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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
4:28 AM Tue, Sept. 25th

Friday Catchall: Rain in buckets pervasive, near-death encounters

This image shows drainage and the normally dry wash that runs through my property in Williamson Valley. On this day, July 15, 2018, the water was lapping at the banks of the wash – at a depth of about 1.5 feet. (Tim Wiederaenders/Courier)

This image shows drainage and the normally dry wash that runs through my property in Williamson Valley. On this day, July 15, 2018, the water was lapping at the banks of the wash – at a depth of about 1.5 feet. (Tim Wiederaenders/Courier)

The Friday Catchall:

• DESTRUCTION — This has been a great monsoon, hasn’t it?! The seasonal rainfall last month took us from 1.5 inches of year-to-date rainfall to, now, closing in on the historical average of about 6.5 inches.

Plus, the hillsides and fields are green again!

Honestly though, I am a kid at heart, folks, when it rains and the wash is filled with water. What I want is to be out there in it.

I used to don my drover and rubber boots, and just walk around in it — even floating pieces of bark or a stick in the rapids like I was 6 again. Common sense has caught up with me in recent years, waiting until the storm and the lightning have passed (it could have been my wife too who changed my mind, not sure).

However, I loved wading through the wash when it’s running about 2-feet deep. It feels like I am standing on the shore of an ocean, with the waves eroding the sand from under me.

Sadly, not all is well for everyone when rain falls.

Closing out July, the Mayor of Flagstaff on July 31 issued a disaster declaration because of flooding events there; they will see help from the state and Coconino County, the Associated Press reported.

It was not a laughing matter either when flooding hit Paulden years ago, or when two young men died canoeing Granite Creek during a deluge one year. And, we’ve published stories about the flooding in Mayer, in the wake of the Goodwin Fire. Homes knocked off their foundation, cars swept downstream … it was awful.

Thankfully, we have not suffered death and destruction this year. Rain is something we all pray for, but when it arrives in buckets — rather than a drizzle — we hold our collective breaths.

The rainfall, by the way, has us back to normal this year; do not mistake this, however, for an end to the drought.

Speaking of that, when will our communities come together on the topic of water conservation? I wonder.

• GRANITE DELLS — The salient point I heard loud and clear, through the calls for “save the dells” from development, was if you want to save it – buy it.

I get the concern, some of which has been overblown. Still, a lot of the Dells area is privately owned and there is a fine line between preservation and property rights.

Sounds like an argument for the people who helped get the open space funding approved years ago. Will that come back again? We’ll see.

• NEAR-DEATH — It was a pleasant surprise to hear from our former sports editor, Steve Stockmar, this week. He emailed that, while editing religion news at the newspaper, Independent Newsmedia, where he works now in Phoenix, one blurb included a mention of Prescott.

The brief was about a woman who experienced a near-fatal car crash that plunged her into a 12-day coma. When she woke, “the story of the other reality that she experienced, a reality more ‘real’ than life itself, changed her forever in profound ways.” She will be giving a speech on the topic.

She is sharing her story at the Northwest Valley Friends of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) meeting, and the Arizona Chapter of IANDS offers meetings at Unity of Tucson and at Unity of Mesa.

Here’s the kicker: “There will soon be a Prescott Chapter of the Friends of IANDS starting meetings in the fall. For more information, visit aziands.org/mission.”

I’ll bet there will be quite a following for IANDS here. Seriously, I could tell them about some near-death experiences wading through a wash full of rainwater (but that’s a different story).

• PICK OF THE WEEK — (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): The 44th annual car show at Watson Lake, put on by the Prescott Antique Auto Club, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 4-5. It’s from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is $5 for both days (youth 15 and younger get in free with a paying adult.