Everyday is an Adventure. Embrace it

Posts tagged ‘rain’

Boomsday 2012

While I’ve been looking for my outlook to change back to an adventurous one, my family and I had an adventure without realizing it 🙂

On September 2nd, we decided to brave the crowd and venture into downtown Knoxville for the annual Boomsday event. This was the 25th anniversary of the huge 30 minute long firework display put on by the city of Knoxville. The developers of this event expected about 400,000 people to attend the largest firework display in the nation. If I had to guess, I’d say that over 400,000 people were there despite the bad weather forecast!

We started off the day in Market Square, grabbing sub sandwiches from Subway. Bellies full, we went to the middle of the square where a street performer was makes balloon animals. Our teenage kids (16, 15, 15, and 14yrs old) participated in a band session with this guy. He played a flute while the kids drummed on his instruments. Several passer-bys stopped to watch such local entertainment. 🙂 They drew a pretty good sized crowd too 🙂
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Next, My oldest son’s girlfriend stood by as the nice man made 2 balloon animals for her. Receiving her balloons, she said, “Even though I said I wasn’t going to have fun today, this is cool.”…as she smiled 🙂
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We then walked to the East TN Museum of History and the kids took in some local History.  The Museum had the 3rd floor open! The kids got to see the old library that is not normally open to the public 🙂
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Last, we walked across downtown to Volunteer Landing on Neyland Drive. The roads were blocked off to motorist by local law enforcement so it was safe to walk. 3 radio stations were broadcasting, there were many vendors selling everything fried you could possibly think  of, and there was Live Entertainment from several stages. Boats leisurely floated along the Tennessee River and the atmosphere was wonderful! It felt like the fair. It took us about an hour to totally relax, leave work & worries behind, and …lose the kids 🙂  Okay, not really lose them in a panic – we lost them to their own excitement as they went their separate ways to meet up with friends, play games, win prizes, and act stupid without adult supervision 🙂
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It was absolutely what I needed to pull out of my stubbornness & give my mindset a 180 turn-about. Nick told the kids to meet us at different intervals at a HUGE yellow rubber ducky 🙂
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We spent the whole day downtown, even when it rained 🙂 It was nice!
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 At 9:30pm the firework display started. About 15 minutes into the show, the sky broke open & rain began to come down in buckets! No sprinkle warnings! Hundreds of people ran for cover and we found solstice under a bridge for about 5 minutes.  Everyone fit under the bridge except my youngest son and I. My oldest son would have fit, but he was trying to be his girl friend’s umbrella. Finally, we made a run for it… through a crowd of people, all 6 of us attempted to stay together as we ran through the rain for cover. We were drenched! Soaking wet. Nick was trying to save the pizza we had bought earlier as he ran ahead, but ended up almost busting his rear-end wide open when he slipped and lost a box of soaking wet pizza on the ground. hahahahahahaha      He wasn’t hurt and didn’t fall. We eventually made it to the truck and all piled in. Wet, soppy soaked, we sat on the top of a parking garage parked in line to exit for an hour before we were able to leave.

It was the BEST Boomsday ever!!! I haven’t had this much fun in a looooong time!  🙂

 

I think I may be back 🙂

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 – my 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, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
  • 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, “Today 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:

SHOCK & DENIAL

PAIN & GUILT

ANGER & BARGAINING

DEPRESSION, REFLECTION, LONELINESS

THE UPWARD TURN

RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH

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 🙂 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’s 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 🙂 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 🙂

I am so tired now.

I am tired of saying “I“.

Another Day Another Adventure

God’s hand is there extended for all of us, if only we reach for it.

On labor day, I had a minor snaffu. It had been raining here for several days. I was driving to work and traffic was crawling along. Covered by run-off rain water, the roads in some places had become impassable. I carefully chose a route that would be safe, well travelled, and lit well for visibility. As I pulled out from a traffic light and began to accelerate on a level surfaced road, my tires lost traction & the car began to hydroplane. The brakes, of course, didn’t work. So, I attempted to correct the slide with the steering. Nothing would stop the slide & I was headed straight on toward a utility pole…
…just as I was about to collide head first into certain death, some how, some way the car quickly slid sideways at the last possible second and I’m alive. I have no idea logically how the car redirected its position, but my life was spared.
All I could say was, “Thank you Lord! Thank you Lord! Thank you Lord.” The vehicle straightened up, there was no oncoming traffic and no traffic behind me. Where had all the other vehicles gone? I still don’t know.  I drove to work. After I’d been there for a little while, I went out to check my vehicle. My tires were flat, but not much else appeared to be visible. A tire change here & there & I was mobile once more.

God’s hand was stretched out to me on labor day. His hand guided my vehicle to safety. I have absolutely no doubt about that!  So, once again, I thank God for another daily adventure 🙂

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July 4th…the rest of the story

The boys, a friend, & I went to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park today. We were meeting up with some great co-workers for an outting.

It was absolutely beautiful in the mountains today. We had discussed hiking up to the waterfall (which is an item on my bucket list), but rain began to come down in buckets. The only waterfall we saw was the heavy rain sliding off the side of the pavillion we were at. We all had a great time & I very much enjoyed myself 🙂

On our way home, we saw a M60 tank near the side of the road outside of Cosby. We turned the car around, went back & took some pictures. I was so excited!!  My second tank!!!!  I admired the chasis and the suspension differences in this field machine & the other one I had seen. There were obvious differences.

After we arrived home, it was nice & quiet in the neighborhood until around 10pm. That’s when my neighbors started popping off their fireworks again.

I am happy to report that after last night’s fiasco, their shooting proximity was remarkably better. Not one of their fireworks came toward my yard, house or car 🙂

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