Cenizo Journal Winter 2023 | Page 20

Engineering flaws & mud flows

By Judy Eron Egads . It was the last rain that did it : highlighted our engineering flaws .
All we did was remove the tiny fence that we built 20 years ago to keep our little dog safe on the patio . We had meant to remove it for some time--she ’ s been dead seven years . But we finally got around to it this past May , when there hadn ’ t been a lick of rain for months . Our friends were aging , hip replacements , knee replacements , and were complaining of having to step over the fence to get to our door . I think I might have neglected to mention that this fence was built without any gap or gate , and so for 20 years had always required stepping over . It was only eighteen inches high , no big deal at 50 , bigger deal at 70 .
The fence we had built in 2001 was simple — just a top and bottom horizontal rail made of pressure-treated 2x4 with quarterinch hardware cloth in between . We had nestled bricks in the dirt below the bottom rail to provide a base . So , removing the fence required dismantling the fence part and then digging up the bricks , which the 20 years had essentially locked in place . A pickax and shovel did the job , and voila , no more high-stepping over a fence to get to our door . Just nice flat dirt leading to the nice flat stones that had made our patio 25 years ago . Gratitude from our friends flowed like water .
However , we apparently forgot that water flowed like water , too .
In retrospect , Charlie and I both recall having a fleeting thought , an inkling , about the fact that now rain , if it ever rained

20 Cenizo Winter 2023