“You know, Ole,” I said, as we sat comfortably looking out our patio door watching the freezing rain fall on Saturday morning, “two years ago we would have been panicking and rushing out to the shop to start building our ark!”
Ole responded, “Yah, Lena, but two years ago we would have been on the downside of the flood by now. This one is really going to be a late hummer what with all this cold weather we’ve had.”
Yes, Folks, there’s a lot of catching up to do in the Ole and Lena saga as far as flooding goes. Two years ago Shane Mercer from The Forum contacted me and asked me to write about Ole and Lena’s adventures with the notorious flooding in the Red River Valley. At that time we lived on the banks of the Buffalo River in Minnesota (a tributary of the Mighty Red) and had dealt with severe flooding for about 20 years. Shane contacted me again this spring and asked me to write in anticipation of severe flooding in the area. I happily informed him that Ole and Lena wouldn’t be having any of those dreadful, stress-inducing opportunities this year as a year ago we had received a buyout of our property and had moved on to drier “digs.” Believe me, Folks, when we were house hunting I wouldn’t consider looking at any property that was even CLOSE to any form of water. All I’m willing to deal with at this point is a puddle or two in my yard!! Ole does need some place to float toy boats in other than the bathtub, you know. (That’s just a joke, Ole, just a joke.)
In my conversation with Shane, he asked if I would be interested in writing about the flood from a different point of view – a former victim and what my thoughts and emotions would be as I watch the flood progress. I guess at this point I don’t know if they’ll be interesting or not, but I’ll put them down on paper (the computer screen) and see where they go.
I do have some opinions on things that are being done in the area to get the water into the main channel of the river faster – imagine that – a Norwegian with an opinion. But we’ll cover those at a later date. I’m sure some of them won’t be real popular, but that’s too bad.
Norwegians are a bit on the nostalgic side, you know, so I went back and looked at some of our flood pictures from previous years. I guess I shouldn’t have done that as it really sent chills up my spine. Yes, going through a flood is wearing and extremely stressful, but you deal with it as you have no other choice. You just keep going because you have to. But to sit and look at these pictures now requires the use of a Kleenx to wipe the tears away. And we were always fortunate enough to keep the water out of our house. I can’t imagine how it would feel to have your basement and/or main floor go under with the dirty, stinky, silty river water.
Here’s a couple of shots of what we were able to leave behind.
The damage that is done is heartbreaking, and the time and effort and energy that is expended afterwards to clean everything up is astounding. I think back to these days and wonder how we ever managed to get it done year after year. I’m SO thankful we won’t have to do that this year.
Love you all,