Cedar Creek Lake

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Moving On After the Fire

by




When I look south from my house, I see trees and bushes and some flowers here and there. You wouldn’t guess that just a few steps beyond this nice view lies the remains of the fire which just a couple of months ago destroyed nearly everything Douglas and Shelly owned.
So I don’t step there very often. It is not pretty, even though Shelly’s beloved plants have defied the fire and have come roaring back, making strange beauty spots in the middle of the disaster area. Douglas asked us to hold off clearing everything out while he dug through the ashes to look for anything he could salvage. He has spent a long time out there, digging and grieving, and he has actually found a few treasures, including some family pictures, a little bit of jewelry, and a Bible. He has been burning debris, and hauling some metal to the recyclers as well. He said if we would just wait, he would get it all cleaned up. But there is no way he can clean it all. We don’t expect him to. But since I don’t have to look at it unless I go down there, I haven’t been rushing him. Then the rain has slowed everything down a lot. I think he is about finished looking, so now we have to figure out how to deal with what’s left. Any suggestions will be appreciated. We have a huge gully behind two little houses here, that threatens to wash right under them someday. One idea was to shove everything left into that gully to stop the wash, but somebody else said that might mess up the water downstream somewhere.
So much for what the fire left us with. What I really wanted to do is give you an update on how Douglas and Shelly are moving on. People have been generous with them, gave them some money, and some good furniture and appliances. And there is another old mobile home on this place, on the other side of the pond, that had got in such bad repair that the single mom who owned it moved out and left it, hoping Douglas and Shelly could use it temporarily. If they can fix it up, and as long as they keep the place area nice and clean, they can stay there. Shelly particularly likes that idea because she can be close to some things she and I had going on here, particularly a partially finished greenhouse where she hopes to start a nursery business. That old trailer is going to need a lot of love and elbow grease, but Shelly is certain it will work, and Douglas is trying to believe it. They have just about got the mold licked. But roof and plumbing leaks have dissolved large places in the particle board floors, and when they thought they had the plumbing fixed and turned on the washer, it flooded the house, dissolving more floor. Shelly got a great deal on some carpet, but she has to have solid floor before she can get it put down. Some electric plugs work, but not all. But outside is nice, if they can get past the mud from all this rain. There is a nicely cleared wooded area, with a view of the pond, and Shelly has already planted a lot of her flowers. Give her a while and she will have it looking like the arboretum.
Shelly is a fierce optimist. She believes something really good will come from all this pain. Douglas is trying, but it is obvious the whole thing still has him down. Shelly said he was still digging though ashes at 3:00 the other night. And it doesn’t help time every time he fixes something and it breaks somewhere else. Shelly says their dog, Little Girl, has had a hard time with it all too. She says when they come over here, she runs and sits on the door steps of the burned-down house and looks like she is wondering where her home went.
Shelly is very grateful for everything people have done for them. She tears up when she tells me she is amazed that people who don’t even know them have reached out to help. She wanted me to take my whole column and just fill it with the names of everybody who helped them and let her thank them publicly. I told her that wouldn’t make very interesting reading.
They are going to be fine. And people have been good to them. But it is my own opinion it wouldn’t hurt if some folks would be willing to help them a little more, maybe sharing stuff they have but don’t need, particularly building material to get the house going. Paint—they won’t be too picky about the color--, a ton of caulking, used plywood to replace that particle board, are a few things I know they need. I don’t guess there is such a thing as used gravel or fill dirt, but they sure could use some help with the mud hole in their front yard. And it would be a real miracle for them if a someone with knowledge about plumbing or electricity were to show up to help them solve some of the things that are stumping them. If anybody wanted to get in touch with them, even just to give them some ideas, you can often find or leave word for Shelly at Antiques on Royall, or Douglas at Ochoa’s. Or I can find them for you.


 




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Cedar Creek Lake Water Level (last 30 days)


Water Level on 6/26: 322.42 (+0.42)



Cedar Creek Lake Fishing Report from TPWD (Jun. 26)

Water lightly stained; 80–84 degrees, 0.85’ high. Black bass are good on deep diving crankbaits, squarebill crankbaits and shakyhead worms. Crappie are good on minnows. Catfish are fair on trotlines. White bass are good on slabs and topwaters. Hybrid striper are good on slabs and topwaters.