For about a year now I’ve intended to start writing a book to preserve the history and memories of a place my family simply refers to as “the mountain house.” The busyness of life got in the way, and I made a resolution that in 2013 I would actually begin researching and writing. It took some time before I felt really ready to jump in, and this last week I decided that Mondays would be a day where I did something, no matter how big or small, to work towards my goal. And then, beginning on September 11, 2013, torrential rain fell on the mountains in Colorado, and the beloved town where the mountain house stands was devastated by flash flooding.
At the time of this blog post, I have no idea what kind of damage the house or property may have received. Very little photographic evidence is emerging from the town, in large part because all major roads in and out of town have been damaged or destroyed. I know that at least one person died in that town, and at least five more died in other places affected by the same flooding event.
My heart is heavy as I think about the heartache and loss in Jamestown, a town that shows up in so many of my fondest memories. But, I wanted to press on and at least begin looking through some of the items I have. So, I sat down and opened a small binder of photos and papers I got from my grandpa’s house. As I sifted through receipts from purchases made in 1948 for supplies for the house, I came across one particular receipt that caught my attention. There, on the signature line, was my great-grandfather’s name, written in his own handwriting – I.V. My fingers traced his name, and I felt immediately connected to him, even though I don’t have any memory of him.
This is an important project for me to finish, if only for myself.
So, I’m committing to this research and writing journey. I have no doubt that it will uncover both deep sadness and deep joy.
My thoughts and prayers are with all those whose lives have been changed by this flooding. It is a tough community with an amazing spirit, and I know they will overcome this terrible situation.