Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Storm

Note** The author prefers living outdoors with occasional retreats into a little old motorhome. 

The storm snuck up on me with a sudden vengeance.

It was pouring down rain. My towels and wash cloths were on the outside clothes line. Instead of drying, they were getting a heavy fresh rain rinse. That was not my original intention, but mother nature apparently had other ideas.

The downpour briefly subsided to a drizzle. I was inside with the puppy dog, staying dry. Suddenly the winds went from 5 mph to 50 mph. My picnic table umbrella looked like it was ready to take flight. The RV awning which is attached to the side of the motorhome was also fully cranked out. It was whipping up and down testing the old cobbled frame. It's rebuilt from junk parts, patiently waiting indefinitely for a replacement.

I dashed outside to fold up the 9 foot umbrella, but the winds shot up to about 70 mph. One of the ribs bent and prevented me from closing the umbrella. I was a tad mad, I just bought that umbrella on sale deeply discounted to replace the one a different storm killed in Melbourne Florida.


I turned my attention to the RV awning which was now acting like a great big sail, threatening to flip my little old wheel estate upside down.

I managed to drop the awning at a severe angle, that actually lessened the impact of the winds, then I tied a line from it to the 8 foot 8 ton picnic table, to try to prevent it from blowing away completely. The big roller mechanism is warped, so it's a bit fussy to close and downright impossible in heavy winds.

My hair was whipping around, tree branches were falling and flying, I was dodging debris and trying to mitigate the outside camp patio damages.

About this time, I saw clothes pins flying as my rain sodden towels which should have been plenty heavy, managed to take flight like magic carpets, vanishing into the dark thick woods behind my campsite. My jaw flew open to be quickly doused with rain water.

Was I caught in a bad dream or a bad comedy?

The storm picked up intensity with heavy rains so forceful, I could barely see at all. The winds were blowing, I was soaking wet and actually pretty cold. I fought with the umbrella some more, managing to finally more or less, crank it down.  I ran inside the RV, standing on the entry rug soaking it wet. The motorhome swayed and rocked like a little sailboat lost on a wild ocean wave.

The dog stared at me in horror.  But I bet in his tiny brain he was really thinking "Does this mean our walk is postponed?"

Is this it?  Are we going to fly away on a tornado next?  We could hear a loud noise, we both ran to the back window in time to see a big tall tree come crashing down in the woods. Thankfully it missed us altogether. Whew!

At this point, a good long cry would have done nothing to ease the situation except to make me feel better. But the winds slowed down, so back in the rain I went to fuss with the awning again, to roll it up and out of harm's way.

Back inside I changed into dry clothes. I dug out my snake stomping cowboy boots. Within the hour, the rains stopped, the winds died and I was thrashing about in the forest looking for snakes, wash cloths and towels.

I found most of them (the wash cloths and towels) taking them inside to be washed again in my compact clothes washer (absolutely love that thing!)

*Ahem*  this was after I spent an hour removing wet leaves and pine needles from the soaking mess.

Once they were clean again, I used plastic clothes hangers and clothes pins to hang them up, one per hanger. Then I hung them about an inch apart on an overhead rod inside my shower.

As if to mock me, the rains stopped, the winds dropped, the sun came out.  Gentle winds wafted by. But I was too tired to relocate the laundry outside.

It was time to clear the driveway which by now looked like an exploded tree had landed in it.

This morning I am sore, every inch of my body aches. Please no more storms this week. I can't take the excitement.

Eventually I will go outside, crank up the shade awning and assess the damaged umbrella. Maybe.

It's a beautiful morning and I woke up alive.

Life is good.


  1. You sound like you were fighting in the land of the Wizard of Oz. I hope the damages aren't too extensive.

  2. Chuck BraeckleinWednesday, June 12, 2013

    Are you ready to come back to Faver Dykes, The Snickering Bear calls are going to be there again July 4 for the weekend.

  3. I would love to come back, but will be a camper this time rather than a volunteer. I do have reservations to be in Melbourne at Wickham Park starting November 15 for a month or more. It's a gorgeous park you may want to visit. So how is your motorhome doing?

  4. Chuck BraeckleinSaturday, June 15, 2013

    Glade to hear back from you, The old Camper is doing fine haven't had the chance to try out that thing a bob the rv tech told me what it was yet. have to replace the roof vents (getting old and brittle) what can I say for a 26 year old rv.

    Will try and make it to Wickham Park when you roll on down here to Florida. Wickham Park is not that far from us about 1 1/2 hrs. would be nice to see you again and heck have some slop, I'll get the Cook to grill you up some Ribeye's and what ever else he decides to throw together. be safe up there and when your rolling down the roads who knows might run into each other...


Life is goof!