The river, tamed back into its banks now in the aftermath of the storm.

The river the day before, in the same spot. This area is the swimming hole, a deep place where the kids love to play. (But not this deep!)

In this photo, taken last summer, you can see how high the banks usually are around the swimming hole.

This is looking out toward the river ford during the storm.

You can see how shallow this river is normally by looking at Princess and a couple of friends playing near the ford here last summer. It’s barely deep enough to cover up to their wrists here in the foreground of the picture (nearest the ford).

Princess loves to play in the river. She’s a river rat in the summer. She saw how high the river was during the storm and actually asked me if she could play in it!! (Uh, NO!)

If this incident in which my car was totalled (yes, totalled) last winter didn’t teach me to respect this river that is often so low, the locals commonly refer to it as a creek….. (This is the Pocatalico River, a river defined by length, not by width, as it is really not a very big river.)

…..this storm certainly taught me. (This picture below is taken in the same place, at the ford, as the picture above. The water wasn’t even that high the day I totalled my car. Not that I’m defensive about that or anything–why do you ask?)

I am so glad I live way up here……….

…….and the river is way down there.

I started out a little too carefree about the river, which led to me totalling my car in the ford last winter. Now I’ve gone to the other extreme and I’m over-cautious about it. I know that’s why 17 ignored my instructions and tried to head out to the river ford the day of the storm. (Thank goodness he turned around on his own after he looked at the ford.) I’ve told him too many times not to ford the river on days he probably could and he is exhausted by my over-caution.

That water went from normal to flood-stage in a matter of hours and it was roaring loud. I don’t just respect the river now, I’m scared of it.

I’d like to think that at some point I will be neither carefree nor over-cautious and that I will actually develop some good judgment about it. I’m not there yet.


  1. Kelly says:

    Suzanne, I am glad the river is calming down. I think your healthy respect of the river will over time lead you to that plain ‘ol good judgment you are wanting concerning it. Right now though, after seeing your pictures (yikes!), I think it is better to error on the side of caution!

    Have a great day and I hope the water is low enough for Princess to be a river rat if she wants today!

  2. Treasia says:

    Nothing wrong with fear when it is for protection. I have seen homes swept down the Mississippi and know the rivers should be feared during a heavy rain.

  3. wkf says:

    Hey nothing like a car totaling to humble someone. I am amazed at how much Princess has grown over the winter! :flying:

  4. Heidi says:

    You will grow to trust it again and yet have enough respect to be careful of it. It’s like an animal – you can never fully trust any animal even your most beloved pets. For one fleeting moment they may have a change of attitude at the wrong time. 🙂
    Growing up we lived on a road that had only one way in and one way out – it ran right next to a deep creek. When it flooded there was NO SCHOOL for us because we could not get through the water. A few times we were able to take the tractor through it, but only when we could see the bottom because the road would wash out. 🙂 Way differant than haveing a curb and gutter take care of the water huh!! 🙂

  5. Kathryn says:

    I grew up around water, and now live within spitting distance of the Mississippi. I can thoroughly understand your feelings. Glad the water is going down! I hope things are back to normal levels soon.

    How did your hill fare during all that rain? Did much wash? I hope Spartacus and company stayed dry, because as I understand it, Princess is the only one with ruffled feather rights around there!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Blaze says:


    The creek got up high, but at least you live far enough awa from it. Used to live right along one when I was little, that got interesting a few times.
    Nothing like having to use a flashlight to watch the water all night long hoping it will start going in the opposite direction :\

  7. Crystal B. says:

    Glad to see the water is receding. Being cautious is a good thing in my opinion.

  8. Robin G. says:

    Flash floods are absolutely nothing to mess with — but don’t let it freak you out on days that aren’t like the ones above. If it really worries you that much — look into a bridge!

  9. Judy says:

    It’s just amazing what water can do.

  10. happyathome says:

    There is nothing wrong with being cautious, especially when it comes to bodies of water! Be thankful you like in a higher elevation and not on the bank! Any record of the 100 year flood line there?

  11. Sharon Elkins says:

    I live in Michigan, and you better be prepared for what’s heading your way. Down pours a coming.

  12. Amy Addison says:

    The judgement about the river will come. It just takes time and experience.

    It’s scary, isn’t it, how fast Nature can turn on you? I’m so glad the river is calming down.

    LOL on Princess wanting to swim in it yesterday! Kids are too funny, sometimes.

  13. Karen B says:

    It’s amazing what Mother Nature unleashes on us. So glad you’re high and dry! :flying:

  14. Diane says:

    Mother Nature is stronger than any of us–and moody too! Maybe she’s going through menopause? Your photos were lovely, but scary too. Glad your all okay!

  15. Donna says:

    I’ve never dealt with it yet, but it scares me too, just the stories I hear…or news reports. Suzanne, when you said you can see that patch of road below your home you showed us…it made me think. During those heavy rains, do you mudslides? No homes go sliding down those hills do that, like in CA?

  16. Donna says:

    Gosh, sorry for the ebonics …bad morning my end. I meant to say “Do you have mudslides out there too…will any homes be in danger of sliding, during those storms?”…like out in CA?

  17. Jodie says:

    Caution is a good thing! It’s good to be on high ground.

  18. Kim W says:

    There’s nothing wrong with a little fear…it’s there for a purpose. But…just don’t start shrieking everytime it rains! LOL :hissyfit: :rotfl:

    I know what you mean about our kids getting a little complacent about our warnings to be careful, etc. Ex: Our family always prays before we begin a car outing – whether a trip to the store or a long vacation – and when our dd’s are the one’s to pray for the ride, it started getting a little “old” and sing-songy. I told them that the biggest reason we HADN’T been in a wreck was BECAUSE of the those prayers, so don’t take them for granted. A little later, as if to prove my point, the brakes went out on our mini-van and we went through 2 red lights in our small town downtown!! We certainly were praying then…LOUDLY!!…as I maneuvered between parked cars and cars stopped at the red lights we were forced to run. When we stopped and some wonderful, concerned people who witnessed it came to check on us, a lady who was in one of the cars waiting for the light to change said that she could hear us screaming our prayers and beeping our horn from a long way back! But the Lord was good, He answered those prayers and kept us safe. :snoopy:

    Lesson learned – it’s been about 11 years since then (they were 9 & 6 then) and now they don’t mind praying when that ignition hums to life anymore! :thumbsup: By the way…I’ve been back on that road many times since…driving between those parked cars and the cars in line at the light WAS a miracle!…If you were to see it, you would say that there’s NO WAY a mini-van could fit between the parked cars and any cars waiting for the light!

    Blessings from Ohio…

  19. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Donna, I really don’t know, I haven’t heard about any mudslides, though I guess it depends on the area. There is a lot of rock in these West Virginia hills. Our house isn’t right on the edge, and we have a lot of rock in the ground here.

  20. Shimmy Mom says:

    I’d be scared of it too :drowning: Even though in my younger years I think I’d have been like princess and wanted to play in it! :yes:

  21. Brandy says:

    Fear is healthy. I don’t blame you one bit!

  22. Estella says:

    It is always better to have a healthy respect for your river, than to be overly brave.

  23. Susan says:

    I think you will be surprised at how quickly you are going to be able to judge the creek like the rest of the real country people. After all you are one of them now! :thumbsup:

  24. catslady says:

    When young and now I’ve always lived on a hill. Just the thoughts of being flooded out (which happens a lot in southwestern PA) scares me.

  25. Christine says:

    “psst, you wanna buy a bridge?”


    That’s what I was going to say. Do ya’ll not believe in bridges out there or what? Yikes! Glad you got your younguns home safe.

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