Huddled inside their warm, cozy cabin in the foothills of Arvada, Colorado, Amanda and her five year old son Ethan cling to each other as the avalanche sends the snow down the mountain. Amanda tries to reassure Ethan…and herself, that the provisions she bought the day before will be enough to sustain them for a couple of months if they get trapped in by the snow. The recent death of her husband due to a work accident has left them feeling lonely and overwhelmed, but she’s hoping her faith and talent will see them through…if her drinking doesn’t kill her in the meantime.
Life for a budding author in a little town meant that Amanda had to stick to a pretty strict budget, especially now that Anthony was gone. She and Ethan did everything they could to be self sustaining, she kept a garden, clipped coupons, and they ate mostly natural foods…Amanda being vegetarian helped with that. Since Anthony’s death, the isolation was stifling and she had turned to alcohol for comfort. Wine mostly, but there was the occasional mixed drink when she wanted a change. Writing helped, and there was Ethan to cuddle with, yet there was still a hole in her heart that only drinking could fill right now, maybe with time it would heal.
Right now though, she needed to get herself and Ethan to the center of the house, away from the windows lest they implode from the force of the snow pounding down the mountain. She located their emergency kit with all their important papers and medicine, a flashlight and portable radio and they went into the walk-in pantry to ride out the avalanche. She always kept spare blankets and sleeping rolls in here, just in case this kind of emergency happened. Living in the foothills meant blizzards and the possibility of an avalanche was more than just likely. Anthony had taught her when they first moved to the cabin six years ago what kind of preparations needed to be made for instances like the one they currently faced. Luckily, she had paid attention.
What he couldn’t have known was that his life would be cut down in it’s prime, that God would decide it was his time to go at only twenty eight years old and he never would have left them to fend for themselves like this. Amanda was so angry, mad at the job, at Anthony, even a bit upset with God at the moment. Why, why did this have to happen? He was simply doing his job, when the caterpillar he was driving went off its track and rolled over, killing him instantly. She was of course, devastated. Her whole world was turned upside down, and while she considered herself a strong woman, this was too much. How in the world would she manage way out here, mostly alone and Ethan so small? Her sometimes writing career was still in it’s infancy, she had transcription to fall back on but only a couple of clients right now. She had been working hard to figure it all out, little Ethan helping her as much as he could. He helped her tend the garden and assisted her with kitchen tasks, he missed his daddy too but sensed his mommy needed his help.
Now inside the pantry, she tried to calm him the best she could, offering him a snack and his favorite teddy bear while she fretted over what to do next. She tuned the radio to the local station and waited to hear the conditions, now that the snow seemed to have stopped. Soon, she peeked out and looked toward the windows to see if they had been completely or partially buried by the avalanche. She could see a sliver of light at the top of the window, that was encouraging! The fire was still burning in the fireplace, oh happy day! What about the front door, she wondered. She and Ethan crept slowly through the house, listening for any additional snow or rocks falling, and as she reached the front door, Ethan said “No Mommy, I’m scared!” “Ok, ok, calm down, I’m just gonna open it a crack,” she replied while motioning for him to stay back.
What was funny was that she had been considering writing a tale just like the situation they now found themselves in. Now, she was rethinking the whole thing. She reached for the doorknob and slowly turned it, but as she pushed, nothing. It wouldn’t budge, not even an inch. “Guess we’re stuck inside for a little while,” she said as she turned back to her little boy who was now looking at her with eyes the size of saucers. “It will be ok Honey, Mommy just went to town and got us lots of paper goods and food, and you have plenty of toys and books to keep you busy.” And thank God I have wine, she wanted to say but didn’t. It was going to take some liquid courage and a big imagination to get them through the next couple of weeks, or how ever long they would be trapped in here. Little did she know her life was about to change again, this time for the better.
Welcome to the first in a series I’m attempting, Angels of Arvada. It is my first try at a series and I hope I don’t make a mess of it. Join me for the continuation next Friday…we’ll see how it goes.