out in the sticks
Our blueberry and peach picking over the last two weekends fell on either side of a vacation that we took up to north Georgia, where an uncle and aunt of Abby’s own a rental cabin.
It was a great time for both of us to get away, with Abby just having finished her school year at Lyman, and I had just taken the Level 2 Chartered Financial Analyst exam on June 6. (For those who want to ask how it went, I don’t know. It seemed a lot tougher than the Level 1 exam to me. I’ll know in August whether I’ll need to retake this exam next year or move on to Level 3.)
The vacation cabin was absolutely gorgeous and very remote, with big windows all across the back wall overlooking a little stream. It had wi-fi, and we had our laptop, so I could answer emails and approve comments and feel somewhat productive, but mostly we just relaxed and unwound. We played Pandemic many times, grilled steak, baked pie.
And then, on our second day, just as we were wondering if we should venture out and explore other things outside the cabin, it started raining, and ended up having a thundershower. So we enjoyed watching the rain pour outside while we played some more Pandemic and checked some more email.
The power flickered off and on a couple times, and then went out. No more email.
We waited a couple hours, then figured it might be a good idea to call the electric company. We didn’t have their phone number, our cell phone didn’t have bars, so we could only call local numbers from our cabin. So we decided to venture out in search of the phone number.
About two tenths of a mile up the gravel road, we discovered why we didn’t have power:
Besides cutting our power, this big oak tree is blocking the only road out. Turns out that little thunderstorm carried a tornado or two, and there were actually lots of trees down. We managed to find some neighbors who were able to give us the phone number for the power company as well as a few candles.
We returned to the cabin, where we were not able to check email, not able to watch Game 4 of the NBA finals, not able to cook dinner, not able to do much of anything… except play some more Pandemic.
Eventually by candlelight.
Calls to the electric company explaining that the tree was blocking our only exit, etc., resulted in being told many times that they were aware of the problem, but unfortunately there were lots of problems all over the little town and the six or eight properties behind the tree didn’t have priority.
It did remind us more than once of a classic horror movie set-up where we would just think, “Oh, how inconvenient that we can’t check email,” but all the while unaware that the forest was home to some great Evil, and that Deadites would lay siege to our cabin and we could only escape on foot.
Well, it wasn’t that exciting. The next morning, while we were wondering when we’d make it back to Orlando—and trying to calm our nerves by playing more Pandemic—a knock on the door startled us. It was a man with a chainsaw! Well, he wasn’t wielding the chainsaw, you understand, I just thought it would sound more exciting to say it that way. He did own a chainsaw and had managed to clear a path around the fallen tree by cutting down some smaller trees, and was stopping by to let us know we could get out.
And get out we did. A day earlier than we planned to, because we didn’t see any indication the power company was going to chop up that tree anytime soon. Leaving a day earlier gave us time to spend the night in Tallahassee with Abby’s parents (where I was finally able to check my email… ahhhh) and then pick more peaches and blueberries on the way home.