Good morning. I hope everyone is doing well today. This Alex Sanders, Grow Appalachia Garden Site Supervisor at Project Worth Outreach in Menifee County, Kentucky.
Well the rain and mud have returned after a couple of really nice days. I talk to gardeners almost on a daily basis and the conversation always includes the subject of the weather. When is the rain going to stop, Is it ever going to dry up and Is everybody as far behind as I am on getting my garden started are the questions that come up, among others, that everyone asks, including myself. In response to these questions , I try to reassure everyone that everything will work out but we all have to be patient.
Speaking of being patient, I would like to tell you about my week. Starting last Friday. First of all, I over slept. When I over sleep it seems I am running behind and no matter how hard I try it seems I never catch up that day. Well as I leave for work I am running late and I really, really hate to be late for anything especially work or church. I live in Rowan County and work in Menifee County so I have about a 45 minute daily commute. It had rained all day and night Thursday and continued to Friday as I was driving to work. I remind you these roads are very curvy and there are lots of peaks and valleys. It was raining very hard as I traveled to work and there were lots of times where I came across water covering the road in the valleys of my commute. It was never very deep so I drove about 5-10 mph and crossed the standing water safely many times on my commute. Did I mention, AI really have to drive in storms or fog? Guess what, it was storming and foggy. Oh, great! My commute this day took me about an hour and fifteen minutes and I am late for work and this puts me in a foul mood to begin my day. To top this off I step out of my car and step right in to a huge mud puddle and splash mud all over my pants. I am really glad I wasn’t wearing shorts. At this point I am really happy that we have a clothing bank. After changing pants I start my work day while attempting to keep a positive attitude. It seems that everything I do this day a waste of time because I could not focus and all I could think about how bad are the roads going to be on my way home? Well, I managed to make it through most of the day. With about an hour to go in the day, I decided I needed to go home it had continued to rain all day and I could see rain standing on the road outside the office. AS I am a big believer in the slogan “turn around, don’t drown” I was hoping I could make it home without any detours. Of course, this was not to be. When I got about halfway home I came across, fortunately, only detour due to water across the road and it looked pretty deep. I had to back track about 20 miles and hook up with the interstate to get home.
While approaching Morehead I am thinking this day was finally coming to an end. And I had made it through without a whole lot “real” problems. This is a really good feeling. Man, was I wrong. When I got in to Morehead, I saw lots of water. It was everywhere. As I approached my neighborhood, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Everything was under water and I was barely able to get my car into the driveway. It was still pouring the rain as I entered my home. In the next two hours water was at my door and would soon be entering my home. We found a couple of old comforters and rolled them up and placed the them at the base of the doorway in hopes of blocking the water. As we finished this task we looked out of the door and saw two of our neighbors struggling in the flood waters to bring us four 75 pound sandbags. What a wonderful sight. These sandbags kept the water out of our home. It’s great to have good neighbors. About a half of an hour after we placed the sandbags the water started to recede and we were out of danger.
We kept watch as the water received and I’m thing what a day. But the excitement was not over. I took quick shower and decided it was time to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening. When I exited the shower I grabbed a pair of shorts and put on my flip flops to relax for the evening. As I walked toward my living room I decided to go to the back door and check the water level in the creek beside my home. Mind you, I was just going to open the door and look. I opened door and noticed the creek was still receding but in the corner of my eye I noticed something bouncing up and down along the creek bank. After the day I had against my better judgment I decided to step out and see what was on the edge of the creek bank. I was a blue and white Kentucky basketball. Being the huge Wildcat basketball fan, I was looking around to see if there was anything I could use to retrieve the basketball. While I was liking around and standing about three feet from the edge of the creek bank, in my shorts and flip flops, when I felt the ground begin to give way and before I could do anything I started sliding toward the creek and all I could think about was “oh, crap I’m going into the creek”. Sure enough, I went into the creek and let me tell you it was the coldest water I have ever felt. The creek water is raging and up to my chest and I am desperately reaching for something to latch onto to keep me from being whisked away down the creek. I see a twig about a half an inch in diameter and I grab it and hold on for dear life and praying the it has deep roots and won’t break. As I am holding this twig I tell myself if it breaks just go with the flow of the creel and eventually I’ll get close enough the bank and can get out of the creek. I keep telling myself this. I’m also looking around to see if I can get out of the creek. I look to the left of me and there is a large tree trunk jutting out of my yard about 3 feet over the creek. I reach out for it and barely can touch it with the tips of my fingers. I decide to go for it. I reach down and take my flip flops off, one at a time, and throe them up into the yard. I didn’t want to lose one or both of them because I really like these flip flops. Imagine this, a 59 man swings his legs up out of the creek and upon the tree trunk like mounting a bare back horse. I sure none of my neighbors watched this. Now that I am safely out of the creek I turn my attention to getting back in the yard. Remembering that I was 3 feet from the creek bank when the ground gave way I knew that if I tried to just get on the bank to get in the yard I would just slide right back into the creek. So I bunny hop along the tree trunk, not easy for a man of my age wearing only shorts, to the edge of my yard and dive into my yard. When I land I bounce and my face land in a huge mud puddle. When I get to the door I holler to my wife and ask her to bring me a towel. When she comes to the door she asks “What have you been doing”? My answer “What does it look like? I have only shorts on and it is a nice evening I thought I would go for a swim and then play in the mud”. The next day as we were cleaning our from the flood she asks me out of the blue “Alex, don’t you get play in the dirt enough when you are around gardens”. I did not respond. I guess the wife always gets the last word
And it has rained some every day since. The point of this post is be patient and take things that happen in life in stride. The weather will get better, the ground will dry up and everyone will get their gardens out and they will be bountiful. We will preserve, share and sell much produce this summer. Everyone have a great day and weekend. Remember, there is always a silver ling you just have to look for it. Have a blessed week.