For all of the wrong reasons.
First, the bridge.
Just a few yards down the road from our ranch gates, across the south fork of the Milk River, stood an aged iron bridge, painted black.
And a large crew of men accompanied them.
Of course, if I'd realized then that this crew was actually there to replace our great and marvelous playground, I probably wouldn't have been quite so enthusiastic. They toiled away on it for several months.
Dad announced that he had some really exciting news.
A movie crew was coming to the ranch to film.
Suddenly everyone began to act strangely.
The hired men actually polished their boots. And availed themselves of the showers and laundry services. Mom, ever practical, began bringing in truckloads of food.
I got in everyone's way. Okay, this was normal, but I didn't want you to think I wasn't proactive. The ranch was suddenly antiseptically clean. (Well, not quite, but you get the picture . . .)
The expected day grew closer. And closer.
I stopped sleeping. Well, actually, Mom stopped sleeping, but I did feel sorry for her.
The anticipation was palpable.
The day arrived. The movie crew didn't.
But the flood did.
Finally, it became clear that our quiet little trickle had officially turned into . . . something much bigger. Something huge and brown and scary that threatened everything in its path.
My motto has always been 'panic first, think afterwards'. And it has served me well.
The normally milky, now chocolate-brown river crept nearer and nearer.
|Yes, that's our yard - |
there's usually a road, (and a cliff)
between us and the river.
|Old bridge, new bridge |
and very, very wet equipment