Everyday is an Adventure. Embrace it

Posts tagged ‘flooding’

Funny How Things Just Hit You

As I sat drinking my beloved coffee this morning, I rummaged through a year’s worth of pictures so the before/after photographs could be posted of the house.  I am downright excited to publish a post of gratitude and rightfully thank everyone that has blessed our family over the last year.

As I was reviewing the first 1,000 photos or so, I was flat-out excited! Creating a folder to move the photos into and ensuring they were in the right order was not bothersome at this point. After an hour had passed, I had successfully completed my first pot of coffee.  I was amazed that I took so many pictures & had parsed through several thousand at this point. Going into my third hour, I was mentally exhausted. I was becoming frustrated at myself for taking so many pictures of everything under the sun. I questioned myself even, “why did I snap that?” “Did I think that was funny, cool, or that I’d never see it again?” “What is that?” I caught myself being upset with myself for clogging up my computer with pictures of random stuff when it hit me.

It is defined by: Wow, I’ve had a great year! I’m not including the boys or their feelings in this either. They may see the last year in a different way. Since they have become strange creatures others call teenagers, I can no longer speak for their feelings really. Would you allow me, gentle reader, to share this with you?

Please do not think me boasting or giving gratitude to anyone other than God! I have honestly had a great year of healing without even noticing I was. I mean, I’ve noticed sort of, but I took each day and placed it in its own little boxed adventure and hadn’t lined all the boxes up together to see the whole picture.

Over the last year: I went from thinking I was moving on with my life and realizing I hadn’t moved an inch

– to mourning the loss of my husband again

– to recovering from a nasty concussion (PCS)

– to beginning the heart wrenching work on the house

– to moving away from home

– to leaving state several times and seeing new places

– to meeting new people

– to realizing I had fallen in love again

– to watching the boys grow closer to each other and healing (PTSD & grief)

– to taking our first ever family vacation

– to learning a new trade (kind of)

– to definitely learning new skills

– to learning to open up and share myself with someone again

– to renewing my faith

– to really learning forgiveness (PTSD)

– to letting go of the anger (PTSD & grief)

– to helping a few friends along the way

– to meeting some cool people in other countries (you know who you are…Paul)

– to being a Mom again instead of working too many hours each week

– to bringing another child into our family

– to finally agreeing to “let it go” and just be.

And I documented all of this through my pictures. There are thousands of magical pictures with time stamps and GPS locations to remind me just how far I have come and how unquestionably blessed I have been and still am.

I am happy that I was side tracked while trying to locate all the photos of the house for you. I apologize that you must continue to wait too, cause I’m only good for one post per day per blog.

ūüôā May God bless you

We moved back home!!

It’s been a while since I have written anything and for that, I apologize.¬† I do have some fabulous news though…we moved back home on October 31st!

The boys were a tad perturbed that they didn’t get to keep their Halloween plans made with friends, but we needed every available body to help lift, carry, and unpack.

We moved practically everything on that day/night. Afterwards, I went back to the rental property we were residing in and cleaned it up. That didn’t take long though – just a few hours. We left it looking far better (and a lot more clean) than when we moved into it ūüôā

If you have followed the blog for a while, maybe you remember the house flooding? (It’s okay if you forgot, you can catch up if you read here.)

Maybe you remember the house sliding off its foundation almost a year later? (No problem if you forgot. You can catch up if you read here or here for details.)

I stopped writing about the house in February 2012 (I think) because I didn’t want the house to become the entire focus of this blog. And I decided that I would write once we were moved back into the house. I didn’t know that it would be the last day in October that would happen though.

I am going to do a reveal post soon and show some before and after photos so I can publicly thank everyone that helped us during this time in our lives. The project started the last week in December 2011 and was completed Oct 31, 2012. I am filled with joy to be back home again and I hope your hearts are touched with the story I reveal soon ūüôā


Wet Wet Wet

There once was a lovely song by the music group Wet Wet Wet that I loved to sing, titled LOVE IS ALL AROUND.

Who would have ever thought a song by a water-logged band would have meaning in my life? Ha!


I haven’t written much lately because I have been preoccupied with our house. In the past, I have written about the damages our house had endured over the last 2 years.¬†We have had more rainfall recently than¬†I can personally remember¬†during the 17 years I have lived in¬†our home. In January of 2009, record rain fall hit Knoxville, TN and the ground began to saturate. Midway through 2009, it was pretty soggy here in the eastern TN area. ¬†{Enter the Soggy Bottom Boys}.

By 2010, the ground had swelled so much with precipitation that there was nowhere for this water to absorb any longer. County and state built run-offs began to flood and streams, lakes, ponds, and of course Рmy land began to over flow. In fact, Norris Lake (which is closest to my home) was so full (12 ft over flood level), the dam was overflowing and TVA had to release the dammed water off their schedule cycle. This inadvertently flooded much land that normally was not under water in the eastern Tennessee valley. As we begin 2012, the precipitation continues. Each forecast from the weather man with precipitation throws me into a state of dread now that my home has become a swamp.

Our home has become¬†a wet land,¬†and¬†it is time for a re-evaluation of life once more. There have been 5 contractors look at the house and dust their feet of our situation.¬†They wouldn’t touch it. 2 huge men said they were afraid to get under the house for fear it may fall on them.¬†All 5 companies¬†walked away saying that I should just “level the place” and build all over again or buy a mobile home and place it on my new-found wet land. Tears have flown from my eyes until they were sore and swollen. But, I am not defeated!

Rain Rain, go away

2 1/2 hours after the rain stopped

No. We are not defeated! My risen savior is Alive! We are protected and loved.

  • Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, ‚ÄúWith man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.‚ÄĚ
  • Luke 1:37¬† “For nothing is impossible with God.”

Don’t take me wrong, I have been very upset during the last year and half while trying to save my¬†home from ruin. I have sworn, said foul things, hibernate¬†and¬†tried to hide from the world, ¬†threw my hands up in the air, and screamed in frustration!!¬† Then, the Lord brought some very important scriptures before me. It was like he allowed me to have my humanistic temper tantrum, then¬†he sent me comfort. It¬†poured in taking the form of many people and¬†objects for a little while, then he stopped me all together and taught me several lessons.

  • Proverbs 10:19¬† “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

This one hit me like a tons of bricks. Immediately I felt guilty for the things I had said in selfish anger about our lives and our home. Once something is said though, it cannot be taken back. Once a wound has been inflicted, it leaves a visible scar as a reminder so we do not repeat the same injury. My words during my rants are my scars now. I have and will continue to learn from them.

  • Proverbs 27:1¬† “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”
  • Matthew 6:34¬†¬† “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
  • James 4:13-14¬†¬† “Now listen, you who say, ‚ÄúToday or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

I was trying to be the conductor, the Supervisor, the CEO of my life and I thought I could fix it all.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†For those of you who know me well, you know this is not like me at all! ¬†Previously, I had always lived my life 100% by faith and I knew I had no control over my life. I knew that God was in control¬†and I would have never thought about trying to fill his shoes. So, what happened? When did I pick up all of my burdens and begin carrying them again? The answer to this one bites…When Nick died.

 I was in denial. During the grieving process there are many stages. Doctors, counselors, and psychiatrist will tell you about all the stages they believe you will go through as a survivor, but there is one stage that they omit. Selfishness. They will tell you that you will experience:







and finally – ACCEPTANCE & HOPE

What they will not tell you is that somewhere mixed in the 7 stages of grief, you will become self-absorbed. So many people will tell you to “take time for yourself” cause “you deserve it”. You were a great person (just because you are sad and you could burst into uncomfortable tears at any moment) so “do something nice for yourself”. Afterall, you were “so strong” and you are a “survivor”.¬† People mean well when they say these things. As a widow, a surviving child, or a surviving parent – be careful that you do not follow in my path. I heard it over and over. I began to agree with it, even though it was wrong! I fell into the “let’s just make her feel better for now” trap. I let it go to my head. I became self-absorbed and I forgot from whence my help comes from.

I didn’t go out, hit up every bar in town, go clubbing often, change my hair and make-up, buy a whole new wardrobe, or become promiscuous. But, what I did led to a path of self-destruction¬†just the same. Go through this post. Count how many times I have written I, Me, My, or Mine.¬†The good thing is that I have finally been rebuked enough to learn from it ūüôā I cannot do anything on my own. I am nothing without God. I can do nothing without him. I, nor my family, can prosper without giving him 100% of the glory and praise.

  • Proverbs 27:17¬† “As iron sharpens iron,¬†so one person sharpens another.”

The Lord revealed that he would send different people to us, one by one, to bless us.  I had to be obedient and accept the blessings to allow the person He sent to be blessed in return.

  • Proverbs 27:18¬†¬† “The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit,¬†and whoever protects their master will be honored.”

God, my master, deserves all the honor and glory for every aspect of our existence.

  • Proverbs 27:19¬†¬† “As water reflects the face,¬†so one‚Äôs life reflects the heart.
  • Proverbs 27:20¬†¬† “Death and Destruction are never satisfied,¬†and neither are human eyes.”

So, with these lessons learned in the swamp, from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. I am thankful today for the swamp. It’s not mine. It belongs to the Lord. Why was I worried that I would lose it? It’s not mine to lose. I am just a steward over it for a little while and after I am gone…someone else will be a steward over the swamp ūüôā I sincerely hope that the next person is not as stubborn as I was. I hope they are prosperous¬†and lean-to the Lord for all their understanding so they are blessed beyond belief in that wet land ūüôā

I am so tired now.

I am tired of saying “I“.

Adventurous Memories of a Nick, Larry, & Patsy

Today’s memories are brought to you by Adventurous Memories of a Nick, Larry, & Patsy. It was Oct of 1995, my boyfriend (soon to be husband and future father of my boys), his friend Larry and I made a trip to visit one of their friends living in Arkansas, Patsy.¬† Larry was home (KY) from the Army on leave, and the trip to Arkansas had been planned for a long time before Nick & I ever met. I got to tag along – cause I was the one with the car to drive. And hey, I’d never been out of the state for fun. First I got to meet Larry. We met in Middlesboro at Dunkin Doughnuts over coffee. Nick and Larry caught up on old times and I guess that’s when I got my introduction as well. From what I can remember, I was pretty ditsy ūüôā
Nick told me Larry was always changing his look and declared that he had moved into the “Marlboro Man” phase.¬† He sported a cowboy hat, boots, and blue jeans. (This must have been a private joke, I thought. But after knowing Larry a bit more, I see what Nick meant by Larry’s changing appearances. I like them, they keep life fresh and his wife now seems to love him this way!!)

So, back to the story, as non responsible adults, we had all neglected to check the weather before the trip.  There had been tornado warnings issued for west Tennessee, Arkansas, and other areas that we were oblivious to. On the long drive across Tennessee, we encountered high winds, heavy rains, and a great number of semi trucks driving very slowly. After hours of driving, we finally crossed the Mississippi river.
The bridge was huge, long, and just plain awesome. I asked what body of water we were crossing and Nick replied, “The Mississippi, of course.” I was so excited! Larry was asleep in the back seat of my tiny Nissan Pulsar (that roared loudly with the muffler missing).¬† I’d never seen the Mississippi and just had to say hello to it! I rolled my window down, stuck my head out the window, and yelled as loud as I could, “HELLO MISSISSIPPI!” Rain water poured into the small car, pelting Nick, who was driving, in the face.¬† He laughed at first because I also drenched Larry sleeping in the back seat. Larry was startled awake by his sudden shower. LOL ūüôā¬† Sorry Larry ūüôā

After that little impulsive incident, my window was rolled up and locked from the drivers side ūüė¶
Several miles later, I said I wanted to drive. Nick took the next exit and before I knew it, I was driving in Arkansas! Whoo Hoo!!¬† …then…a state trooper pulled me over. He asked for my paperwork and then asked where I was from. I pointed down the road from whence we came and said, “From back ‘air. Have you ever heared of a place called Knoxville? Well, if you go straight through downtown, the continue down Broadway and then Fountain City…”. The officer raised his hand to stop my chatter and said, “Okay, where are you going in this tornado?”¬† At this point the officer thought I was mentally challenged and asked Nick to drive.

We made it to Jonesboro, AR in one piece with a police escort and the town was flooded. The low riding Nissan we were in amazingly plowed through water that came up to the door handle. I remember lifting my feet off the floorboard of the car – as if it would help, LOL!

We made it to Patsy’s house safely, but that ride was totally amazing along the way!

Maybe I’ll tell you about Beale Street and Graceland in the next edition of Adventurous Memories of a Nick, Larry, & Patsy ūüôā

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