2017-09-20 / Editorials

Mike Reese

“I was just thinking”

I’m writing this column way back in a holler next to a mountain stream north of

Dahlonega. We’re staying in a cabin that overlooks the stream. It’s a postcard cabin and location. Fall foliage is the only thing we lack. Our visit here was unplanned. Hurricane Irma coming for a visit caused us to seek shelter elsewhere along with a few million other Georgians and Floridians.

Irma’s original path had Millen and Jenkins County squarely in its bullseye, 100 mph winds. I’d been in 50 mph winds, so I wasn’t hankering for double that. We’ve got a huge 100+ year old oak tree about twenty feet from our house which added one more ominous variable to our weekend and beyond. We decided to pack for a trip somewhere. We fired up our laptops. Five hours later we had nothing. Turns out we weren’t the only folks who were seeking shelter outside of southeast Georgia. Our eyeballs have two words now permanently tattooed on them: NO VACANCY. We went to bed with no rooms for us in the inns.

My phone rang at 4:27 AM. Using semi-English he said a room had become available at a Marriot in Huntsville, AL. We’d been on laptops for so long our e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and other assorted private information was now spread like syrup all over cyber world. My first hint that something was amiss should have occurred to me when the early morning call was to my phone, not Janice’s. She’d been the one who had talked to the Huntsville Marriot. But we were groggy, gave him a credit card number and had a room----we thought.

Long story short, on Friday afternoon Janice called the Marriot and was told, “No, Mrs. Reese, we have no record of reservations for you. Welcome to “scam city” Reese family. Back to square one. But hold on, luck came to us through a phone call from Cavender Creek Cabins north of Dahlonega, where Janice had attempted to secure a reservation earlier. No luck then. But, thankfully, now Janice was talking to a lady who spoke fluent English. She told Janice that she had a cabin and it was ours if we wanted it. A credit card number was all that was needed. Giving that number out once more probably couldn’t hurt I thought. Everyone else in cyber land probably had that number now, anyway.

All’s well that end well, they say. We’re in a cabin at a beautiful location. We called our credit card company and have received an e-mail confirmation that all charges to Marriot in Huntsville have been removed. Whew! And we just found out that Irma is traveling even further west away from us, straight toward northern Alabama and Huntsville. But I can’t help but think about our home with our old oak tree. I’ve seen houses that took direct hits from huge trees. We’re praying that when we drive down North Masonic on Tuesday we’ll see our old tree and our old house, and they’ll both welcome us home in vertical positions.

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