It’s hard to believe it has been a year since the flood. We’ve come so far, yet in several communities there is still much to do. You’ll still find dirt roads in Lyons or Jamestown where pavement once reigned. We won’t soon forget the helplessness felt last September.

1269611_899451540001_549983168_oPersonally, the flood put a lot of things in my life into perspective. The most incredible thing I learned from my three month displacement was how generous our community is. As an east coast transplant, I’m so grateful to my many new friends who helped house my husband and I when we had practically no other options. It was a humbling experience, in some cases having to accept help from some folks we hardly knew, including a New Jersey couple who allowed us to live in their second home/condo for 8 whole weeks—rent free. Our southeast Boulder neighbors, who were also affected by the flood came out in swarms to help fill dumpsters and move belongings. Our landlords rose to the occasion as well, going far beyond their legal obligations to us and working overtime to rebuild our basement apartment and get us back in as quickly as possible. They didn’t get tax breaks or special credit for their “donation” to us, they simply did it out of the kindness of their hearts. I’ll be forever grateful.

Another lesson learned from the experience was that stuff… well, it’s just stuff. There’s really very little we NEED. 1291610_898558928801_1781288057_oWe didn’t lose everything. We were lucky to wake up that first morning of the flood to a few inches of water already in our home. This early alert kept us home from work and (again with some much appreciated help) allowed us to move all of our belongings that weren’t already destroyed out of harms way. BUT, we did live without 90 percent of our belongings that were in storage for three months following the flood. That helped me realize my fancy wine glasses, my 8 plus pairs of shoes, my TV, my bookcase full of books that I thought I couldn’t live without… well it turns out I could. Very easily.

So, here at EO and MG, we’d like to remember the one year anniversary of The Flood and how it made us rethink our lives and realize what matters most. We would also like to ask our readers to share their own lessons and experiences. We’re so proud to be a part of a community of mud-slingers and good neighbors.
Elizabeth O’Connell is the associate publisher of Elevation Outdoors and MountainGazette.com.