Bobby didn't say what year this was, but I am sure there are others who can recall this flood. I have never been around very high water, but our daughter Patty and then-daughter-in-law Phyllis had a hair-raising experience with a flash flood. It still terrifies me to think of what could have happened.
Big Laurel Creek was usually a well-behaved stream, but Mom has told us that her dad used to monitor it closely when it rained hard and would call the children in to the house. Evidently, it was not to be trusted.
This happened several years ago, when the children were all small. Patty and Phyl decided to go down on Big Laurel Creek to picnic and swim. Phyl had her three kids, Benji, Jessica and Joseph; Patty had her three boys, Aaron, Luke and Adrian, plus Josh and Abigail, Kevin and Sarah's oldest ones. They had taken Bandit, Patty's pet raccoon, along to play in the water.
It was a lovely sunny day, and they picnicked and frolicked until early afternoon. All at once it clouded up, and it started raining in torrents. The girls knew they had to get out of there, but when they got to the pickup truck, it had a flat tire. They herded the kids down the creek, which was rapidly rising. They had to wade through several creek crossings with the water above their knees at the first two, and then it rose rapidly until it was waist deep.
When they came to the car bridge, the roaring water had completely covered it, and even the rails had disappeared. Bandit was frantic and kept climbing Patty until he was perched on her head. Patty took the oldest child, Aaron, across the bridge, just feeling her way. She deposited Aaron on the opposite bank, with strict instructions to stay there.
Phyl stayed with the rest, while Patty made trip after trip carrying one child at a time across. The kids were weeping and wailing, terrified out of their minds. It scares me to imagine dropping one of the little ones in that muddy, rushing water -- there would be no way to rescue them.
Phyl and Patty carried the last two across, and by then the water was up to their chests. It was a bedraggled, but thankful bunch that reached the main road. They met Eddie Mullins, a rescuing angel, who insisted on turning his car over to them to go on home. It is still a nightmare, but God surely had His hand over them all the way. It reminds me of the scripture in Isaiah that says, "When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee ..." (Isaiah 43:2)
The following story pertains to a previous column concerning "savers" but it is too good not to share. In this day of bad and gloomy news, it is a heart-warming story.
One of my friends, Bunny Crockett writes, "Our son had a stuffed teddy bear. He took it with him to college, although I begged him to leave it at home. I figured the other boys in the dorm would pour beer on it, misuse it, or rip it up.
"Instead, the boys on his floor loved Ken's bear. The guys bought the bear a 'wife' and a 'son' and they all came home for the summer each year. After graduation, Ken got a job in Japan (where he still lives) and left his bear family at home. Why? 'If the plane goes down over the Pacific on the way to Hiroshima, I don't want them to drown!' he explained."
Contact Alyce Faye Bragg at alycef...@citlink.net or write to 2556 Summers Fork Road, Ovapa, WV 25164.