Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Calm Before the Storm

Calm Before the Storm

These pictures were whimsically taken the day after Labor Day in September. I was parked in a small rural area near Bushnell, Florida. I had moved this umbrella to park my bicycle under between rides.  It was raining most every day for a few hours. Several times my bicycle had been caught in the sudden rains between rides. I thought maybe this umbrella would help some. At sunset, I would move my bike to store it under cover for the night. But several times in August and early September, I found myself running around in the rains trying to get my bicycle covered up. It seems I was never fast enough, the bicycle and I both ended up soaked. I want to take good care of my bicycle since it's my personal transport in lieu of a car. 

Ironically, the umbrella is a dumpster diving special I've been using for several years now. It is damaged, you can see the bent post. It is cobbled together with a different umbrella post to give it strength to stand up. The entire umbrella is attached to the wooden water spigot post with reusable rubber twist ties. 

I thought it made a nifty bicycle carport for day use. This would be the last day I rode my bicycle. I sure do miss riding, but in all the chaos of moving around the past few weeks, there wasn't time to launch the bicycle and ride for numerous reasons including inclement weather before during and after hurricane Irma.  

One day soon, I am anxious to get my bicycle off the back of the RV to give her some TLC and take her on a spin. Easier said than done. I've been so ridiculously busy with running from hurricane Irma, preparing for Irma, cleaning, emergency repairs, doggy care, my care, moving around trying to find safe shelter and so on.

At the time this picture was gleefully snapped, I had no idea that the next morning, I would decide to frantically break camp and run from Irma. 

It rained all morning while I tried to get ready. When the rains briefly let up, the weather changed to hot steamy oppressive humidity. By the time I was ready to roll, I was soaked in sweat too exhausted to drive. Sunset was moments away.

I have to quit being mad at myself, that my rig wasn't ready to roll in under an hour, the way I typically keep it. I had become too cozy, too comfy. I had been parked here about 10 weeks without driving the RV anywhere. I had forgotten that it needed attention in many areas. I was so busy with other critical matters. 

Weeks earlier,  I had moved many of the RV's contents to the shed in back, I was planning to reorganize my rig, then reload, but I had become interrupted with other  matters, so the project was half done or rather undone! This made getting ready to roll more difficult. Shame on me!

Amazingly, we did get on the road eventually even though there were no evacuation orders, I wasn't twiddling my thumbs waiting for government to order me around. I wanted to take charge and get out while I could. 

The first 11 miles, took an hour to drive. Leaving this park, my doggy was looking out the passenger window crying. He had never done that before. He was pretty upset much of this trip, poor fellow. 

At the time I departed, one other lady was leaving, but everyone else was planning to stay or wait and see. 

News that eventually trickled down to me, was that this park lost electric, water, and sewer but was restored last week. 

I am currently near the Florida border in a holding pattern while I repair, recuperate, regather and regroup.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

It Was A Cold and Stormy Night...

I am busy patching up the rig, doggy, body and soul. We're still lost and confused. I have to get a little stronger before driving again.

We are exhausted.  Hurricane Irma made a mess of things for me and many many others.

I was grieving (still am) over seeing the devastating destruction across the Virgin Islands. I spent decades working and living  on both the US side of St Thomas, St John plus the British side on Tortola , Frenchmans Cay and Jost van Dyke. One of my careers was as professional crew on luxury yachts (not cruise liners.) I knew most all the islands intimately besides the ones I  hailed from.

I also ran a business that spanned across several islands, keeping me traveling on my little old sailboat.

Seeing my former homeport(s) destroyed from hurricane Irma was devastating. Wondering about the welfare of my friends left me sleepless at night.

Realizing I was in fragile health in an old motorhome sitting in Florida made me realize it was time to hit the road.

I thought I could run and hide from hurricane Irma.

In northeast Georgia I ended up after two hard days of travel. I thought I would be safe. On the third day I had to travel again, I was still on the search for a propane fill. My tank is built in.

The hurricane brushed  by us but brought more torrential rains. Trees fell, power went out, water went off, temperatures plummeted, wifi and cell phone died. Even the weather station I was trying to listen to on a battery weather radio became pure static. I thought they said something about a tornado. I couldn't be sure. I tried to put together a little tornado bag in case the dog and I opted to make a run for it. There was a concrete bathroom in the campground.

Before leaving Florida I packed up in heavy rains, so my motorhome was already acquiring an unpleasant wet moldy odor. My poor doggy was upset and crying. He wasn't used to the long days of driving with no stops. I was so thirsty during the driving but didn't want to drink my water, for fear I would need a break. I wanted to press onward.

An angel had sent me 2 cases of  drinkable superfood soup to help me out when I felt rough. These are delicious and I discovered they are perfect emergency food too as they taste great at room temperature. Each one is in a carton with a drinking spout. I sipped on one while driving all  morning and another one while driving all afternoon. I had put a few up front with me. Plus I had a little bag of treats for the doggy.

I had to stop for gas and I was looking like crazy for a propane fill for my built-in RV tank which had run empty. I was mad at myself that I had not filled it sooner.  Like last summer/

Now that we were camping, the rains came in and the cold settled into the mountains. Temps dropped to the 40's and 50's and with the icy cold rains it felt much colder I realized my winter clothes were back in a big baggy in a shed on my former spot in Florida.


I found things to pile on plus a rain jacket for me and luckily I had Harley's dog rain coat. He insists on going outside for his doggy business. So we piled on clothes and rain gear, then I carried him across the mini river running past our door until we found higher ground where he could do his thing. Back home I tried to dry him off while he shook and shivered.

No power, no news, no internet, no phone, no way to know what was going on where. I rationed my water, propane and generator use. I didn't know if I needed this to last 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months. I drank all the water I wanted, because I have a gravity fed purifier. It will purify rain water, river water, lake water.

In the evening I ran my generator for a little while to charge up the batteries and have some heat. My fridge was running on propane but also uses the house battery for the controls and light. So in many ways I was comfortable and lucky. Very lucky.

Many angels have helped me and I would have never made it alive this long without you.

Monday, September 25, 2017

It's Okatie

 Thank you for stopping by today. I had no idea we would be missed. Yet incredibly I am finding out I have numerous comments, emails, texts and phone messages. WOW. Thank you. I feel blessed. We're alive!

Every day I've tried to find the comedy in the commotion.

Something to laugh about.  

Notice I said tried.

Made a wrong turn ending up lost in Okatie, but it's Okatie cause we're Okatie.

What state are we in?

State of chaos!

The fast few weeks seem like months.

It's safe to say that we're fine but all beat up exhausted. My poor RV has suffered a battle. I seem to have grown heavy eye bags. Harley dog is just not himself. He cries often and it's heartbreaking. I'd like to have a good long cry but I'm too tired.

We're alive.
Life is goof.

'Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.'

That's a famous Quote from Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz
Not that we went to Kansas, don't think so, but could have, we've been blown around a bit.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

We Survived!

We're alive.

More later.

Sunday the 23rd of September, 2017, Noon

Dear Miss Mermaid and Monkey Dog

Monday, September 11, 2017

Travels with Irma

Thank you to all my special angels both in heaven and on earth.
I have so much to be grateful for.
THANK YOU so very much!

If you are reading this, I set it up Saturday  to post automatically in case I could NOT post "live".

I could be busy  or
I don't have technology or 
I don't have internet or
The website locked me out or
All of the above or
None of the above. 

Oh wait, I forgot to add hurricane Irma to the multiple choice.

What's so funny is:

I finally settled in Florida to take a permanent spell from a nomadic life then along comes a hurricane.

Perhaps I'm destined to be a lifelong wanderer...
Maybe I was in temporary denial?

Life is goof.

Travels with Irma
Party of 1 plus dog

Friday, September 08, 2017

Running From Irma and Jose

For 3 days now I have been running and hiding from hurricane Irma and Jose.

I'm alive!

Thursday, September 07, 2017


I often talk about how homesick I am for my former home in the BVI in the Caribbean.

These videos just made me cry.  While many of my island friends are on vacation off island, since traditionally folks take 4-8 week vacations in August and September, many of course are still on island.

I went from being homesick to just sick... after seeing these videos.

I've been through several hurricanes there, but this one just slammed them in the worst way.

I am late, it's tired, you have to copy and paste the rest of the videos.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Monday, September 04, 2017

Nosy Noisy Neighbors!

I shouldn't have bragged about surviving August a day early.


August finished with a big bad bang and I've been a tad overwhelmed.


It's five hours from September 5th.

I didn't realize in all the chaos, I didn't find time to write here.

Well, doggy and I ARE alive, so PHEW,  that's a relief.

But it's been a wee bit rough and  tough.

That's just a polite way of saying I am too exhausted to whine about it and it's easier to just smile and pray for a positive attitude.

Nothing like new nosy noisy neighbors. 

I am kidding too!

What a delight to have this couple around.

I sat outside drinking coffee this morning and this was my view. These feathered friends are four to five feet tall. They arrived honking up a storm, then settled down to check out the place. 

Finding the camera, I snapped off a few shots. The third one down has something dark and fuzzy in the foreground. I have no idea what that is. It doesn't appear in the other pictures.

Post a comment if you have any ideas.