Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Lowdown on the "L" Ride

I have made a decision not to become a hermit, though I can see that would be very easy to do, and get out with friends or family at least once a day. I am NOT counting trips to the bank as walking in the lobby raises my blood pressure. (Don't get me started. I am changing banks A.S.A.P. as I must think of my health and of my kids)

Thursday is the scheduled "L" ride. Paul decided to join so the "L" ride is officially called a "Low-key" ride. He will get in touch with his softer side. Recipe exchange, fashion and whatnot.

Kat is rounding up help for corner marshall's for the
State Team Time Trial in a couple weeks.Two of the nicest people. Amy, never says a negative thing.
Paul, my old coworker. Only 2 jobs ago.
Strange, one person showed up in the team kit.
Amy buzzes past the set-up for Sturgis Falls.
We are headed out the same was as a couple weeks ago.
Down to Hudson road, out west 1st Street,
south on Union Rd, west on 27th then back in through UNI and on home.
We take a recipe break to think.
Amy is thinking about heading out to the turn around
that they use for the 27th Street time trials.
She made it!! Proof is in the picture! Way to go Amy!!
Next time down to the T-intersection?

Scenes from last week. The "L" Ride = Ladies Ride
Jean, Sherry, Amy and Kat get ready to head south for the "L" ride.
This is what the "A" riders look like. They are getting ready for some throw downs!
We head out to Prairie Lakes.
Way to go Jean. We will see you next week.

Hopefully Mary, Jean and Judy will be able to join.
Anyone else that wants a nice easy ride. The more the merrier.

Take care and take pictures,

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Still Unbelievable

Tuesday, June 17th, we are on our way to the Cedar Rapids airport heading south on I380.
(My kids took the pictures as I thought I should concentrate on driving.)

East side of Quaker Oats.The railroad tracks disappear under the water.
You can see the waterline on the doors on Quaker Oats.
Amazing that the water has gone down so fast.

You can just see all the buildings jammed up against the railroad bridge to the northwest of Quaker Oats. Ellis Blvd. is to the left. That where my uncle lives. Totally underwater.
On the other side of the interstate we are looking down on the deserted mud covered street.
The DQ sign that they kept on showingon the news.
The water was up to the bottom of the sign.
The river is still above flood stage.

Monday, June 16, on the way up to Waverly, Iowa.
It looks almost like a natural lake. Except for the trees and fence line.
These suffered from the Memorial Day Tornado.
Temporary habitat for birds.

Saturday, June 14th, a bike ride with my daughter. Some of the pictures are taken from the same spot as the 10th.
Looking south east at Waterloo Road.
Utility Parkway. The grass shows the waterline.
E checks out the utilities.
Utility offices are being moved while this building gets accessed.
One of the big blue water bumpers is high and dry now.
The dishes are above the waterline.
Big piles of soggy belongings are repeated though out our town and the Midwest.
I haven't made it north of the Cedar river yet.
The sandbags are uncovered now the at the water is down.

The water is and was unbelievable. The people helping others are incredible. Here's a prayer for all of those downstream. Let's pray this doesn't repeat its' self anytime soon.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

We are thankful

We are thankful in Cedar Falls. Our downtown stayed dry thanks to the efforts of hundreds of people working thousands of hours. We rode our bikes on the "L" ride and checked out a couple spots that we saw last time.

The parkade: Sandbags ready to be picked up.
On the way to 1st and Main Street.
Gateway park and its colorful piles of sandbags.
You can see the water passing under the bridge.
The water is still high on the north side of the Cedar River.
The National Guard is keeping on guard for leaking water or people who want to pass.
I'm sure there was a good reason for the toilets out on the balcony.
I don't know the reason though.
Views of the Cedar River from Kreig's Crossing.
Looking toward the east side.

Looking at the tracks that lead to the utilities.

We are all very thankful that the water was kept back. Everyone is keeping their eyes to the sky. We can't take too much more water.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A New Normal

What is normal? These last couple of weeks have been anything but. There were the tornadoes Memorial Day weekend in New Hartford east to Parkersburg on to Dunkerton that were rated EF5. There are the floods that are saturating my home town. Thousands of volunteers spent days shoring up the levy that protects downtown. My life, as I knew it, was yanked right out from under me and my children with my husbands accidental death at work. It had started as a normal day.

The community has pulled together for each other just as my own family, friends, neighbors and coworkers have supported my kids and I this last week and a half. The out pouring of support is both phenomenal yet typical of my town. They drop what they are doing to and rush to help.
They do not question or blame or expect a return. That is how my home town is.

To try and describe what one feels at a time like this is hard. This early I can't really wrap my brain and soul around what has happened. Many people have said they they cannot picture them self in my place. I realize that I can't really picture myself in my place either. I know I don't want to think about all the decisions and paper work that has to be done. I don't want to think at all. But I have to. So I will. I know that many people have been to where I am now. It can be done.

What was "normal" is a new "normal". I don't think I like this new normal but I have no choice. Just like the hundreds of people whose lives have been upended and their homes or businesses destroyed their possessions blown or floating away, they had no choice. Some how, with the support of those who will pray for me and help support my family,this new normal will work. It has to work.

My sister and two friends, Mike and Amy, came and got me out of the house yesterday to go downtown and look at the flooding. I took a few pictures.Looking north at the bike trail and access road from 18th Street.
CF Utilities are in the background.

Mothers everywhere protect their children with water raising fast.
We went way around to get on the other side of the water on Waterloo Road.
I live on the other side.
This seems a more appropriate way to get around.

The utilites is surrounded by water.We look east to Washington park. The utilities offices had a couple people stop by in boats.
The Western Home evacuated hundreds of senior citizens to higher ground elsewhere in town.
This is the back of the Western Home. Sandbagging was at a controlled frenzy.Dishes at the utilities.Sandbaggers met at the UNI dome to board school buses.
They were shuttled to the levy to raise the levy.

A couple of miles of sandbags.

A bit north was hundreds of volunteers working together. There was not a lot of talking.
It was very organized. My son helped during the night.
Several hundred people were up till 2am doing what they could.
Ice House Museum is absolutely surrounded. The sand bags that our Troop 55 helped place are totally submerged. Believe it or not there is a dam. The first time that I have ever seen the river run without dropping over the dam.
Looking north to the boat house you can see its roof.
The river is leaking though the bags and down the street. This is looking east at 1st and Main St.
Gateway park looking north.
The parkade, that's what we use to call it, braces itself for possible water.
We are on the bike bridge, Kreigs Crossing looking north at the bridge that
I took a picture of 3 pictures ago.

Unbelievable. Overwhelming.

We pray for all,

Update.. yesterday afternoon a tornado tore through a Boy Scout camp in Western Iowa. 4 Scouts were killed and almost 50 wounded. Enough already!