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Major Storm & Driveway Washout

May 30, 2008

I have so many thoughts in my head to share. Our trip was pretty much a whirlwind one. We are still trying to readjust to the time zone difference.

Right before we left there was a good sized storm. It made our driveway a little bit rough, but we held up fairly well over all.

Right after we got back, though, we had another major storm. It was a downpour for hours. We could barely see across our little meadow because of all the water in the air. We had a gully at the end of our meadow to try and divert the water from the hillside to the creek, but we ended up with a mini river going through our meadow of about 4-6 feet across.

We thought the storm before we left dropped more rain than we had seen in our time here, but this second one was even more rain. Or at least, more in a such a short period of time.

Unfortunately, the neighbors’ hillside also drains into our meadow, along with our hillside. This was SO much water, though, that it appears that their creek crossing might have plugged up. Most creek crossings are built lower so that, if it plugs up, the water runs over the top. Theirs is built level to the ground. So, if theirs plugs up it does not just go over the top, it goes to the side, too, onto the property. After it goes across theirs, it can go onto ours. We heard them working with a terramite, so hopefully, they are working on diverting the water back into the creek so it won’t come across to our side.

There was a storm not long after their crossing was built where the water ran over like that. Some of it went back down into the creek just on the other side of the crossing and some of it went across their property and onto ours. We really need to dig a deeper trench in the end of the meadow to try and divert the water from the hillsides, plus any other water coming in, back into the creek. But that takes either a lot of man hours and labor…or a small backhoe. We are short on time, energy and money. There is only so much a couple in their fifties and an eleven year old boy can do.

The river of water running through our meadow really messed up our driveway. The water was running with such force that it washed away the gravel and left the bigger rocks beneath exposed at all kinds of angles. There are two sections that are not driveable right now. Plus, there are other sections where we got gullies that need to be filled in.

The water going through the creek was so hard that it washed a large concrete block, plus some bigger rocks cemented together, into the trench Dave had dug in the creek. He and Elias managed to get the concrete and the rocks back out using leverage.

I have pictures, but we left our camera cable back in California. Dave’s mom mailed it back to us yesterday. I will get all kinds of pics up once we get it back.

Some of the gravel from one washed out area is still in our driveway. But the gravel from the other is washed away down the creek. These two areas of washout are areas that were packed solid and hard. There was almost no loose gravel on them at all before the storm. The driveway is so bad that, if we had been able to cross the creek and park on this side, we would not be able to drive back out. Not without risking some damage to the van. *sigh*

It is very discouraging when, every time we make any kind of progress, something happens – usually weather related – that sets us back again. My advice to anyone who wants to tackle this lifestyle…make sure you have enough money to get yourself set up to at least a certain minimum.

We did not really have much choice about whether to live this way. However, we have learned SO much in the process. I would still like to semi-pioneer some day. BUT, I want to start off with a small cabin and finished driveway! We bought supplies for a workshop when we moved onto the land, but the weather never let us build it. Now, we are not even sure how good any of the supplies are. They have been out in the weather for almost two years. We protected them as best as we could, given the weather here.

God is leading us on a journey. I am sitting here smiling. Go figure! He knows what we need and where we need to be refined. Even though the lessons learned here have been hard, we would not trade them away.

We are looking at what we can do to better our situation. It could mean a move off the land. We are not sure. Living this way temporarily is one thing…but at this point…it appears to be permanent. Dave has not had a raise since the major layoff. Gas prices are going up. We are still in our little RV with no room off the side. The laundry room is unfinished because other things keep happening to divert us from it, including the weather and driveway.

It will be interesting to see what God does…and how He does it. Some things I know…Yahweh/God is in control. He loves us. He cares about details we don’t even see…in addition to the mountains we do see looming over us. We can trust Him. He will never leave us or forsake us. He has a purpose in allowing us to go through all of this and He will use it for good. These are all things I know are true!

From our little RV on the hillside to you in your home…I hope that you, too, are trusting Him to lead and guide you. He is the only One who knows the future…the only One who holds it in His hands. He helped me to survive things I never could have survived without Him. He is trustworthy. He has a plan.

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