Sometimes, what you need can be found right at your
fingertips. For instance, just a couple of weeks ago, Calhoun County was
hit by severe thunderstorms that caused flooding and other damage. This
occurred on Wednesday while I was updating the Chronicle’s web page. I
was watching the radar to see if there was any chance I could beat the
next series of storms heading our way.
I called home to get my ride on the way to town
ahead of the latest deluge. Five minutes later, I got a call that a tree
was across the road. No ride home. Reporter Maricia Mlynek was staffing
the office and was kind enough to offer me a ride to the end of my road,
which was as far as was feasible under the conditions.
Around 4 p.m., another storm hit directly on
Grantsville. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed, and rain flew by
sideways. I took a large garbage bag, cut a hole for my head and arms
and made myself a “hillbilly raincoat.” I grabbed my hat and ran to the
Chronicle office to make sure everything was okay. I was completely
drenched in that 100-yard dash.
At 4:30, Maricia closed the office and I retrieved
my camera bag and a small, lightweight package that had arrived that day
from the Audubon Society. After placing my camera and the package in two
garbage bags to keep them safe, I rode to the end of the road.
Walking down the road in the driving rain with
lightning striking the ridge tops, I was made aware of the lack of
protection from my homemade raincoat. I was still getting wet and since
it did not allow any airflow, I was getting hot, I wished for something
I generally don’t mind walking in the rain, or even
in a mild storm, but this one had turned the road into a river and had
also dropped another tree, a Red Oak, across the road in another spot.
Well, I thought, I’ll just call work when I get home and tell them I
can’t come in the morning due to trees across the road. Good idea, until
I saw the tree had taken the phone line and snapped it neatly in two. I
climbed over the tree and continued down the road hoping for no
When I got to the crossing in front of the house,
the creek was a raging torrent and that gave me a moment’s pause. I
started to set my garbage bag of goods on a log and was somewhat
startled by a two-foot copperhead that was lying on top of the log
trying to avoid drowning in the creek. He slithered off the log, coiled
up, and I said, “Excuse me,” and moved away. After a minute of
deliberation, I knew I had to cross now or the storm would keep me on
the wrong side of the creek all night, in the rain, with a copperhead
I made it to the other side somehow, and walked to
the house proud and happy to have made it home. Jeanne handed me dry
clothes, a towel and a cup of coffee, and I gave her the package she had
received in the mail that day.
The sound of the package opening was followed by
hysterical laughter. I stuck my head out of the bathroom to find out
what could possibly be so funny about a day that seemed so bad. The
package that I had carried for a mile in the driving rain wrapped in
garbage bags to keep it safe and dry, contained a brand new,
lightweight, hooded, fit me perfectly, complimentary raincoat.
So, no matter what is happening in your life, more
than likely help is close by. You just have to look for it. It might be
right at hand.