Wednesday, May 13, 2009

GG's 1st Birthday FLOOD????

My first daughter's birthday was going to be the dream of any little princess. I baked and decorated a beautiful Wilton castle cake adorned with sparkly sugar turets, hand made sugar forget-me-not flowers (.10 cents a piece x 100= $10.00), there was a glistening sequined crown (I had a sweet paper crown on my first birthday), coordinated pink and purple 1st birthday decorations, sand buckets and shovels with shiny pinwheels tucked inside for the many small children who were invited, and all her aunties, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, showering their gifts and their love upon the tiny princess. It was all planned in my mind. It was going to be wonderful. And it better be, seeing as how I worked 4 hours on the cake with homemade buttercream frosting! At ten o'clock Friday, we put the cake in the fridge, cleaned up a bit and called it a night. We left my mother's house and headed to DH's parent's house to rest up for the big party the next day. We never expected what would happen next.

At 2 o'clock in the morning DH's mother came up the stairs to our room yelling for us. Our sleepy ears heard something about a flood. We sprung from our beds realizing what was going on. It had been raining off and on for 5 days straight. That day in particular had been beautiful, sunny and warm. But now, it was dark and pouring the rain. And flooding my mother-in-law's hundred year old house. DH and my father-in-law ran as fast as they could to move the cars to higher ground, while mom and I ran around frantically picking up what we could off the floor which was by now becoming sautrated from the ground up with brown, mucky water. The house had no foundation, so the water just seeped through the floors. We ran to the stairs to escape the cold, intrusive waters which were quickly rising. DH and my father-in-law were back in the house now and trying to find the fuse box to shut off the power. My mother-in-law was crying. She grabbed my hand and said, "Pray with me Angie, just pray!" We sat hand in hand, praying for protection and for God to be with us. I was thinking that I wanted to get my little baby out of that house. But the water was rushing and we definately couldn't make it safely. I prayed that God would stop the floods and keep us safe. We all retreated to the second floor to "wait it out." We could see the neighbors on higher ground taking people in. My father-in-law was yelling out the window asking if all the neighbors were out. They were all slowly getting out. I saw his one neighbor running in his boxers with no shirt. His teenage daughter running with her newly purchased prom dress in hand. They had no where else to go but the neighbors. My family and I were all still stranded in an old house that could be swept off it's foundation at any time. We tried calling our family on cell phones, but the reception up in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky is less than desirable. We all felt so helpless. We held hands and prayed for the pounding rain to stop and for God to keep us safe. Baby GG slept through this whole ordeal, oblivious to the storms and impending danger around her. It reminded me of Jesus sleeping on the boat during the storm. I kept thinking, "Peace be still, peace be still!" I also kept thinking about the song I recently finished called, "Here Comes the Thunderstorm." When I was writing it, I never imagined I'd be in the midst of a flash flood, having to exercise the faith I talked about in the song. But I remained my cool, calm, self, reassuring my DH and mother-in-law who were understandably very frightened.

After the storm, the sun came out, the waters receeded, and what was left in my inlaw's house was previously 2 feet of water and now stinky mud, mud, mud! The devastation was wide spread. We got reports from all over Eastern Kentucky and Western West Virginia of the damage by the flash floods. People were stranded without water, power, or food, unable to get out of small, flooded, muddied, hollows and towns. But I've never seen such generosity! There are ATV's aplenty back home, and they came roaring through the mud with coffee, sandwiches, drinks, cell phones, rides, and whatever friends and family needed. It was amazing! I mostly just stayed with the baby, who was awake by now. I worried about keeping her milk cold, as the fridge was flooded. But the milk stayed cold in the feezer, and I had plenty of baby food on hand. God was keeping us! We were stir crazy though. In my boredom, I kept thinking about GG's party. All the work, and all the fuss just didn't seem important now. I was just so grateful that we were together and that God kept us safe.

As soon as the waters receeded enough for our vehicle to pass, late in the evening, we decided to return to our home. The way to my mother's house was still blocked, and they encouraged us to head back as well. Our hearts were heavy during the 4 hour trip home. Especially my husband, who didn't want to leave his mother. But there was nothing we could do.

The next day was Mother's Day. We decided not to go to church as we were exhausted from the trip. We had a sweet respit in the mountains of Gatlinburg with baby GG. We were together, and that's all that mattered. I felt so blessed!

Tuesday was GG's first birthday. Finally after all the drama of the previous days, we could celebrate. There were no decorations, no guests, no balloons, no presents, and no fancy cake. Just mommy, daddy, and baby. The cake was a small one with pink and purple icing. I had the grocery store bakery write her name in pink on the cake. We sat her, shirtless, in her high chair and sang, "Happy Birthday." We place the cake in front of her and she immediately went to town! We laughed at how excited she was and at the faces she made while smearing and splattering icing all over her face and the kitchen. It was wonderful. Intimate, sweet, and special.

We were together. We were safe. We were dry. And, we were thankful.

1 comment:

  1. Found your blog thru Like Merchant's Ships and have to ask, where are you from in Eastern Ky? I am also from there, PIke County, even tho I have lived in No. Ky. for nearly 25 years now. I am glad you are all safe and a late Happy Birthday to your daughter!


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