It was a dark and stormy night – yes I know that’s a big fat cliche, but the wind was blowing, the sea was churning and there was no light whatsoever. We had just moved into our new home, a concrete bunker, outside the city between the mountains and the ocean, just off the highway to Whistler. On one side of us was an empty house (the owners live abroad and use the house only in the summer) and on the other, a raging
My husband had just left on a week-long business trip to China and my kids were at university across the country. That left me and my traumatized little lab Franklinstein.
I know he was traumatized because he marked his territory many, many times those first few weeks, inside and out – outside was one thing but inside on the cream-coloured wool carpeting ?! Yuck! (By the way, the carpeting didn’t last long – as soon as we could we replaced it with hardwood flooring.)
Franklinstein was a very nervous boy, barking and growling at every little sound and at every wild creature. Actually a ton of scary wild things do live out here – ginormous river otters, seals, mice, minks and raccoons – and each one is at least ten times larger than its cousin in the city.
So there we sat,
scared worried by the storm. Worried that the power would go out and we would freeze and/or starve to death. Worried that a wild thing would somehow break into our concrete bunker and devour us.
Or at least terrorize us.
It was almost 11 pm, so it was too late to call my Mommy – I didn’t think she’d appreciate a call at 2 am her time. Same with my children and I had no idea how to reach my husband as his cell generally goes on strike the minute he leaves home. So I bit my lower lip and told myself to stay strong. And it was at that point the door bell rang. Now, I should point out that we actually do have a large real live bell at our door.
Poor little traumatized Franklinstein barked and cowered as I made my way up the dark and winding staircase to the front door. Standing on my porch I found a police officer; now the only other time in my entire life that a police officer has come to my door was after my then thirteen-year-old daughter called 911 during an argument about computer privileges and told the dispatcher that her parents were evil. (Yes it’s a long story.) Anyways this police officer had kindly and bravely ventured out into the storm to inform everyone in our small community that the the raging
creek river had flooded and now covered three of the four lanes of highway, making travel out of or into our place almost impossible.
But not to worry. What, me worry?! I’m the Champion, no the Queen of Worry. When anyone in my family has a concern they give it to me because they know that my worry skills are absolutely magnificent, and second only to my dear mother’s.
I wandered back downstairs thinking and worrying about this little bomb the police had left me with. I now felt a greater need than ever to reach out and talk to somebody besides my shaking and quivering Franklinstein.
So I located the contact information list for our community and at 11:00 pm made the desperate decision to phone my nearest neighbour – a sweet little 80 year old retired schoolteacher. You know you’ve moved to a wonderful place when the phone is answered on the first ring, “Yes dear, are you all right? Have the police been to see you?” Followed by, “Did you understand what they told you?”
And then, “If you’re nervous or scared you’re welcome to pop over for a drink or you can even spend the night.”
At that point the reality of the situation finally struck me like a whack on the side of the head – she was most likely in bed trying to get to sleep. “Thanks very much Kathy, but I ‘m okay now. I think I might survive.”