Last year, with our book fresh off the press, Hilda and I enjoyed our own Plank Road Summer. We traveled about from one book event to another, eager to share our story with others. We felt like real authors, which seems a bit more glamorous than our everyday lives.
This summer, for me, has been exceptionally less glamorous. I had very good intentions, when the school year ended, about getting back to writing (We’re working on the sequel!). But on June 23rd, when I was home alone–no husband, no children–it started to rain. And hail. And pour. Yard flooded. Basement leaked. Tornado sirens wailed. Power failed. Sump pump quit. Basement flooded.
Went outside to get a neighbor to help start the generator. Fell and broke my right (writing) arm! Neighbor arrived. Got generator going.
BUT couldn’t get to hospital because the streets were flooded. My house was an island with water lapping against it on all sides. Called 911. A firefighter came to my rescue. Waded a long block through knee deep water to the ambulance. When I sat down on the gurney and lifted up my feet, my wellies flooded the inside of the ambulance….
Some of you can imagine the rest of my summer–a hot, itchy cast well past my elbow, sorting through sodden masses of possessions, drying out and reconstructing. And family visiting from Japan and Baltimore in the midst of it. A month later came a second flood, and another family member took an ambulance ride through the flooded streets.
Life is what happens when you’re not writing. It’s the challenges, heartaches, celebrations that form who we are and make up our own story. It’s Plain Old Summer, which isn’t really plain at all. It’s memories, adventures, emotions, family, neighbors. It’s the kind of thing you could write a book about. Maybe I will.