Home is one of those things that so many consider to be a basic necessity: a place to take your shoes and socks off at the end of the day and kick up your feet; a place to have a warm meal and a cool drink; a place to store essential items; a place to lay your head and sleep. It’s where the basic utilities and provisions also reside, including electricity, running water, bathroom facilities, a tub and/or shower, stove, refrigerator, heating and/or cooling depending on the season. It is a place of safety, where walls and doors protect from earth-bound attacks and a roof to keep out the unwanted weather.
My name is Lindsy and I’m 10 years old. I never gave my home much thought – until it was gone. My brother Larry is 9, and we lived in a small cottage by the Gulf of Mexico with our Memaw and Nana and our dog, Boo Boo, a beagle who loves to bark and cry, no matter the occasion.
Every year there was a time of great storms. Most of the time when the storms came, we all went into our basement with candles and jugs of water, hoping Father Wind and Mother Rain would pass us by without harm. This year though, Mother Rain came early in the season and kept falling, which flooded the streets, which then went into our basement. By the time Father Wind arrived our basement was full of water. This year we had no basement for protection. We lit incense at our altar of Kwan Yin and tapped the brass bells for protection.
Father Wind did not want to listen and blew the roof off of our cottage. Nana and the rest of us were doused with Mother Rain for six hours. Father Wind raged through the neighborhood and the sound of mighty beams ripping loose echoed in our ears. Water flooded our main floor and Boo Boo howled all night with cold and fear. Memaw covered Larry, Boo Boo, and I with blankets and put a tarp under us and over us on the top bunk of our bunk beds. She and grandmother slept in our small boat that she pulled inside and lined with sleeping bags and covered with a tarp. Memaw tied the rope of the boat to our doorknob so they wouldn’t float away. It was difficult for us to sleep with so much sound and wet and cold all around us.
We heard a siren in the morning, then a blurry voice on a speaker saying help was here so come out. Memaw pulled the boat over to the bunk bed and Larry and I climbed on. Boo Boo was in my arms, quiet now, but shaking. Memaw turned the choke and pulled the cord on the small motor at the back of the boat, which sputtered to life. I never thought we would be riding a boat in our house! Memaw steered us out of the bedroom, then down the hall to the living room, and out the front door. We saw that our neighborhood was a lake now.
We saw the flashing red and blue lights of the rescuers and Memaw steered our boat towards them with the rudder. I was hungry and I knew everyone else had to be also. Maybe the rescuers in the boat would have toast or juice for us. Larry spoke my thoughts and said, “Memaw, I’m hungry.” Nana looked very tired. Her skin looked pale and wet. She pulled her blanket around her and said, “I’m so cold. Oh how I want a cup of hot tea.”
Paula Light is the host of Thursday Inspiration. Paula says:
This week’s theme is home and the picture is [above.] Here is the song snippet from “Home” recorded by Lene Lovich in 1978:
Home is where the heart is
Home is so remote
Home is just emotion
Sticking in my throat