Rebecca awoke to the smell of bacon and pancakes. She opened her eyes a little and saw her mom flipping pancakes, and her dad sitting at the counter drinking strong black coffee. Her eyes surveyed the rest of the room and she saw her other sibling still sleeping and snoring. The dull sound of rain came from outside, but it was much lighter then it was the night before. Rebecca pulled more of the green blanket around her shoulders and fell back asleep.
When she woke up again, almost everybody was at the table eating breakfast. The only people left sleeping were Rebecca, Nate, Katie and all three of the dogs. Carefully removing the blanket, so as not to wake up Katie, Rebecca stood up and stretched. She walked over to the table where Caleb and the little kids sat eating a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, fruit, and orange juice. Pulling up a chair between Abi and James, Rebecca sat down with a sigh.
“You OK?” Asked her mom.
“Yeah I’m fine,” She answered in a tired voice, “I’m just tired. I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night.”
“Want some pancakes?” Mom asked Rebecca.
“Sure,” She replied through a yawn.
Rebecca looked up at the morning sky through the kitchen window. The sky was cloudy and rain was falling just like yesterday, promising another grey and dreary day. Mom walked over to her with a plate full of pancakes and bacon, and a cup of fresh squeezed orange juice.
The Wesson family did not grow the oranges on their farm in Washington. Rather, their grandparents, who lived in Florida, owned an orchard with lots of oranges, and grapefruits. So when they come up to visit twice a year they bring a truckload of oranges and grapefruits. Then those are stored and mom makes fresh orange juice and grapefruit juice with them.
“Leanne, could you pass the syrup?” Rebecca asked looking Leanne’s way.
“Here you go,” Leanne replied, handing the sticky container that held the syrup to Rebecca.
Rebecca drizzled the warm syrup over her fresh blueberry pancakes. As she was eating, Rebecca glanced over to the living room where Nate and Katie were just waking up. James, Abi, Ella, Ben, Josh, and Leanne finished their breakfast, and accused themselves from the table, and mom sent them upstairs to change out of their pajamas. Nate and Katie walked over to the table with Rosie, the Wesson’s Yorkie, trailing behind. The twins sat down at the counter, and mom handed them their breakfast.
After taking a bite of pancake Rebecca wondered aloud, “Hey, where did dad go?”
“Oh, he’s outside seeing if any damage was done.” Mom replied as she flipped the last patch of pancakes on the griddle.
“Well our bridge is out, but from the looks of things it doesn’t look like much damage was done up here.” Rebecca added as she looked out the window.
“Is there any news about the damage that the flood did in the valley?” Caleb questioned as he finished off his third pancake.
“We haven’t heard anything other then that the flood did do great amount of damage,” Mom replied.
Just then Dad came in through the back door, “OK, it doesn’t look like any harm was done, our small pond has morphed into a lake though. And the driveway is a little flooded, but really that’s all” As dad finished his last sentence, the phone rang. Mom dried her hands off with a dish towel and went to answer the phone.
“Hello?” answered mom cheerfully, “Yes, OK, right, Here he is.” Covering the receiver with her hand, mom walked over to dad in the mudroom. “It’s for you.” She said handing the phone to dad.
“Hello, Oh hey Jack. Yeah. Oh no. Yeah, I can probably get Katie, Nate, Caleb and Rebecca to come along too. Ok, I understand. Ummm probably about 45 minuets. Wait you know what, with the flood, it will probably take about an hour. All right, see you there. Bye.”
Everybody stared at Dad once he put the phone down, especially the older kids, whom, after hearing their names mentioned, where particularly curious.
But dad said nothing in reply to the stares, instead he turned to mom and said “Honey, can I talk to you a second.” She followed him into the mud room and they shut the door. Nate got up and put his ear up to the door of the mud room.
Caleb rolled his eye, “Nate, get away from the door.”
Nat out his fingers up to his lips, “Shhhhhh”
“Nate…,” Caleb replied staring more intensely at him.
“Okay, okay I’m going,” Nate said, pretending to be indignant that his eavesdropping was interrupted.
“You can be so immature sometimes,” Katie chided, but Nate just laughed. He was always playing around like that, even during a serious time like this.
Finally, after what seemed like hours of waiting, even though in reality it was only five minutes, Mom and Dad emerged from the mud room.
All eyes on him, dad finally spoke, “That was Uncle Jack on the phone, and he said that his farm is Ok, he has more flooding then us though, because he lives lower down the mountain.. I can’t say the same for some of the families down in the valley though. It sounds like many homes got flooded, and those that didn’t have severe water damage. Anyway there is a lot of debris built up around the city, and a lot of people won’t have homes to go to, until we get the debris moved. So the reason I mentioned you kids,” Dad said, turning to the older kids sitting anxiously at that table, “I want you guys to come and help out, moving debris, gathering supplies, and I’m sure Uncle Jack will find lots of other things for you to help out with. He has kind of headed up the volunteer team. He already has some people working in the valley. Not all the water has totally subsided at the lowest point, but otherwise it’s only about ankle deep at the highest in most places. So will guys be willing to come help?” He finished.
Nate, Caleb, Rebecca, and Katie exchanged glances. Katie was the first to speak, “I’d be happy to come and do what I can to help.” The others readily nodded agreement.
“OK then, go get dressed in heavy work clothes, and be ready to leave in 5 minutes.” Dad ordered.
The kids ran upstairs to obey and within, about ten minutes later everyone was in the car ready to go. The Wessons were not exactly known for their punctuality. In fact with a bigger family they were often late, because somebody has to go to the bathroom, or mom forgot her cell phone, or dad forgot his wallet, or Katie forgot her purse…And, as you can imagine, the list goes on and on.
The Wesson black pick-up truck pulled out of the driveway only five minutes after the wanted departure time. Caleb sat in the passenger’s seat next to Dad, and Nate, Katie, and Rebecca sat next to each other in the backseat. The truck headed down the mountain, normally the trip to the valley took about forty-five minutes, but with some of the mountain road still slightly covered with water, the trip took about an hour. Finally they arrived at the small town in the valley. 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.
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