Thursday, July 30, 2009

Meanwhile, Back on the Ranch...

I have lots of good pictures from our vacation, and good stories to tell. Those are coming. But, right now, I'm just dealing with the 350 emails in my inbox (have to brag about that, because the number of emails you receive while on vacation says something about your self-worth, right?) and, more importantly, the devastation wreaked by a ginormous hail storm that hit our house the first night we were gone. Apparently, according to the internets, it was one of the most damaging storms to hit the Denver area in a long time.

It certainly damaged our house, which now needs new skylights, a new roof, a new paint job, and some new gutters. Luckily, none of this is urgent. At least, we can't see any leaks to the interior.

Insurance doesn't cover the damage to our utterly demolished gardens, unfortunately, or to our trees, which were virtually stripped of their leaves:

And all that effort gardening this year? Here is our yield--one rotting, unripe little tomato, squatting among what's left of the stalks in its bed:

I hope someone will share summer tomatoes with us this year--I'm so sad we won't have our own!
There are downed tree branches all over our neighborhood, and our backyard is no exception:

So, it has been strange to come home from Canada, and a lovely summer vacation, to find that we have little shade, no flowers, no vegetable garden, and a big mess to clean up. It has been cloudy, cold, and rainy. It is as if we stepped right from July into November. And August has not even begun.

Lots of thoughts on all this:
I know not to link weird weather to climate change, and yet, I can't help but wonder.
I'm grateful we have insurance to cover the damage to the house. We needed to make a lot of repairs anyway.
Having the garden destroyed sucks, but I'm also reminded that we are playing a bit at having a garden, and that the safety net of the suburban grocery store is firmly in place, at least for now. Imagine if we actually relied on our garden for food. Imagine if we weren't actually playing at what it might be like to take care of ourselves in that way. I'm both relieved and disturbed by this.
Fragile, it all is. So much to be grateful for, so much fear to hold at bay. But mostly, the gratitude.

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