Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Debby and us Part II

Monday June 25, 2012
Lithia Springs Site 25
Lithia, Florida


Still haven’t heard from my book benefactor. 



 beautiful mushrooms again today


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beautiful mushrooms again today


Comments were down the last couple of posts so I hope whoever it is was able to read “Surprise Package”.  If not, here’s the link.  I can’t stand the suspense of not knowing who Santa in June is.  I’d really like to thank you for such a thoughtful gift.


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River at the end of the path from site 25 where I used to have to climb down to sit on the bank 


It’s not over yet.


debby 0n monday 011The path I took yesterday from site 40 to the boat dock 


Thanks to those who wrote us about how glad they were that Debby skipped us. Well, not quite.  I guess I gave the impression that it was all over. But in fact it was only over for Monday.

Overnight on Monday, at about 4am,  there is another tornado warning.  Again we are spared but because of the heavy rains overnight there is flooding everywhere and numerous closed roads. David cancels his appointment this morning so we will not have to drive anywhere.  It has been rescheduled for next Monday which is the same day he sees the bone transplant specialist.  I’m not happy about this.  I’d like him to see the hematologist sooner.  But DEBBY is in the way.


Our county, Hillsborough, is again under a tornado watch until 2pm this afternoon.  As I begin writing this it is 10:30am.  Hillsborough county is HUGE and the expectation seems to be that the tornadic activity will be in the northern part of the county (where we will be moving next week-end) and so we will be spared in the south.  But we aren’t going anywhere and are monitoring the weather as you can imagine.   This is certainly not what we need to add to our plate.


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My favorite tree just off site 40.  It used to be beside the river. It’s knees have disappeared.


So what has happened over night?

When the rain lightens up we decide to go out for a walk to see what has happened while we were sleeping.  We walk down to site 40 which I visited yesterday.  What a difference.   The water is up within 3’ of the campsite and the folks in that site have been told to move to higher ground.  

We try to walk down the path I took yesterday to the boat dock but it too is under feet of water.   The boat dock is no longer visible and even the kayak put in posts are almost under water.


debby 0n monday 023 Guess we aren’t going this way.


debby 0n monday 031 No boat dock no more.  No path on the far right to site 40, other end is above.



Wow the river has eaten the springs.



debby 0n monday 035This is the entrance where you used to be able to walk down the stairs to the spring beach and put out your towel or chair.  Notice the life guard station.  It still has a tiny island.


The ranger tells us the river has come up 5’ over night.  We get to the spring and see that it is completely drowned.   The river has taken over and the water is up above the walkways and steps.


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The great blue heron is gazing out on the spring run which was his permanent fishing grounds but is now far too deep for him.


debby 0n monday 053 Blue heron at the spring run which has been taken over by the river and is no longer crystal clear.

The picnic area has flooded.  A little blue heron is hoping there might be something for him in this shallower water.  No bridge from one side of picnic area to the other.


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New lake between picnic areas but no bridge between.


We couldn’t get near the natural spring.  Those folks who have visited us here,  Carrie, Bill & Nancy, Gin & Syl, Roger & Carol  will recognize these spots and probably this one in particular.   I zoomed in on the water level indicator and it says 16’.  Flood stage for the Alafia river is 13’.

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It’s time to get back before the rains start again.


As we near the rig,  I come across this little red snake. Looks like he’s heading for high ground too. The park manager and assistant manager drive up to remove some trees that are now leaning precariously over the road.  The manager tells me this is a red racer.  We never had anything but black racers in Virginia so I found him very interesting and very pretty.


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During this rain lull, I get up on top the RV to sweep the water off of the slide toppers.  We, of course, do not have our awning out.  I sweep off the small sticks and spanish moss that are also all over.  I’m being very careful, it’s wet and slippery up here.   I go up in my bare feet to better feel where I am.

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At 3:00pm, the tornado watch is  extended until 11:00pm. Debby is just sitting off the coast about 200 miles.  She’s not moving and is  sending rain rain and more rain.  All I can say is


At 5:00 we turn on the TV and see coverage of all the damage the tornados and flooding have done.  Several lives have been lost.  And it’s not over yet.  They are talking about Round II.  They say Debbie is now going to turn east and go across Florida near Gainesville and exit to the Atlantic near St. Augustine.   But it’s such a slow moving system that no one knows for sure.  We may get another 2” of rain over night.  I wonder how high the river will be tomorrow when we wake up.  


debby 0n monday 077A On the walk, We see numerous beautiful butterflies but these are the only two who will pose.


At 7:45pm we get another tornado warning.  It appears to be moving up a corridor about 3 miles from us.  We watch to see how many minutes we have but before we can get the door open it’s over.  There are reports that a funnel cloud went over the Lithia firehouse but not on the ground.  People saw it as it moved along.   These things move so fast that they are gone or hitting you before you can do anything.  Rain on the roof is not sounding quite so nice anymore.

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  1. Bleh. I hate tornadoes. Also forest fires. Well, once you get through one, the other won't be a problem anymore.

    My mom is in Lake City. They have a sinkhole/pond in their front yard that allegedly rises and falls with the Suwanee. They lose their dial-up any time it rains or blows there. I imagine she is spending her days at the hospital with her husband. There is no point to this paragraph, just like there is no point to Lake City.

    Oh, you won the Space Bags, so whenever you get an address and a chance to let me know, I'll have them sent to you.

  2. Yikes :) Mother Nature can be cruel at times. I'm keeping watch on the radar too. Keep safe! Nice pictures of the butterflies. I can never get them to sit still enough to get a shot of them.

  3. I've been checking since yesterday to see if you've written because I was worried after seeing the flooding on the news. I'm so sorry your appointment was cancelled, Sherry, but if you and David felt it was safer, then you had no choice. The last thing you would need would be to get stranded on the road. It's a shame they couldn't give you the numbers over the phone, but maybe a lot of the hospital employees are having difficulty navigating their ways to work.

    Good gravy, I'd be afraid to get up on the roof of a motorhome--especially if it was wet! Is there anything you won't do? I'm such a klutz - I'd surely fall off. I think you need to wear a "Wonder Woman" cape, Sherry!

    The pictures of the park are amazing. I once was in the path of a tornado that came over from Alabama--the only camper in a south Georgia campground. Lizzie, Jack, and I spent the night in the bathhouse. Lot of flooding during that. I had an aflame and it opened up and water poured in. What a mess.

    I think Tampa set a record with the amount of rain in one day. It looks like it was a good thing you didn't move to site 40.

    Have you never heard of "Secret Santa"? I think you'll really enjoy the book. The very first thing Rich and I found with our copy was the Enchanted Circle in NM, and there were places along it that we wouldn't have known to stop at if we hadn't had it. We used to buy regional books, too, and I still thumb through them, but the 120 Scenic was our old standby. When I returned, by myself, to many of the areas Rich and I had been in several times, I still discovered places that we drove right by and never saw so it's a timeless addition to your research into where you and David will head next. I'm sure the person who sent it hopes it helps the time waiting and recovering go faster.

    Just glad you are safe. Keep us posted as often as you can. One good thing is that the storm doesn't have the wind one would ordinarily expect. At least you have kayaks with you! Now, that's what I call prepared.

  4. I got the impression that the other Al and Karen sent the book.

    Its sunny now,but rainy a minute ago.

    Go away Debby!

  5. I wish I could claim the "secret Santa", but I cannot! I'm keeping a close eye on you folks, I was worried about you when I saw the flood alert at Lithia Springs ( I have Homosassa on my weather channel watch list, and have been calling there every day). Stay strong and show no fear!

  6. I though it was supposed to be Debby Does Dallas!? :)

    That snake looks similar to a corn snake.

  7. See, it turned out to be a good thing you didn't get site 40. You would have had to move again!

  8. Secret Santas are secret for a reason..:)...to keep you wondering and to keep a smile on your face...I can't believe how much the water rose..wow...stay safe and stay off the roof!!! You are braver than I am

  9. I think Hobopals sent you that book :)

    Those flooding pictures are awful, Sherry. I hope your site is high enough. I also agree with Jim and Gayle. Good thing you weren't in site 40.

    The butterfly pictures were gorgeous but you could have skipped the snake!

  10. Good point Jim & Gayle - didn't have to move because you were in 'safe' site 25. I'm so glad the tornados have stayed away from the Park. The water levels are surprising - I'm glad I've been there so I can really see the difference. Mother Nature is truly at it and I hope she stops loitering and moves away! Go Away Debby!

  11. That's a lot of flooding from the rain ... are you guys going to be able to get out if you get an evacuation order?

  12. I'm so glad you posted today and that you are ok because to me the storms on the weather channel look scary.

    I love looking at all your pictures. I think Secret Santas are wonderful. Boost your spirit :)

  13. Glad you two are OK!!!! Can't believe that water is over the spot we stood and talk to the Park Ranger. It is quite a different looking place. But it is time for Debby to take a hike!!!

    Please, Please, Please be careful and stay safe. You two will certainly have a few tales to share when this year is over. Again...STAY SAFE!!!

  14. Your pictures are downright scary! And then you go up on the roof and scare me even worse! Hope Debby goes away soon and leaves you in peace. She's just downright mean. :c(

  15. Rain rain go away, come again another day! Stay safe (and dry!).....

  16. Wish you would send it here. The fires are all over and very close to town now

  17. Great -- this is all you need! I used to hate hurricane season in Virginia. Be careful out there!

  18. I am with Judy- I would call that a corn snake. Keep an eye out for gators!

  19. watching, Sherry. So hope that you get a break from this. Looks scary to see you up on that roof when it is all wet and rainy. Ugh. Looking forward to hearing from you when things clear up.

  20. When we visited in May, the spring was pretty dry. I think it will be quite a while before it gets dry again. Then again, it is a bit sandy there.
    Please stay safe and know that you are both in our thoughts and prayers.

  21. You really did get drenched! It was crazy over here on the Gulf Coast!
    The waves were flipping, & pounding into the streets! We had a 2 to 4 foot high tide, wthich made a mess! We were contacted by the Ranger at Myakka of a possible Evacuation, however, did not hear back from him! Guess we will see on Saturday.
    Looking forward to Staying at Palm Log Cabins in Myakka, and checking the Gypsy Wife's status!


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