Views from the edge of a cliff 

Long Story Short

I can still remember a childhood book about a house that hung halfway off the edge of a cliff.

It was occupied by a rather jovial old lady. As she danced around the home, it would creak and shake, but she wasn't worried. Finally a friend — who was definitely the anxious type — persuaded her to leave the home. Just as she stepped out of the door, it dove into the abyss.

I thought about this story a lot when I looked at the new flood maps for the Pikes Peak region, the ones that reflect the huge amount of water we can now expect to get in a major storm, thanks to the burn scar left by the Waldo Canyon Fire.

All those little, red-shaded squares on the map represent people's homes and businesses. And, much like the house on the edge of the cliff, these structures are now tempting fate.

I couldn't help but wonder how their occupants were responding. Were they sweating bullets, or barely thinking about it?

As you'll see in the story that starts here, the answers are as different as the people themselves.

Which leads to a second question: Are any of them right or wrong to feel the way they do?

Consider: Though the house in my storybook was ultimately destroyed, the old lady who lived in it was always happy. Her nervous little friend? Not so much.


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