The Body in the Wash

What happened here yesterday? Every night in monsoon season my husband reads the weather online to see if we’re going to get a big thunderstorm. Usually we are supposed to get one, and then it doesn’t transpire.  That happened again Saturday night.  Instead of the rain, we got a red sky.

But then yesterday, mid-morning it began to rain.  The rain rapidly quickened its pace, as if the sky had dissolved and the oceans the sky had been holding back poured down on my yard.

A wash runs by my house. Usually it’s dry, and the wildlife is abundant. But within three or four minutes of a downpour, the wash fills dramatically and “raging waters” rush right through my yard!

This fence goes across the wash. It’s intended to keep the javelinas from running through at will. You see the gate in the middle? That’s so that we can walk through it as we walk the wash. Notice how far apart the bars are so that the water can get through on these rare occasions.

Unfortunately, this time we got so much rain so fast that the force of the water was too much for this fence and gate.  It ripped the gate open, then partially off the fence, and then pulled the fence out of its moorings.

Within 30 minutes the storm was over.  The water receded immediately. And we were left with trash from as much as a mile or more away.

As the water departed, this image was left. At first glance, I thought it was a body brought to our yard by the storm.


Filed under Creative Nonfiction, Essay, Memoir, Nonfiction, Photographs

37 responses to “The Body in the Wash

  1. Wow that looks ferocious

    • Luanne

      It only lasted less than a half hour, but it was really ferocious! I saw on the news that in another wash a car was washed right under a lady’s bridge with the driver in it. Luckily, she saw and called the police and they did get him out alive.

  2. Sheesh, you got it bad. Looks like a beautiful place though.
    Have a great day,

    • Luanne

      Patti, thanks! I complain a bit too much about the climate here, but it does have a lot of beauty too. You too!

  3. WOW, that sight would really have put me off my breakfast Luanne, glad you all stayed safe 🙂

  4. Garbage bags can be very mysterious.

    • Luanne

      Ooh, I know. I once saw one in the road and I was so terrified there were puppies inside. There were not, but I couldn’t get it out of my head. In this case, our body was a large shirt with all its white buttons still intact ;).

  5. Wow! I’m glad you all are safe. That does look like a body! Did you check it? 🙂

    • Luanne

      We did! My husband pushed it up into the bars on the deck to me and I hauled it up. A huge heavy (wet and muddy) shirt with all its buttons. Very disappointing hahaha.

  6. Interesting post-wow! Great photos if the event.

  7. Amazing red sky photo!

  8. Luanne

    That red sky felt like such a blessing. I had never seen one so deeply red before!

  9. Beautiful, yet, alarming photographs! I experienced a “flash” rainstorm that quickly caused a nearby river to surge the banks, filling the roads and parking lots waist high. It all happened in under a half hour. Amazing, scary!

    • Luanne

      Lynne, oh my–waist high! So scary! Because we have the wash and it’s fairly deep we feel pretty safe from flash floods usually. This was the first time we got nervous because we have concrete pilings and part of the house rests on those and well, seeing what the water did to the fence . . . .

  10. jeannieunbottled

    I’m sorry your fence was damaged, but wow! — great story and photos!

  11. I’m sorry a great post had to come from an event so scary, but I’m glad all is well. Red skies are a bit eerie, seen my share of them.

    • Luanne

      The red sky was a first for me! Maybe they are more common where you live? I wonder what they mean. Do they mean a storm tomorrow? hah

  12. You have done a great job of describing monsoon season in Arizona. Although it seems to have gotten an earlier start this year. You are wise to take care , staying informed of impending storms. Flash flooding can be quite dangerous.especially homes built in the flood plain.Nature pays no attention to the fact that there is a house in the middle of the wash.It’s been sending water down through there for who knows Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years.

    • Luanne

      The other thing about monsoon season is that m living room drapes grow and shrink with the season. Very strange.
      Yes, I can see from the TV how dangerous it was. My husband wanted to go into the wash when it looked like the gate was going to blow, and then said he needed another strong person to help (that wouldn’t be me was the implied comment hahaha). I’m so glad he didn’t have somebody else to help as they both would have been swept away!

      • I’m thinking that what you are experiencing with the drapes has some thing to do with humidity, moisture in the air. You appear to be new to the AZ desert. Is this your first summer and upcoming monsoon season>

        • Luanne

          No, I’ve been here for 8 years. Yes, the drapes are from humidity. They are matelasse and streeeeetch.

          • So you have had the opportunity to enjoy a few

            • Luanne

              Yes, like the July 4th one year where we discovered oops the remodeller didn’t put the “surge protector” on the house like he was supposed to. ALL our electronics were ruined in one lightning strike!

  13. Good to hear everyone is safe

    • Luanne

      Thanks, Bert. I’m so glad my husband didn’t run into the wash to open the gate so it wouldn’t break.

  14. I cannot type this morning! Thank you I hate stormy weather! Glad everyone is safe and sound!

  15. I was astounded by the amount of rain, the beautiful gate and greenery. I think it is so interesting how the water is so powerful, also that you have to keep the javelinas out. That is kind of scary! The image of the puffed up shirt did look like a body… that would have been really scary and eerie, too. Thanks for sharing about this, when my old friend’s creek floods, it is huge and covers his whole front yard. I also read Jules, who writes poetry and flashy fiction ( and she had a big torrent of rain that brought down huge trees, early summer.

  16. Luanne

    I just tried the link, and it doesn’t work. Do you think it’s a letter off or something? Thank you so much for reading and responding! It looked so much like a body, it was really something! I did see (on TV) someone else’s yard that completelyfilled up from the flood, but that’s because they had a block wall fence around their yard, whereas ours is more open.
    Our fence isn’t fixed yet, but we have it blocked up with boulders to keep the javelina out. They are so ugly they are cute with their babies (always two babies in tow), but their teeth are six inches long!

  17. WOW! Intense amount of water and creepy, almost body…..

  18. Pingback: Day 15 of Tupelo Press 30/30 Project: “City Driving in the Time of Monsoons” #poetry | Writer Site

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