Followers

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Crowded Nest; Truck, RV and Kitty Update; RV-Dreams Rally; and Tornadoes

Wow, busy times. We are still waiting on our NEW TRUCK and NEW RV. Our truck has a supplier issue, in that the seats will not be available until mid-May. Yuk! Our RV is finished, and probably already in Tennessee, but will need to be inspected by the dealer before delivery to us. Believe me, the nest is a little crowded. We are still in our 23' motorhome, with the dog and the cat. Needless to say, we are ready to move into the much larger 350 sq ft space!!


My kitty, Paleo, is still hanging in there with his kidney failure. We have learned to give him fluids under the skin to rehydrate him, and give him softeners for his poopy problems. Seems kidney failure contributes to dehydration and constipation. Poor kitty. He is one old cat, and sometimes loses his balance, or wakes himself up nodding during sleep. He is very skinny, which also goes along with the disease. I dread the day I am faced with the decision to let him go, however, I don't want him to suffer.


We attended the RV-Dreams Spring Rally in Sieverville, TN, which was awesome and far exceeded our expectations! Howard and Linda Payne really know how to bring people together with a common goal of fulltiming. We had seminars on Choosing an RV, Choosing State of Domicile, Emotional Impact of Making Decision to Fulltime, Costs of Fulltiming, Internet on the Road, Boondocking, Choosing a Campground, Workkamping, Packing the RV, and a session on making the trek to Alaska. It was great to meet other fulltimers and wanna-be fulltimers and see that they are not crazy, lazy, nor broke, but are instead people that want to see this beautiful country and experience all that there is to offer. We met so many interesting RV'ers and were invited into their homes during "Open Rigs", shared wonderful meals during "Pot Luck" and "Chili-Cookoff", and shared laughs during the "Ice-breakers" and the "70's Theme Party".  We made lots of new friends, that we plan to stay in touch with and hopefully meet on the road in the future.


We were very fortunate to have survived the deadly tornado outbreak on April 27th which killed at least 350 people, mainly in my home-state of Alabama. The hardest hit in our area was Ringgold, GA which is 10 miles from our campground. We skirted tornadoes for 15 hours, from 8:00am until 11:00pm. The bathhouse in our campground is small, and many trees lie on the western side, so I did not feel the structure would survive a bad tornado. So, we left our RV early Wednesday morning to go to a friend's house in Chattanooga, which has a basement. We didn't make it before the first tornado hit the area. We quickly pulled over and ran into a CVS Pharmacy about the time the power went off in the store. Thankfully, the pharmacist said we could bring our dog inside, as I know she would have been freaked in the truck. When the weather calmed, we went back to the campground to catch the weather. More tornado activity was on the way, so we headed South to Fort Oglethorpe, GA and went into a Costco so that we could watch the weather reports. I talked to a friend of mine who lives outside of Chattanooga, and she said that the first round of tornadoes took out 4 huge trees in her yard and flattened everything in her yard except for a St. Francis statue that we had given her during our downsizing. She was pretty freaked. We then decided to go further South, to Dalton to ride out round three, which promised to be the worst yet. We went to a restaurant bar and was there when Ringgold was hit, and we heard it had been totally wiped out. Our waitress tried to get in touch with her husband in Ringgold, but all of the Verizon phones were down. We had AT&T, and she tried on our phone, but she could not reach him and needless to say, she was very worried about him and her little girl. Another waitress called her sister who was at work at a Ruby Tuesday in Ringgold. Her sister answered the phone begging for help as the roof had caved in and they were trapped. They were then disconnected. Ruby Tuesday was flattened. Seeing these ladies concerned for the welfare of their families was heartbreaking. The restaurant closed early and we went across the street to a hotel lobby to wait until all was clear to go back to the RV, not knowing what we would find at the campground. Finally, the weather cleared and we headed north to return to our campground. As we passed the I-75 exit to Ringgold, traffic going South was totally blocked, and backed up for miles and miles and miles. Two huge tractor-trailers had been caught in the tornado and their twisted remnants and contents were spilled onto the interstate. Metal signs were wrapped around trees, and naked tree trunks could be seen from the interstate. The Ringgold exit was closed to all but emergency vehicles, and they were not letting anyone in. I thought of those poor waitresses that would not be able to find out if their families were safe. We finally got back to our campground around 11:00pm. Our little RV was safe, and all was quiet. A couple of RV's were damaged by fallen trees and branches, but our campground was spared the devastation. That was one day I, alone with many others will never forget. I hope the waitresses found their loved ones safe.

22 comments:

Jessica said...

So glad to hear that you made it through those days safely, Deb! I can't imagine how scary it was to have those storms all around you.

Judy and Emma said...

What an emotional day for you two!!

Gypsy Boho said...

Your story was terrifying to read and I can't imagine how scared you all were. How sad for all those people who were injured and killed. My heart goes out to them.

Kate said...

SO HAPPY to hear that you're both all right. My heart goes out to all the people who are suffering such loss.

Keep us informed, please.

Kate
http://cholulared.blogspot.com

Merikay said...

I have been watching for a post by you since I knew you were in the area of the storms. So far everyone I have read has been OK. I'm still waiting to see a post by Heyduke! But I don't think they were in harms way.

Merikay said...

I thnik my comment got lost. I'm glad you are safe and your rig is undamaged.

menglish09 said...

Glad to hear you guys are safe.

menglish09 said...

First time I've commented on a blog. I'm still trying to figure it out. Maxine English

Donna aka Froggi said...

So glad you guys are okay...I have friends in the Chattanooga & Ringgold area and heard the tales of the devastation and destruction. You were so lucky!!

Donna aka Froggi said...

Forgot...hope you get your new rig soon!!!

Gail and Rick said...

How scary that must have been for you! My heart goes out to all those people suffering. How awful!

Glad you're safe and hope you'll be in your new home soon :)

Ivey said...

Oh my. I am glad you guys are ok. My hope those waitresses found their families safe and sound. It must be the worst feeling in the world to not know what you are going to find when you get home.

Keep that souvenir bird poop safe.

Vicky and Ira.

Gin and Syl said...

Glad to hear that y'all are ok. Seeing the damage on tv is one thing, but actually seeing it in person is a totally different thing. Your new rig will feel huge. Hope the truck and 5er arrive soon.
Syl

Sue and Doug said...

so glad to hear that you are all safe and sound!...take care!

Donna K said...

Glad you are safe and your rig unharmed. That was a very scary and moving story. My thoughts and prayers are with all who have been hit by these devastating storms.

Teri said...

Glad to hear that you are ok. What a scary time it must have been. So much loss in one day.

Rorik said...

WOW what a scary day,glad you all are okay. We dodged the tornadoes in Arkansas but nothing like you went through. Albuquerque rarely has severe storms so tornado warnings were a new adventure for us.
Let's hope the severe weather season will come to an end soon.

Laurie and George said...

So glad to hear you guys are alright. I've been wondering about all the RV-dreams family that is still in the southern 'tornado' areas.

squawmama said...

Glad to hear that you survived all the storms... How scary for you and many others.
Stay safe
Donna

ain't for city gals said...

Hi I have been reading your previous posts...what an adventure you will have !...Looking forward to sharing it via blogland...

Deborah said...

Thank you all so much for your concerns regarding our safety during the tornadoes. The devastation is still unbelievable. The campground is full of insurance adjusters from all over the country, that are booked for months.

@aint't for city gals: I can;t wait to read your blog and hopefully see a few pictures of your vintage trailers! Welcome to snippets of my life!

Me and My Dog said...

That sounds like such a scarey day. I'm glad you are okay, and that your RV made it through, too. I can't imagine having to run from place to place to escape those storms.