This and That

fog 0419
Normally at the back of this picture is a mountain with a big W on it.  Fear not: the omnipresent college-student overflow parking is a constant.

The weather is still overcasting a pall of gloom on our Colorado “spring,” although as yet the snow has not made it to Gunnison. (I understand it found Crested Butte yesterday.) I have watched two cats tussle in the kitchen while the ever-vigilant dog eyed them lazily from his ensconcement (probably not a word, but it ought to be) in Lynn’s recliner, and now I have facilitated several cat exchanges, whereby the one that is out comes in, and the one that’s in goes out. It must be warmer this time.

I am still, as yesterday, tussling myself with a welter of topics, none of which has triumphed to the forefront. Some of these fall by the illustrative wayside: I was fully prepared to ramble at great length as to who might have initially eyed a prickly pineapple and thought, That looks like it would be good to eat. But I should have had that thought while the pineapple was intact on the kitchen counter, so that I could add a photo.

[I did finally get around to taking and adding a photo to yesterday’s entry, long after it got sent to followers. It looks better on the actual blog page, I think.]

Now, I am sure that somehow, somewhere, I could come up with a picture of a pineapple in some dark corner of the internet. And perhaps Dole would be pleased if I posted one with their logo alongside. But I do feel bad sometimes about “borrowing” photos I didn’t take, especially when it’s something I could photograph. If I took the photo when I was thinking about it, rather than having that thought occur to me at a much-too-late moment, this would never be a problem.

Let’s just take yesterday as an example. After I finally managed to convince Carol’s garage door to close all the way and stay that way, and removed a spewing can of lubricant out to the patio, Oz and I headed out her back gate to walk the rest of the way to work. A neighbor up the alley has taken great pains with a rock garden, half of it in white quartz and the other half in a darker rock that my non-scientific-self failed to recognize. Although the garden is a rectangle, due to space constraints, it’s clearly set up as a yin-yang. It was very cool and photo-worthy, and even as I thought, I should take a picture of that, I just kept walking.

Then I thought, I could go back up the alley at lunchtime and take the picture then. Ever creatures of habit, however, Oz and I were on Carol’s street rather than in her alley (why “on” a street but “in” an alley?) when I remembered that thought. I should probably wait for a nice sunny day to take that picture anyway, and I’m sure there will be some moment when I find I can use another yin-yang as an illustration for this blog.

At any rate, you are spared — for now — of my pineapple theories. That still leaves me at loose ends, except that I can report it is raining in earnest (and in Gunnison) once again, as it seems to have done most of the night. We aren’t anywhere near a count of 40 days and nights, but I doubt this much water is allaying flooding fears.

Which, I guess I could report, or confess, that Lynn and didn’t get very far in our quest for flood insurance. Instead of talking to our local agent, who is always busy when I stop in, I filled out some on-line form with Lloyd’s of London, through some office in Denver.

I was sent a quote which didn’t seem terrible — if we define terrible within the parameters of insurance costs — but I got confused on the first page. I had listed the estimated construction cost of our house, and that’s what they put under “coverage requested,” but right below that it seemed like the policy they were offering would cover exactly half that. And it said the only thing it covered is “floods.” So I was going to read the 35 pages that followed to see what their definition of “flood” might be, because I can imagine several instances of water-caused damage where the insurance company, which is not in the business of helping people but rather of making as much money for its shareholders as it possibly can, would argue was not “flood-caused.”

Only I have yet to get around to reading 35 pages of dense insurance-speak. (I have no idea why I keep putting this off.) And I keep looking at the geography of the Gunnison River, and how much higher the bank is on the south/east side where our house is being built (several hundred yards away from said bank) than it is on the other side, and thinking it would have to be a flood of biblical proportions to reach us.

Then I think of the floods in Boulder County of about three years ago, where all kinds of water rushed where no one expected it. My friend Dan, up on a hill in a side canyon, avoided rushing water, but listened one night as the hill slid on either side of his house. Fortuitously, there was no structural damage to the house, but decades of landscaping was gone in an instant. (I imagine in that case, an insurance agent would tell you that clearly was not “flood damage.”)

One of the postal contractors who delivers a rural route out of Almont grew up on the ranch that is now the Riverwalk subdivision. She told Lynn the same thing I was thinking, that if it does flood, it does so on the other side of the river.

And we may be out of time anyhow. Most flood policies have to be in place at least 30 days prior to a claim, although I think the quote we got says “15 days.” Historically, flooding around Gunnison occurs in May, although it’s been so cold and wet this year that everything is being pushed back.

My brother-in-law always comes this first weekend in May for a fishing tournament, but that’s been postponed. The clean-up that we always print caps for has yet to happen this year, because it’s still too wet to use the trails at Hartman’s Rocks, and we are on hold with shirts we do for a race in June because the organizers are concerned they may have to alter their race route up in Lake City due to snow-blocked roads. In June.

Well, I have rambled enough without saying anything that I have outlasted the most recent spate of rain, even though it remains so socked in I can’t see W Mountain. It has occurred to me that I could entitled this entry “This and That,” since there isn’t any point beyond typing to hear myself think. And then it occurs to me, you know what would be a great illustration for that title? Someone’s yin-and-yang rock garden. If only, huh?

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