helped douse the terrible fire.  It gave our dry land needed moisture.  Our pasture is green again.  That is all good.

There can be too much of a good thing, however.  Now we are facing flash floods which have washed out roads in the same area that was burning.  Highway 14 is the road that goes along the Poudre River up from LaPorte to Walden.  The Poudre Canyon was smack in the middle of the fire that burned on both sides of the river.  Without vegetation, now the ashes are washing, with mud, across the road, which is closed in places. 

A problem with closing Hwy 14, as compared to streets in town, is that detours are not options in many places.  Remember, this is a winding mountain highway built along the river with many spots on cliffs above the river.  When it is closed, rather than going around the untravelable portion, it is more likely necessary to turn around, maybe backtracking twenty miles rather than around the next block.  There are no blocks.  There are canyons, mountains, rivers, streams, boulders and trees.  Now there is mud. 

The Bible reminds us, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.  Blest be the name of the Lord!”

Tonight, my literate wife, Miss Sugar, quoted Robert Frost.  “In three words, I can sum up everything that I have learned about life.  It goes on.”

Win Some, Lose Some

I have been watching the Olympic Trials for swimming held in Omaha, Nebraska.  All the swimmers are top-notch to get there.  Still, everyone can’t win.  Even the great Michael Phelps does not always win.  Whoever qualifies for the Olympic team is only fractions of seconds faster than those who do not.  The top two in each event qualify.  The third place swimmers are always very close. 

I’m especially pleased that Coloradan Missy Franklin has made the team.  She is only 17. 

As this is going on in Omaha, fires in Colorado continue to rage.  As some people are being allowed back into their homes, others are being required to evacuate.  As some learn their homes are destroyed, others get good news their homes were spared.

The achievements of the athletes are the result of talent and dedication.  The races are fair.  Still, there are factors out of anyone’s control.  They don’t all have the same genes.  They don’t all have the same coaches.  Some might be fighting health problems.

The victims of the fire had no control over weather.  Those losing their homes should not be blamed for choosing to live in a certain location.  No one could predict the fire nor its path.

The Bible says, “It rains on the just and the unjust.”  Those in the fire say, “Rain on me.”

Life’s Challenges

Presently, there is a wildfire in our county, Larimer County, Colorado, near Fort Collins.  It has been named The High Park Fire.  This wildfire has burned over 43,000 acres, an area that could contain both the cities of Fort Collins and Boulder.  The fire is not in the cities, that is just a size reference.  The fire is burning in the mountains where there are many trees dead from beetle kill and the underbrush is dry from lack of snow and rain this spring.  So there is plenty of fuel.  And wind has fanned the fire out of control.

Over 100 structures have been destroyed, including homes, of course, but not all are homes as the count does not distinguish between residences and outbuildings such as barns, sheds and garages.  Regardless, that is a lot of property loss.

One life has been lost.  A 63 year old woman, who had twice been called by phone to evacuate, either chose to stay or did not receive the messages.  It is sad that she died in the mountain cabin that she loved. 

Many others, hundreds, have evacuated.  They are dealing with the fear of the unknown about whether their homes will burn.  Others already know their homes have burned.  Others have been allowed back in.  Others on are pre-evacuation alert.

There is an evacuation center at the county fairgrounds.  It used to be at a middle school but had to be moved farther from the fire due to smoke.  At the fairgrounds, large animals of evacuees may be kept as well.  Small pets were taken to the Humane Society until filled to capacity.  Now a vet clinic is taking overflow.  Many of the evacuated folks are staying with friends and relatives.  There are kind people helping those in need in addition to Red Cross and Salvation Army.

The real heroes are the firefighters, of course, ranging from local volunteer fire departments to professionals from other states.   The number keeps growing as the fire has grown.  Today there were more than 500 firefighters, including “boots on the ground” and pilots of planes and helicopters that drop retardant and water on the flames.

There are many to praise and no one to blame.  The fire was started by lightning, not even negligent humans, and especially not evil terrorists like those responsible for 9/11/01.

The Bible says that “It rains on the just and the unjust.”  I pray it will rain on this fire.

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