Before long they were forced to stop, debris and wreckage covered the road. Rebecca stared at the sight before her, a couple houses were absolutely destroyed, and you could hardly tell where some of the roads once were.
She realized how fortunate she was to live on the mountain, if their farm had been lower ground on the mountain, their crops would have been ruined, and they probably would have lost some livestock.
Everybody was wearing their mud boots, which would make it easier to climb over the wreckage that covered the roads. They climbed out of pick-up, the speechless kids said nothing. They could not believe that only water did all this damage. Nearby stood a group of people, some were policemen, some were doctors, but most were just volunteers ready to help clear the wreckage away. In the middle of the group stood Uncle Jack, who was handing out heavy gloves for the workers. He spotted his brother, nephews and nieces, and walked over to the Wesson's.
“Hey,” he greeted cheerfully, despite the fact that the mood surrounding the group was anything but cheerful. Uncle Jack looked much like Dad, broad shoulders, muscular, dark hair, and even though he was dad’s younger brother, he had always been taller then him. “Here, take some gloves and join the group, we were just going over what needs to be done, and separating into smaller groups.”
The Wesson's followed Uncle Jack over to the crowd of volunteers. Rebecca soon spotted Leah Benson, one of her friends from church. They ran to one another and hugged each other. At once the two girls started chattered away.
“Is everything on your farm safe?” asked Leah anxiously.
“Yeah,” Replied Rebecca, then she went on to tell her the story about the horses and the bridge, “so is did your farm get much damage?”
“Well, one area in the barn is really flooded, but we moved the cows to a different pen and the flooded part should drain soon enough,” she answered
Soon Uncle Jack put two fingers in his mouth and whistled loudly to get the attention of the chattering group.
Uncle Jack began to give instructions “Thank you all for coming to help. OK, we need a team over on Hawk Ridge Rd. to move the debris away from the bridge. And we need a group to go to the district with the neighborhoods and start clearing away wreckage from the homes. Once you separate into the two teams you can divide into smaller groups to get more work done. The city is sending over some workers and machinery to help move the bigger piles and pieces covering the roads.”
“Which team are you going on?” asked Leah.
“I don’t know. I need to find my dad and ask him.” answered Rebecca, as she started searching for her dad.
She found her dad, and the rest of her siblings.
“Oh, Becca, there you are, where did you go? Don’t run off like that I need to know where you are.” He said not waiting for her answer. “We are going to the neighborhood area, Uncle Jack is going to have us moving wreckage from the homes.” He finished as the Wesson family group walked toward the group assigned to the neighborhoods. Rebecca saw the Leah’s family headed to the same bunch as the Wesson's. She smiled, working would be so much more fun with Leah.
About an hour later all the volunteers had divided into their respective groups and had started clearing away the remains of the flood. The Wessons and Bensons worked quickly and silently together. Rebecca and Leah hardly spoke to each other. Seeing the once normal items of families just like theirs strewn across the home, broken into pieces darkened the mood of conversation.
After a few more hours of work, the teams broke for lunch. A Pizzeria from a nearby town donated tons of pizza to feed the volunteers for lunch. Rebecca stood in line for the pizza as she held her paper plate and plastic utensils. She shivered in her jacket, rain continued to drizzle from the sky and the air became very cold. Then she spotted a pot of coffee.
“Hey daddy?” she said turning to Mr. Wesson, who was standing next to her. “Can I have some coffee? Pleeeeese?”
“Well, ” Dad thought, “OK, but if your are hyper from the caffeine tonight don’t blame me.”
Once Nate, Becca, Leah, and Sam, Leah’s brother, had gotten their food, they went to go sit down on a piece of plywood that a volunteer had pulled from the piles of debris. Rebecca could feel the warm coffee run all the way down her throat as it warmed her body. Soon, all the children had finished their meal and they went back to work.
Half an hour late Uncle Jack came over to see how everyone was doing, then he went over to talk to Mr. Wesson. After awhile Mr. Wesson walked over to Katie and Rebecca.
“Nate, come here please, you to Caleb,” Mr. Wesson called as Nate and Caleb ran to obey.
“Yeah Dad?” Nate answered
Dad began, “Uncle Jack told me about a family, the Connors, who’s home has flood damage. There is a team working on fixing the damage, but they don’t have anywhere to go for about three days. So Uncle Jack asked us if we would mind if the family stayed with us until their house was fixed. They have two kids. A seven-year-old little boy, and a Three-year-old little girl. I called mom, and we are going to put them in the guest room, and put the two kids on the air mattress next to their parents. I want you guys to welcome them into our house, ok? Help them with the kids, and make them feel at home.”
“Yes Sir.” The Wesson kids replied.
“When are they coming?” Katie asked
“Well, Uncle Jack called the family right a way, so they will probably be there when we get back.”
After a couple more questions everyone got back to work. The rain that had been falling all day became harder as the sun set. It soon became to dark to work and everyone began to pack up and leave. Rebecca said goodbye to Leah and hopped in the truck.
“I am hungry and exhausted,” said Katie as she rested her head on the back of the seat and closed her eyes.
“My hair is so frizzy and I am so dirty. I call dibs on the shower.” Added Rebecca.
“Oh man, you girls are so whiny, and by the way you can’t call dibs on the shower, because we have three showers and you cannot call dibs on all three.” Caleb answered the two girls.
“Well guys are so sarcastic.” Retorted Rebecca as she settled in for the ride back.
Eventually all the four kids fell asleep as Mr. Wesson drove homeward. Finally, they reached home and the tired teenagers dragged themselves into the house.
Rebecca sleepily said, “I’m gonna go take a shower…then go to bed…”
The four teens dispersed and Mrs. Wesson greeted Mr. Wesson as he walked in the door.
“Hi honey, how was it?” She asked as she sat at the counter with a cup of coffee. “The Connor's are getting settled into the guest room.”
“Oh good,” He said, “It went well, all the kids worked hard. I think they’re tired though.” He smiled.
The phone rang and Mrs. Wesson stood up to answer it.
“Hello?” She answered brightly, “Yes this is.” Her smile began to fade, “Oh my goodness!” she exclaimed as a look of panic swept across her face.
To Be Continued . . . .