Fight or flight? We chose flight…

We left home, in our 1999 Roadtrek camper with a lot of faith and a little angst. Unsure of our destination, but firm on our direction – NORTH! As time passed we learned that one of our daughters had been discharged from a local hospital early… High anxiety.

Amanda was discharged from her hospital stay one day after we fled. She was on her own…

When we left home they told us she would be kept “until the threat of the hurricane had passed”. Wrong. She was discharged against her will, with no place to go. We knew she was resourceful, but had no way to confirm her safety. Amanda was totally — on her own… Our prayers increased.

We used the WAZE app and stayed well clear of the parking lot that was I-75

We stuck to the backroads and had no traffic at all. Even though we were in “Flight” mode, the incredible scenery kept us enthralled and the knowledge that we were moving farther from harms way lessened our anxiety…

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The looming storm made our exodus even more urgent.

Our initial destination, was Silver Lake Campground in Brooksville, Florida. This beautiful park is holds of fifty years of happy memories, for Lucy and me. Once again, it proved to be our solace. We even got our favorite campsite… Number sixteen…

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Our favorite lakefront campsite, number sixteen, was the perfect overnight spot.

The next morning, backroads beckoned again and we shifted our GPS to points further north…

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If you have not used the “WAZE” app, give it a try. We love it…

An old campground, Deer Run, appeared, just as we were both feeling the need for a break from the road…

Just as God must have planned, we rented the LAST campsite. Once plugged in we settled down to unwind, attempted to contact family and friends by phone and social media and then enjoyed a full nights sleep… We discussed our future travel plans as we sipped our morning coffee.

First thought was to head to Frank Jackson State Park in Opp, Alabama, but they were full.

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There is just something about a journey on a tree lined dirt road that elicits joy from within…

Lucy and I loved traveling the dirt roads and marveled at the scenery.

As we were trying to decide where to “run”, our close friend Mandy Walker invited us to join them in Byron, Georgia. Fantastic.

We found an open gas station, filled our tank and set our WAZE App to head for safe haven in Byron.

The womenfolk, Mandy, Leigh, Alicia,

The trip was wonderful and we arrived to big hugs from our daughter Alicia, happy grandchildren and the entire Walker family. Mandy’s estate was the perfect place to feel; safe, loved and relieved. She even had an empty outbuilding that was a perfect shelter for our Gheenoe “Camo-Tow”. While MiMI Lucy relaxed with the girls in the big house, I called it a night and went to bed…

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“Voyageur” our venerable Roadtrek made a perfect hideaway.

Next morning we awoke to beautiful weather, cool temps and clear skies.

There was no indication of the fury that was hurricane IRMA. Soon after we woke, Mandy told us that our old friend Ryan Jones and his mate Krissy had invited us for a cook out. Man-O-man. That was wonderful news after a week of fear and doubt. As the hurricane continued its destructive path toward our home in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, Lucy and I were treated as honored guests at the Jones estate.

Tender and juicy pork loin and chicken quarters dissapeared quickly. Ryna cooked enough for a small army. We ate like one…

Bryan had three different kinds of meat in his smoker and plenty of beverages to keep our throats from getting dry, while we shared hours of wonderful conversation and fond memories.

The highlight for me, was getting to know Krissy, Riley (four years old) and Hunter (one year old) better. First time meetings for me.

Ryan relly knows how to handle his meat…

Ryan gave me a big bag of his “Secret Rub” to use when we return home. Fantastic!

Ryan gave us tour of his beautiful new Class-A, motorcoach and Krissy invited us to “Make ourselves at home” in their spacious abode. Chickens in the yard and a horse next door made the scary hurricane seem even farther away…

There were happy, laughing, kids of all ages, filling our space with joy. We continued our lively gabfest with the delicious aroma of smoking meat fueling our hunger to the max.

Krissy’s potato salad and Ryan;s perfectly seasoned and smoked meat  were definitely in competition for “What did you like best?”…

Four year old “Riley” was kind of shy at first, but by the time we left she and I were best friends. I already miss her.

It was an incredible joy to spend time with Ryan, Krissy, Riley and Hunter…

This little family is built on “Cherish, Honor and Love”. I cannot recall a time when I felt more at peace and at home.

Krissy and Ryan are true achievers. They plan their work and work their plans. If God had given me a son, I wish he would have been just like Ryan Jones…

Lucy and I have no idea what will greet us when we return to our home, but as for now… It is well with my soul….

 

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