Five Card Story: A walk in the Woods

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a Five Card Flickr story by Jessica Coffelt created Aug 25 2015, 05:14:19 am. Create a new one!

flickr photo credits: (1) bionicteaching (2) Serenae (3) bionicteaching (4) Serenae (5) Serenae

about this story

I woke up early to birds singing outside my window. The sunshine beating on my face and the perfect amount of breeze coming through the open window. My weekend getaway was off to a great start! But I had no idea what was in store for me.
After a nice breakfast and, of course, a cup of coffee I decided to go for a walk. Last night when I checked into this charming little bed and breakfast, the owner told me there were several hiking trails close by. So off on my journey I went. I spotted one of the trails at the edge of the wood line about 100 yards from the front door. Just what I needed for my day: my thoughts and nature as the reminder of how amazing my God is.
I couldn't have been more than 1/2 a mile down the trail when a came to a fork. As I stood debating on which way to go, I noticed to my right, just out of my sight, a sign nailed to a tree. I decided that the right branch was the way to go because of course I just had to know what the sign said. As I got closer, I saw that it read “POSTED NO TRESSPASSING.” It looked as though it has been there for many years.
As I examined the sign, a flicker of light caught my eye. I looked past the tree to see a sliver of a stone wall through the branches. I was hooked. I had to find out what this place was. I started to make my way off the path through the grown up brush and branches. Out of nowhere, I ran right into the biggest spider web I had ever seen. I stumbled backwards knowing that there had to be a prehistoric spider that lived in this web. There where hundreds of dead bugs.
Looking around, I saw that the web ended on a maple tree to my left. I made my way safely around it and headed toward my goal praying earnestly that I would never encounter that terrifying thing ever again. As I got closer to this wall, I started to see that it was surrounding something. My excitement level was growing but so was my anxiety. I am not sure whether the exhilaration was from elation at nearing my goal or a consequence of the fear of the unknown that was just ahead. Either way my adrenaline was pumping and I could feel my heart beating in my chest.
I approached the wall to see a large wooden gate. I turned to the right to head towards the gate and tripped over at what on first sight looked like a rock. At second glance though, I realized that what was laying on the ground next to me was not a rock at all. Rather, it was the leftovers of some long dead animal carcass. Judging by the size of the skull, it was the remains of a large animal. I came to the conclusion that it must have been a horse. Perhaps a cow? I brought myself to my feet and wiped off my now dirty and scraped knees and hands. Remembering my goal, I looked ahead to the gate. I was in luck. There was no chain or lock on the wooden gate. My heart leapt with excitement! I slowly pushed the wooden gate open. Like it was straight out of a horror movie, the gate creaked and squeaked in protest as it opened. The gate opened to reveal an average size house was actually quite unimpressive. It was an old house with very few windows and a small front porch with half rotten rocking chair on it.
I carefully made my way to the front door minding the rotten boards. I gave the door handle a good turn and, with some additional encouragement from my hip and shoulder, I opened the door. The interior of the house did not match the outside house at all. For a second, I stopped in my tracks thinking someone must still live here. Fearfully, I squeaked out a “hello is anyone here?” No one answered, so I called out a second time with a little more gusto just to make sure.
Straight ahead was a huge fire place that took up most of the living room. You could see right though it to the kitchen and dining room. There where amazing works of art covering all the walls. It didn't seem like there was a speck of dust in the place. Someone was keeping up with this house nicely. As I walked around, every wall had art work on it some walls had multiple paintings. Down the hall I noticed huge iron chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. Once again the hallway was covered in art work.
When I got to the end of the hallway, I heard the front gate creek. I stopped in my tracks, and spun around quickly. “Oh no,” I thought, “I have made a grave mistake. Someone does live here.” I considered hiding for a split second, but where would I go. I only knew of one way out. I made the decision to fess up and meet the owner face to face begging for forgiveness. I walked back into the dining room just in time to see an older couple walking up the sidewalk. They looked very confused they were looking around as if they were looking for something. On a second glance, I saw that it was the owners of the bed and breakfast.
Feeling very sheepish I walked around the corner of the fireplace and immediately started begging for their forgiveness. “I’m so very sorry, I didn't realize this was your home, please forgive me. I was just looking. I didn't touch anything. I just saw the stone wall, and, well, I don't know what I was thinking." The elderly lady smiled and giggled a bit.
“This is not our home,” she said.
“We have been worried sick about you,” the elderly man stated in a firm voice. “You left hours ago. We would love to show you around now that we know you are safe.”
“Would you like that?" said the elderly lady.
"That would be great!" I said in a much too excited tone.
For the next several hours, the elderly couple, whose names I learned where Harold and Wendi, told me more than I will ever remember. This house had been in Wendi's family for many generations. Wendi's great-grandparents built the house that is now the bed and breakfast. This was where she had grown up and where she and Harold had raised their four children. They went on to tell me that the "Old Cottage" (as they call it) house was exactly the way her great grandma had left it. Wendi continued to clean the dust and cobwebs. But the dishes in the cabinets were the same from years passed and the beds were still made with the same sheets.
That evening Harold and Wendi invited me to have dinner with them. We shared great stories and even more laughs. This would be a weekend I will never forget.

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flickr photo credits: (1) bionicteaching (2) Serenae (3) bionicteaching (4) Serenae (5) Serenae

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