The Flood – Chapter 1

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Amy Moves In

Lucas remembered looking out the window a week previously and thought of the conversation with his sister Amy. He’d observed it was about time the drought broke.

Lucas had never married as his total energies and attention had been given to developing his business in town. He and Amy had been close, as children growing up in the town of Springdale in a loving and nurturing home. His parents had encouraged their children to aim high in life and seek to make a difference in society. Lucas’ father James Spencer had a successful business of his own and was Mayor of the town and his mother Joy managed the Op Shop for a local charity and was active in support of her husband in the many functions they had to attend. Lucas and Amy were drawn into that public life as they grew, and Amy enjoyed interaction with community, but Lucas was more withdrawn, and it was difficult for him to find ways to mingle and take part. Both excelled in studies though.

As Amy grew into young womanhood, she gravitated to the capital city where she pursued her degree in teaching and was assigned to teaching in that city which she thoroughly enjoyed. She immersed herself in her chosen profession and enjoyed mixing with her age group after work in various activities. She was very keen on sports and through that interest met Stan Amos who was a rising star in the business world. After two years of enjoying evenings of bowling and squash together their friendship blossomed, and Stan proposed. Amy eagerly accepted and the two of them made the trip to Springdale to gain the blessing of parents James and Joy. They were married in Springdale in the presence of family and friends one year later.

Lucas had pined for his sister during the years she’d been in the city pursuing her higher education as Amy was one of a limited circle he enjoyed sharing his innermost thoughts with. He threw himself into furthering his education at night school during that time and enjoyed the practical experience of his day job with an electronics warehouse in town. He quickly learned this trade becoming proficient in sales, equipment repairs and computer programming. The people of Springdale quickly learned Lucas was the go-to person when they needed to set up a management system for their business and he tendered his resignation from employment and started business for himself funded by his father James.

It was a successful business from the beginning, and he began to build savings sufficient to approach the bank he used for his business for a loan to purchase a small property a few miles from the center of Springdale. Here he began to plant a variety of fruit trees and cultivate the property to grow produce for his personal needs. It also contained a modern home and large work shed and barn where he spent evening hours working. It was to be his hobby farm providing healthy exercise to counteract long hours he poured over desks full of computers as he plied his trade. The solitude of his new living location gave him peace from interactions with clients during the day.

Tragedy struck the family a year after Amy’s marriage to Stan. Lucas was visiting with his parents one evening when a phone call broke the news there’d been an accident. Stan and Amy had been hiking the mountains around the city with friends when there was a land slide that took out the path they were walking on and a few of the group were swept down the mountain. Stan and one other had been buried under a mud pile and others including Amy were injured. By the time a rescue crew had been summonsed and had dug out those buried Stan was declared dead. Amy was transferred to a nearby hospital unconscious to begin a lengthy recovery period. When eventually released from hospital James and Joy took her into their home to look after her while she grieved the passing of her husband and gained strength.

Lucas reduced his business operations to take turns with his mother in ministering to his sister’s needs. As Amy began to find strength enough, she asked Lucas if he’d permit her to live with him out of town. She’d not be able to teach for some time yet while her body healed but thought working in Lucas’ gardens as she was able to muster strength may help her in her recovery.

Lucas was overjoyed. His house was a three-bedroom home on a small hill which he’d only sparsely furnished. It had a beautiful view over the valley below where a creek fed the river that ran through Springdale viewed in the distance. Up to now, he’d only furnished his bedroom, kitchen and living room. He handed Amy his credit card and asked her to finalize furnishing the rest of his home choosing the furniture she wanted for that purpose. Joy Spencer drove her daughter around town searching for the items desired and the women joyfully finalized the furnishing of Lucas’ home. Then Amy moved in and took over maintaining home and spending happy hours working in the gardens or sitting on the veranda enjoying the beautiful view and reading. Lucas enjoyed having his sister with him again and relished the meals she cooked for him, and a home converted from bachelor pad to a presentable home.

There’d been two years of limited rainfall in the valley and the creek which had maintained a steady flow of water had slowly reduced in volume. The country road serving properties in the valley was sealed but entrance to Lucas’ property dipped down to a cement bridge hovering ten feet above the creek and then climbed up to the home perched on top of the hill overlooking the city in the distance. Fruit trees planted by Lucas when he’d purchased the property were now beginning to reach shoulder level and Lucas would often stop his car on returning home in the evening to walk among them looking for any need to assist in their growth.

Amy would be out on the veranda reading and glancing occasionally for his arrival. It was a bit lonely during the day with no one to talk to, so she kept the TV on as background noise. She looked forward to her mother’s frequent visits when civic responsibilities permitted. But overall, she felt she’d made a wise choice to live with Lucas while she fully recovered. It had certainly helped to be active with a variety of tasks and the fact she’d chosen most of the furnishings made her feel a partial ownership of the home. She knew though she’d eventually have to return to teaching and as the property they’d had in the city had been sold to finance Amy ‘s medical expenses she was contemplating using the remaining money to purchase a place of her own in Springdale when she was ready to apply for a teaching job again. Being with Lucas had helped with the grief suffered from the loss of her husband and she did not look forward to living alone when that time came.

Now it was a Sunday and Lucas was always home for the full day on weekends. He’d just finished remarking to Amy about the extended drought period when a news item on TV caught his attention. A cyclonic system was developing at sea to the east and was heading their way rapidly. In all the time he’d lived on this property there’d been no cyclone activity and he thought of the access way to his property from the valley road. He knew the valley road had never flooded and a bridge over the river joining the road to Springdale had recently been raised above previous flood levels. But it was quite probable the creek below his property would flood in heavy rain and prevent him from joining the road to Springdale. Perhaps they needed to stock up at the supermarket.

“Amy, do you want to stay at mum’s place during the cyclone? This property could be cut off from town for a while. I know parts of the town usually flood during a period of extended heavy rain so not much work will be done with people protecting their property or helping sandbag streets where flooding may occur, but mum’s place is on high ground. We are safe here but will be cut off from town so if we stay will have to stock up on supplies.”

Amy shrugged. “I’d rather sit it out here Lucas but will check the cupboards now and see if we have enough to survive the duration of flooding.” She painfully stood and headed for the pantry and a check on refrigerator and freezer. Fifteen minutes later she returned.

“Lucas how will this affect power and water supplies?”

“We have an emergency power supply that kicks in if electricity is cut and I have ample fuel stored in the barn opposite my work shed. No problem there! Our ground water tanks are full.”

“We do need to stock up on supplies then and I’ve made a list, do you want to do that tomorrow when you go to work?”

“Let’s go now Amy. I think you need to visit town as you haven’t been there a while and we can call in to see mum and dad when we’ve finished at the supermarket. I anticipate going to work tomorrow but when it starts to rain, I’m going to put a notice at the shop that my services will be on hold for the duration of the cyclone. If anyone needs system help it will have to be done by phone or through the internet.”

To be continued.

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© Copyright 2022 Ian Grice, “ianscyberspace.” All rights reserved

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