Thursday, October 3, 2019

The Day Our House Flooded by Sally Shupe

Welcome to October! This month is the 2-year anniversary of our house being flooded, from the inside, by a dog that wasn’t ours. Sound unbelievable? It really happened.

How do we make our stories believable? We research, we interview, we live through it. When I came home and found water flowing down my steps from the upstairs bathroom to the living room, I put my hands on my face, wandered around, and said over and over, “I don’t know what to do.”, “I don’t know what to do”. It’s what I did when I continued walking through the house and heard a rain forest in the kitchen. The water ran from the ceiling, in lines, dripping off the cabinets, off the door jamb, pouring out of the light socket hanging from the ceiling with water inches deep on the floor. I now know that when the heroine puts her hands up to her face and wanders around in the mess saying over and over again, “I don’t know what to do.”, “I don’t know what to do.”, that is a real reaction. Before, I thought it was over the top acting. Nope.

And what of the dog? His name is George. He’s a beagle. (If you have one, please make sure you have accidental water damage coverage on your home owner’s insurance!) All I remember of him from that day is his eye and ear from where he sat in the bathroom window after he’d jumped on the sink, turned the water on, knocked stuff off the sink into the sink, clogging the hole, causing the water to run over, flood the bathroom, out into the hallway and down the steps to the living room, to going through the floor to the kitchen underneath, and through that floor into the basement. Where that dog went after I saw him in the window, I have no idea. My daughter tells me he was downstairs when she came home, running around beside me. I now know that sometimes you only remember certain things, even when you’ve experienced the whole event.

I have put my notes together of this time and want to put it into a book. Unbelievable things happened. The day after the flood, God showed me this scripture: Deuteronomy 4:32-40. During this process, God gave me songs and signs to show me it was going to be okay. For instance, I love snow. I love woolly worms. Especially the black ones, because they indicate a snowy winter. I usually only see a handful a season. After this happened, I saw so many black woolly worms, a handful a day. Our apple tree fell after Service Master dried the house out. The tree took down our power line to the house. In the midst of all our chaos, we had to upgrade the power. We had been thinking about getting someone to cut the tree down. Now we didn’t have to, and it was free. After the power was turned off, it took about a week to get it upgraded. We went to stay at a motel. I love the red leaves. Every morning, the parking lot would be covered with them. Would any of this be believable? And there’s so much more.

Have any of your experiences made it into a book? Did readers think they were unbelievable, but you knew for a fact they were real because you lived them? Have you read unbelievable scenes in a story and wondered how that could possibly have happened? Please share!

Sally Shupe lives in southwest Virginia with her husband, two grown kids-a daughter still at home and a son nearby, and a whole bunch of pets: five dogs, three cats, a rabbit, and birds at the birdfeeder (and the mandatory snowman when the snow cooperates). She writes contemporary Christian romance, with two completed manuscripts and three more in progress. They are part of a series located in small town Virginia.

When Sally’s not writing or working full-time, she is a freelance editor for several authors who write fiction and nonfiction; students working on dissertation papers; a copy editor for Desert Breeze; a content editor for Prism (became part of Pelican); performs beta reading for various authors; publishes book reviews on her blog and with Valley Business FRONT’s monthly magazine; is a member of ACFW and a PRO member of RWA; loves genealogy, running, and crocheting.

Sally uses her love of words to write about God’s amazing love.

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