I apologize about the gap between articles this summer. I usually try to get one in every month, but the Rowland household has gone through a little adversity this year.

I can’t really say we have been flood victims, but the heavy rains of 2008 have found their way into our downstairs twice. That may not sound like enough reason to halt the presses, but our downstairs is not your typical sublevel dwelling.

My wife is a certified day care provider and we converted our entire lower level to accommodate her business. As I am writing this, my garage is full of most of the day care contents and will remain there until we finish our repairs from the water damage.

The rains of 2008 have also seriously affected my fishing guide service. I have canceled more clients than ever due to rains or tainted water from the rains.

With my business, I had put in many long hours during the winter. I traveled to fishing shows and was very successful in setting up clients for the spring and summer.

I put in a strong effort with the guide service and was set up to have my busiest year ever. Then the rains came.

One client after another began canceling due to adverse weather. Every week I was crossing two to three clients off my schedule and I was hoping that the weather could turn in my favor.

The first week in June brought more rain and more cancellations and was also the first time water found its way into the day care. My wife and I worked very hard cleaning up and repairing damages and we had the downstairs back in the day care business in a short period of time.

Then in the first week of July came the five inches of rain in one night. Once again, water found its way through our walls and this time, the damage was more intense. We have yet to finish the necessary repairs.

I usually maintain my composure and have a positive attitude during adversity, but the combination of lost business and our household troubles had me feeling pretty sorry for myself. I wasn’t slipping into any type of medical depression, nor was I having any anxiety attacks. Let’s just say I was, using a phrase from the 70s, “a major league bumming man.”

Sitting on our couch one evening, I began thinking about how everything has fallen apart and gone wrong. Then my daughter showed up with the grandkids.

My four-year-old granddaughter ran in and crawled up on my lap and soon, my one-year-old grandson was crawling around the room and getting into things.

The six o’clock news was on while all of this was happening and they were covering the floods in Cedar Rapids. The TV was showing scenes from the downtown area. As I looked at totally destroyed homes, they began to interview one of the victims. I listened as this man began to describe his losses.

He was in his upper 60s and had lived in his home for over 40 years. He lost everything. The news piece was sad and very touching. After watching the story, I began to realize how silly I had been with my mood.

I also began thinking about the other Iowans who have suffered losses this year; Parkersburg, Attica, the Boy Scouts in Sioux City, etc. I sat in the living room that night, looking at my healthy grandkids and realized that my foul mood had been unjust and selfish.

I began to realize how lucky I am. My downstairs will be repaired and the fishing will bounce back, but this entire experience has taught me a lesson, to be thankful for the things that really matter.

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