Monday, February 13, 2012

Been Awhile

First, the excuses:
My computer has been in the shop for a week, and still is.
I hate typing on the Ipad.
I was in the shops for three weeks. There's really not that much to talk about.


The ferry reopened last thursday. I started my regular Sunday-Wednesday week yesterday. Last week, the boss was in a class most of the week, and had told me that I'd be doing office stuff during those days. So I came to work wearing office clothes--my favorite jeans, a cashmere sweater, pearl earrings. And ended up stuck down at the ferry, washing the muck and silt off the ramps. I was filthy. And then Thursday, I'd been told the day before that the boss was going to sit with me in the morning and give me stuff to do, then go down and open the ferry with someone else. So I wore jeans and a WHITE sweater. And ended up possibly filtier than I've been before on this job, since I ended up working to open the ferry too. Serves me right. I guess I should keep a ratty old hoodie in the trunk of my car or something.

When we came down on Thursday to open the boat, the ferry was grounded. The water had fallen so fast that it was sitting smack on the hull. When you stepped on the boat, you could feel how far it listed over, with the front end leaning against the slope of the ramp. We tried everything we could, even pushing pickup trucks against it, but in the end, we had to call for a backhoe to come down and push. Took the backhoe about 30 seconds. We should have done that in the first place.

It was sort of cool to do all of the steps to get the boat back up and going. Last time we closed for high water, we called the Bridge Crew in to get the boat reopened. I did help, but they're Big Burly Dudes and didn't want a wee wimpy girl to help. This time, there were three of us, and we did it all. My arms were so damn tired by the end. Tons of bolts that had to be tightened tighter than you knew you had the strength for, 1000 feet of heavy metal cable that had to be fed out from the back of the truck slowly so it doesn't kink. It was a heck of a long day.

After we did all of that, the boss and I had to go up to the other ferry, and do some work up there. I was fine with it, it meant an hour or so of overtime, which has been sorely lacking working in the shops. Somehow on the drive up there, he and I ended up on the topic of religion. I think I started it, I was relating the story my sister had told me the night before about how her 5 year old had gotten in an argument on the school bus about whether "GodandJesus" existed. My boss was all starting up that he'd have to convert me or something, and I was getting uncomfortable. Finally I said, "Look. I'm a cross between a lapsed Jew and a lapsed Catholic who met and got married in a commune in San Francisco in the early 70s. Growing up, the Grateful Dead was my religion!" He cracked up and gave in, "Ok already, you've got a good excuse." HA!!

Working in the shops was nice...and weird. It was so awesome to not have to be at work until 8. I loved the short, 8 hour days, the paid lunch, and the fact that, holy cow, I was home by 5 every night! But at the same time, it was downright odd. I sat at my old desk most of the time, which was nice, but weird. Nobody was the boss of me, telling me what to do or caring if I was working. Which, mostly, I wasn't. It was more the odd questioning looks that other people gave me when they saw me. People who I never really talked to or associated with when I was a planner. They'd look at me with a look that very clearly said, "I recognize you, but you don't work here anymore. WTF are you doing here." But they wouldn't actually say anything, just give me a really weird look and the cold shoulder. I felt like an outsider. That part sucked. Like my old home wasn't my home anymore. Which I guess it's really not.

The flood did a fair bit of damage down by the ferry. As I sit on the boat typing this, I can see a work crew up on the road about 100 feet from the ramp, repairing a washout and hole that developed under the road. A coworker described it as "as big as a bear den." Having never seen a bear's den, and only a bear in the wild once, I don't know if that's accurate, but I know I wouldn't want to drive over that spot. Also, a ton of gravel and fill under the concrete pad around the tower washed out, and the fence is ruined. If it stops raining today, I'll walk up and take pictures. The chain link fence is totally covered with grass and weeds, the water was well higher than the height of the fence. The force of the water was strong enough that it pulled the fence posts out of the concrete, and the fence is leaning at an angle. It's a bit of a mess. The boss said that FEMA money will help fix that sort of thing, since the whole county was declared a disaster area.

I talked to a local yesterday who said that a creek near their house changed course, and is now about 30 feet from their back porch, instead of about 150 feet. Water levels have dropped, and the creek is still there. Instant waterfront property. Rather nuts.

The water level dropped pretty fast, once it finally started to. So fast, in fact, that I just recieved notice that the other ferry has closed. Closed for LOW water. WHAT?! While river levels are higher than they are in the summer, the flood deposited a ton of gravel in an already high spot in the path of the ferry. Looks like the WF will be closed for at least a week, and they'll have to get out there and dredge. Fingers crossed the BV doesn't close for low water. I don't think I really want more time in the shops. Plus, my paychecks are suffering! I've gotten used to 24 hours of overtime each paycheck!

No comments:

Post a Comment