All posts tagged: Cabin

Antelope Street Cabin in LEGO

Our cabin, along with 305 other residences in Hidden Valley Alberta, was destroyed in the flood of June 2013. All that is left of it is rubble, but we have many wonderful memories and hundreds of photos taken by our family – the Antelope Street Photographers. I chose the name Antelope Street because that was the street where our cabin was. It was a gravel road that branched off the main drive. At that intersection it was a broad thoroughfare lined with grand old poplar trees and pretty little houses. By the time it got down to where our house was, however, it had narrowed somewhat. Past our place, it rambled on a bit further, then turned into a path that wandered down to the river. I can’t begin to count how many times we all walked that road, either westward to the privacy and serenity of the river or eastward to join family and the community. The spirit of the cabin lives on in the LEGO world, thanks to the thoughtful creativity of my …

In Hidden Valley – A Remembrance Poem

In Hidden Valley the sunflowers grew Between the poplars, fresh with dew. They marked our divots; and in the sky The crows, still cawing as they fly, Break the calm that lies below. We are the scattered. Short days ago We laughed, played late, watched bonfires glow. Then the river rose and now our homes lie Silent in Hidden Valley. __________________ Dedicated to the 305 Hidden Valley families who lost their homes in the flood of 2013. For further information about this disaster, go to the website Hidden Valley, Alberta. Inspired by the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by the Canadian WWI soldier, John McCrae Post 453

Unplugging from the Web – Flowers Help to Heal

It’s called ‘The Web’ because once you’re in it, you are stuck. – Terry Hall – I’m going to take some time off – see if I can find a new Happy Place.  I know it exists somewhere here in my mind, but I’m not having much luck finding it right now. So, I’m going to unplug for a while. I hope you will come back to visit my blog when I return! Before I go, here are the photos I took the last time I was at the cabin. It is quite remarkable what is blooming out there. All 305 homes were destroyed, yet the flowers are cheerfully acting like nothing happened! A yellow Columbine or Aquilegia. A pink Rose. It is a hardy bush rose, but I don’t know it is called. I wish I had one in my yard! A white Shasta Daisy. These grow like weeds at my place. An orange Daylily. I have these in my yard, but they never look this good! A white Mallow or Sidalcea. I’m really …

Golf Carts and Corn Stalks – After Flood Perspectives

Our eyes are side by side – we just naturally look at life in a horizontal perspective! In the aftermath of the Flood at Hidden Valley, Alberta, a few things that were once vertically aligned are now in a horizontal position. This golf cart near the 4th green has become a little greenhouse for what looks like a sunflower plant! I turned the camera and took a vertical shot of the 4th fairway. It is now a lush forest of new poplar saplings and – a few more sunflower plants. I continued walking along the 4th, past the Half Way house, then to the 6th green and bunkers. In addition to much more beach area, I found a corn plant. This vertical photo shows the lush green growth of the grass – and a few more of the many corn plants in that area! The Car Guy and I think that bird feed must have been scattered by the flood waters. The wet, nutrient rich silt encouraged the seeds to germinate and grow very quickly.  …

Foreshadow of a Flood – Rain Clouds

Sometimes clouds, not fluffy ones like these, but dark, rain filled ones – settle in over the Rocky Mountains and dump buckets of water. If they do this when these mountains are still covered with their winter coats of snow, then disaster will follow. Frozen little mountain streams turn into torrents which then fill the rivers they feed. As the rivers flow east, they merge – creating even more powerful forces. By the time the Bow River got to where this picture was taken at the Community of Hidden Valley, it was flowing faster and higher than it ever had in our lifetimes. This photo foreshadows  what was to come. Edward VIII replaced his fly buttons with a zip, a revolutionary move; and his Fair Isle pullovers, shorts and Windsor knots were considered by some to foreshadow the end of Empire. – Angus McGill – To see other photos from this Challenge: Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreshadow Post 448

Messages – Muddy and Otherwise

There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud. – Carl Sandburg – A slippery, gooey, contaminated mud coated just everything in Hidden Valley. When it dried, it formed sheets that cracked as they hardened. Such was the case at Kevin’s house, where his mailbox announced You’ve got mail – a Letter from your Mudder! _______________ Hidden Valley was a unique little place – a community on a First Nation’s reserve but with mostly non-First Nation residents.  Many partnerships and friendships were formed between the two entities, and these should have been enough to ensure a new lease. It wasn’t. The “No to a Lease” group continued to grouse about our existence, even after we had been obliterated. Lately though, some members of Siksika Nation have voiced their disapproval of the people who “bash” us. It takes courage to speak the way they have and we thank them for saying the things we will not say ourselves. _____________ An entire …

scowling

Note to the Human Vultures

It seems to me the vultures have stopped circling. – Geoffrey Becker – Hidden Valley has been a beehive of activity since the go ahead to enter the flood zone was given by Health Canada and The Siksika Nation. The predominantly senior population have donned safety equipment and entered their properties. For most of them, the recovery of a few precious items is the most they can hope for. A few others are trying to salvage pieces of their home so that they can rebuild elsewhere. The sole road into the area is manned by security guards. This isn’t new. Hidden Valley might appear to be rather remote and isolated, but there have always been Human Vultures who knew how to bypass security. For the most part, they were more an annoyance than anything, but last March, the species know as Vandalis vulturus  caused extensive damage to 25 homes. A few of the homeowners had not yet moved back in before the flood hit. Other vultures have been circling over our flood disaster zone for …

Hidden Valley – Re-entry

There’s no such thing as a 100-year flood. – Andrew Cuomo – Our Cabin before the flood – of 2013 …  after being rebuilt by the previous owners after the floods of 1995 and 2005. Our place after the flood. The cabin was lifted by the water,  rotated almost 90 degrees, and then set back down in a different location. The front of the cabin – the sunroom was torn off, leaving only its roof. The back of the cabin came to rest against one of the outbuildings in the neighbour’s yard. The blue bench in the foreground of this photo was part of the deck that was attached to the back of our cabin. This deck is now on the far side of the neighbour’s yard. There is a row of flat rocks on the top rail of this blue bench – I put the rocks there, and they did not move though the deck floated more than 60 feet and turned a full 180 degrees. (We’ll rescue the rocks!) The same deck as …

Hidden Valley – A Community Lost

The Siksika Nation chose not to renew the Lease for Hidden Valley. Insurance companies will likely refuse to compensate cabin owners for loss from the  overland flooding of the Mighty Bow River in Alberta. Provincial and Federal Governments might choose to provide Disaster Assistance to some who lost their primary residence. The result: the majority of people at Hidden Valley will have to walk away with nothing to show for years and years of pioneer like effort. With the stroke of a pen, the people in power will finish the destruction of a Community. None of them will think to ask what was, in years gone by, perhaps the most important question, “What is the value of a community?” Unlike some of the people at Hidden Valley, my cabin is not my primary home. But like so many other people out there, Hidden Valley is the only community I really belong to. Yes, my principal residence is in a rural area that is high and dry (except for the hail and now – more rain), …

After a Flood – Responding to Stress

I read a study the other day that looked at post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in flood victims. The study observed the long term effects on residents of a flood in Poland in 1997. I was struck by the similarities between that flood and the floods here in Alberta – a sudden and huge water level rise; lack of adequate alert time; little or no time to deploy preventive measures; the permanence of disruptions and the lack of social and psychological support. Little or no financial compensation from any source was also a factor, and I expect that may be a reality for many of the residents of Hidden Valley too. Now, I’m not going to make light of this, because I think it is important for each and every one of us to think about why we might be feeling the way we are today, and understand why we might still be feeling ‘off’ years from now if we don’t actively seek solutions. We didn’t just lose our cabins or homes – we lost …

Cabin For Sale

FOR SALE: one cabin in Hidden Valley. Completely renovated in 2005. Last seen on Antelope Street. Must be moved as lease will not be renewed. Exterior amenities include one trampoline, numerous pieces of lawn furniture, fire pit, and several garden sheds – maybe. Also possibly one hot tub, assuming the electrical cord that kept it tethered in the yard during the last flood does the same job this time. Located off site are two golf carts, one gasoline and one electric. Last seen with several hundred or so similar vehicles near the Club House. Easy to identify – one is red and one is blue.   Post 423