Going into Spring of 2015 we had big plans for Flyrock. We were going to build a dock, get electricity, figure out what we’re going to do for freshwater, build an outhouse for camping, improve the road we pioneered around the quarry and build it on across the upper fourteen. All that was leading up to building a small cabin, something we could weekend in to cut down on some of the incessant driving back and forth. Then, we were going get our home ready to sell by end of summer. All the time we’re wading through that list, we would need to keep up with mowing the peninsula, in between all the rain, and get the upper fourteen brush-hogged for the year. Whew, I’m tired just writing that!
Ha! What really happened was my mom’s health worsened and started taking more of my time. She fell and broke her hip. Days at the hospital took over my life and overflowed into my husband’s, as he tried to keep his head above water at home and work. As the hospital releases mom I’m scrambling to find a rehab facility for her to go into, knowing that it will only be for a short while. She passed away a few days later. I’m left with the task of selling all of her things; shutting down the business of 92 years of life; insurance papers, bank accounts, boxes of photos, clothes and furniture. Family wanting this and not being able to sell that. Everyone goes through it, I guess. Everyone knows that it’s physically and emotionally exhausting. I didn’t have a funeral immediately, which at the time seemed like a good idea. I still think it was, but also made it all last longer. Instead of a funeral, we had a celebration of life service. It was perfect. Family came in from all over the country, we shared stories about mom, we laughed, we cried, we told her goodbye.
And all the time we kept saying, we’ll get back to Flyrock as soon as this is over. Just a few more weeks; then a few more days; then it was time; our first trip back out there. Waist high weeds had taken over the one area we worked the hardest to maintain, our peninsula. The pasture area was out of control. Weeds were devouring our road.
So we got to work. We started building a dock at home, then we carried it out to Flyrock on a trailer. And after one long weekend we had the peninsula mowed and looking good and the dock was in the water . . .not finished, but in the water. We’d be back out the next weekend to finish it. Or so we thought.
That Sunday, after a long day working, dirty and tired, we headed home after dark. My husband was exhausted, I was driving. My daughter had helped us both days and was in the back seat. And in the pitch black night, doing 60 miles per hour, we hit another car head on. It was one of those surreal moments when you wish you could take back the last few seconds; somehow go back and do one thing different, leave a little earlier, go a different way, so what just happened would never happen.
But there was no avoiding this one. Two cars had already collided, head-on at highway speeds. They were a mass of crumpled metal. Not a single light or reflector left to warn me. So, when I came over a hill in the dark, I never even touched the brakes. We just plowed into them and we didn’t even know what we had hit. We came to in dust and smoke of cars spinning and metal crunching and dragging across pavement. Waking from a bad dream trying to figure out what the hell just happened.
And then we start in again with doctors and hospitals taking over our lives. MRIs, CT scans and X-rays, meet with this surgeon and that physical therapist and on and on and on. But hey, we’re all alive. We’re recovering. I’m working on being able to drive at night without being terrified and seeing that mass of metal suddenly in front of me.
Finally . . . fourteen weeks later, we’re back to Flyrock. After a long interruption we finally finished the dock. We weren’t completely happy with it as a floating dock, so we spent another weekend setting posts and framing it as a solid pier. We’re back to mowing the peninsula every couple of weeks. We’ve brush-hogged half of the upper fourteen.
We had gone back-and-forth about not buying a camper because that same money could go into a cabin that would feel a little more solid, like a bigger accomplishment and add more to the property. After the summer from Hell, we gave up on that; we bought a camper. Now, we’ve spent several weekends at Flyrock camping in it. I love our camper! There’s nothing fancy about it and it isn’t real big, but it’s perfect for us. It’s been great, getting to work later into the evening and earlier in the morning. Getting to shower. A real toilet (kind of). And driving back and forth less isn’t a bad thing either!
Being on the property to see the sunset is the way to fall in love with it again. Getting some work done is the way to feel like the big plans, the big goals, the dreams of a house at Flyrock might still be possible. Falling asleep, listening to the owls and the frogs and the crickets, after a long day’s work, is the way to stop dreaming about that God awful wreck.
Plans for 2016? Well, you know the John Lennon quote: “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans,”? Now I get it.