LIVING THE DREAM, Part 18: “When The Dream Became a Nightmare”

Appalachian Campground

May 30, 2018

“I’m really concerned about that creek, after these downpours,” I told my husband, a camp host here at Appalachian Campground, yesterday.

“Awww, it looks way worse than it probably is, babe,” Jeff said.

Still, it was true. The Hiawassee River was definitely throwing a tantrum, as its muddy headwaters spread ever closer to the campsites.

That was yesterday afternoon. Hours later, while Jeff watched a Western movie on his laptop  and I was pounded out  a story on my Mac as we sat at our dinette booth, lightning and thunder of Biblical proportions put on a show outside our window. Suddenly, my phone bleated a warning about flash floods in our area.

As if on cue, someone banged on our door.

“Hey, y’all,” he said. “The water’s  up to the first or second step of our trailer. It’s lookin’ real bad for people close to the bank.”

By then, the sky had turned an inky bluish black. I looked down the road to see whether our friend, Terri, was home. If she was not, I asked her to let me know as soon as  she got in. Just as I was ending the call, I saw a Maraschino cherry-colored Chevy outside. Soon, she straggled, sopping-wet and panicky, into our motor home,She said she had been in a deep sleep when someone hammered on her door and insisted that she leave her fifth-wheel, at once, so it could be moved clear of the flood water. She must leave at once, he repeated, even if it meant  leaving Nicky and “Sugar-Baby”, her cat and her  sugar-glider  behind.

“You know, Kim, I’ve been visiting a friend for a couple of days, but something — or Someone — told me to come home now,” she said, folding her hands as if in prayer. After I loaned her a dry pair of shorts and the softest t-shirt I owned, I poured us each a glass of Shiraz. While we were talking, another soggy camper joined us to wait out the storm.

As the night wore on, it was beginning to look like everyone — including Jeff and me — would have to evacuate, as the waters had spilled into the sites. Since we also have a car, I was afraid I would have to navigate it along dark, slick,  shoulder-less mountain roads.

After my friend settled in for the night, cuddled up in a fleece throw on our couch, Jeff and I retired to our bedroom. Still expecting to flee our motorhome, we slept in our clothes. After praying to God for protection, I drifted off to sleep.

So, how does this post relate to authors and writing? Even better, how does it not? The people and events in authors’ lives take on “flesh”. If those people are lucky — and sometimes unlucky — they find themselves in our stories.

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