On Mudslides

I spent several years when in my twenties in the state of California. I lived in the San Francisco area and in the normal course of driving around passed many homes that had been constructed on the side of a hill. They looked so beautiful draped along the hill, one was impressed at the ability of those living in these homes at the daily wonder that awaited them gazing out windows in the morning. However, my gut reaction was why would anyone build a home on the side of a mountain? Aren’t there always mudslides that could knock out a house? When I mentioned this thought home owners would smile at my naive attitude since they were enjoying beauty and the value of their home rose yearly.

Last week a huge mudslide in the state of Washington tore through a few dozen homes that perched on the side of a mountain. Latest reports are that 25 are dead, and at least 95 others are missing. Most probably anyone who got caught in the mudslide and has escaped is dead. Many neighbors are upset at refusal to allow them to assist in the rescue effort. People need the emotional sense that they tried to aid friends. Whatever the slight discomfort to the work of rescuers, this would have been an important feeling to convey to the community.