I woke up this morning about 6:30. As I was pouring water into the coffee pot I caught myself listening outside the kitchen window for air boats. When I let the dog out to pee I caught myself peeking around the edge of the door to see if there was standing water in the road.
I'm happy to say that everything in Conklin is fine. The rain storm we got last night (which was quite an eerie feeling!) brought much needed liquid to the brown and sluggish river that runs through our town.
I was talking with a neighbor friend a couple of weeks ago. She and her husband had to wade out of their house a year ago this morning. Her husband then got into his kayak and rowed down theslightly-sloping hill toward the end of their street to wake up some friends who were completely unaware that they were getting trapped by muddy, churling floodwaters. Then she and her husband spent the next couple of months clearing out the soggy remains of their basement and reconstructing it. When we were talking she said, "I'll be glad when the anniversary is past. Something about the year being over with will be encouraging to us."
I remember feeling the same way after our house fire. We marked the one year anniversary of the fire -- which happened on a New Year's Eve -- with a huge celebration. We must have had more than 50 people (including at least 20 or 30 small children!) crammed into our house to celebrate.
So, Brian and I decided to have a backyard picnic for our neighbors. I borrowed one of the most poignant flood photos our friend Stephanie took. And I borrowed the theme from the Willow Arts conference I just attended to create a beautiful picnic invitation to hand out to the neighbors.
And, even though Brian and I have been accused by a couple of people at our church for not paying enough attention to their families during the flood, we still have zillions of amazing memories of working together with our church family to help our neighborhood families to muck out and get back into their homes. Those memories are extremely precious to Brian, me and our kids. God allowed us to love our neighbors while wearing ridiculous looking boots and sweaty blue T-shirts. So, if you happen to be near Conklin this Saturday at 4 and want to stop by our picnic, we'd love to have you join us in our dry and safe neighborhood!