Before I begin the retelling of this story I want to get you in my mindset – why this was so frightening. Trevor. Cannot. Swim.
The vacation was a surprise gift from my mother and father in law, something neither one of us saw coming. After seeing how difficult this year has been for us they wanted to give us the vacation we crave, and what we craved more than anything was the cabin in the woods. This was where my family always escaped to in the summer, the place where Trevor and I went on our honeymoon. This was our happy place.
Luckily, before the sky opened up I remembered to take some photos.
As you can see the cabin we stayed in was built up on the hill, away from the lake. We never thought in our right minds that this was going to be a saving grace.
The first day it rained, but only slightly. It was more like a humid blanked had been draped over us, we couldn’t have cared less. It was our place, and it was our time to be away from phones, computers, work, money and every other care in the world. We listened to music, we danced (I know, so darn sweet it makes my teeth hurt), we cooked, we read, we walked….we did all the things we always did when we came here. This was Friday. By Saturday, things started to change.
By the time we lost power on Saturday we had 5 inches of rain and the lake, a runoff from the river, had risen to engulf what was left of the land between cabins. Our cabin was the highest of them all, and thus suffered the least amount of damage (and no damage to the car). We though this was going to be a great story! We played Scrabble, took a nap and went about preparing to read for 24 hours straight – heaven in our books.
But it just kept raining.
We kept reading, eating fresh fruit and drinking copious amounts of coffee, and we listened to it rain. We came to the decision very early in the morning that it was time to get out. Well, that just wasn’t going to happen.
At this point, the Evil Dead was playing over and over in my mind. Trapped in a cabin, no phone and no way to contact our family. We were trapped here – and my husband cannot swim. I will be the first to admit that after I took the photo my Panic Monster reared its ugly head and I had a full-fledged meltdown on the road. Trevor was calming, comforting, and more than anything he was reasonable. We would go back to the cabin and read, waiting for the storm to stop. Ash Caves floods all the time, and the flash floods dissipate in hours due to the great civic engineers that plan for this.
So back to the cabin. The rain never relented its beating on the roof and slowly the pages of our books begin to wilt with moisture. Between the two of us though (I figured I should add this) we finished:
By noon, the poor couple across the lake tried to make a run for it. Their car seemed to disappear into the mud and the water rose very, very quickly. The clawed (yes, they clawed) their way out of the car and back to the cabin. This is when the network of people trapped in the valley went to their canoes and began helping one another. I wish I had taken pictures of this, but truth be told I was so scared of having Trevor in that water that I forgot to breath. With my foot he was adamant I stay inside, so me and my panic attack medication became old friends again.
We traded food, books, movies (some had portable DVD players and laptops that still had batteries) and board games. It wasn’t long after this that the man who owns the property showed up in his boat, ready to get us to the pay phone to call whoever we needed. Trevor took this picture when he made it up and called our parents and my brother respectively.
As you can see the rain had finally stopped, but the damage was done – we weren’t going anywhere. The gentleman told all of us not to fret – I am going to quote verbatim here:
“Of course I’m not going to charge you! Trying to leave here is as useless as tits on a nun!”.
So we ate marshmallows, read, played massive amounts of Scrabble and waited for either the cabin to go into the water or the water to recede. Finally, the next day the water seemed to be going down at a comical rate, like a giant stuck a straw in the lake and was taking monster gulps. The irrigation systems were back on track, we still had no power but who could care about that! I should thank my Dad for instilling in me the need to 1) Over-pack both clothes and food and 2) have a small, odd fetish for flashlights/lanterns/candles and everything else you could need to see in the dark.
We called home again, this time able to walk more than we paddled and for the first time in days I took a big deep breath. This was still our happy place – some stupid flash flood wasn’t going to take that away from us. When we were finally able to maneuver the car out we thought we were footloose and fancy free.
The funniest (or saddest, I am choosing funniest) is that when we hit a hole backing out the trunk popped open and the bag with my knitting and our books when right into the water. I got out of the car and just hollered and laughed, go figure huh? We waded in thigh high water to retrieve what we could (we lost two books and two and a half knitting projects) but who cared? We laughed the whole way home.
Looking back it is already taking on the quality of a good story, a damned good story in my opinion. If all works out, this is what my NANOWriMo novel is going to be this year, there are too many “what if’s?” to ignore the possibility of a great story. As for Trevor and I, we are glad o be home, clean, feed and curled up with Max who refuses to leave our side. All in all, I have to say it was a truly epic anniversary!