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Creek Running North

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December 31, 2005

Water

I awoke this morning to find my apple tree, a sapling, blown partly over. A neighbor's fence lay on the ground, and down the hill the topmost branches of a broad juniper caressed a parked car. The ground is sodden, and roots' hold on it is loosened.

The creek, at nine, was full to the brim and roaring. Whole trees sped toward the bay in its brown embrace, tangled in the railroad bridge. Downstream the houses flooded.

Neighbors walked in the street knee-deep in water. They watched from their porches as the flood lapped at their foundations, and talked hopefully of better weather to follow.

Ninety-five feet uphill, two feet of water stood in our crawl space. I pumped it into the street with a seven amp impeller.

This year has been bracketed in loss, vultures to start it, an uncle's death to end it. Faultline ended this year, a near decade of hope and work thrown down a hole. The Mojave burned. And yet, I thought as I watched the water from beneath my house flow back toward the creek, we did not drown in sewage after standing on tiptoe in our attic for five days as the government reveled in its ideological mediocrity.

That's something.

Posted by Chris Clarke at December 31, 2005 08:30 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
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Comments

That's something.

It is. Count it.

And count your Becky, and your Zeke, and the writing you've done here, and the friends you've made. It's worth noticing how much worse it could have been, how much you could have lost. Believe me, I have been.

Posted by: Stephanie at December 31, 2005 09:56 PM
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[W]e did not drown in sewage after standing on tiptoe in our attic for five days as the government reveled in its ideological mediocrity.

The quote of the day. Hands down.

Posted by: KathyR at January 2, 2006 08:38 AM
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Amen to that.

Posted by: TMJ at January 3, 2006 06:48 AM
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I awoke this morning to find my apple tree, a sapling, blown partly over.

Uh, sorry...practical gardening question:

When a tree has been uprooted like that, partially or completely, can it be saved? I mean, can you tip it back up, pack dry earth into the sodden, anchor it to prevent a repeat, build some kind of retention system, etc.? Or is the shock to the tree necessarily fatal?

Just curious.

Posted by: Sara at January 3, 2006 06:50 AM
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I expect my tree to make a full recovery, Sara, though I might have to prune it a little to compensate for root damage. But it's only about four, five years old, and five feet tall, and only a year in the ground. An older, larger tree with more time to send out an extensive root system would probably suffer more.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at January 3, 2006 03:48 PM
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And all I did, by the way, was to right it and tie it to a couple bamboo stakes.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at January 3, 2006 03:49 PM
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Good to know. Thank you! :)

Posted by: Sara at January 3, 2006 04:12 PM
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