Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Tough ReEntry

Rear View Mirror last glimpse of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean as I crossed the Intercoastal Waterway Bridge headed west for three miles before pointing the RAV4 north towards Tennessee.
February 1, 2013

Saturday afternoon, I slid into East Tennessee on the heels of a quick moving snowy, slushy, icy mess that arrived four hours earlier than predicted and left southeastern Tennessee interstates in a mess.  It was supposed to begin as rain, then change to a few hours of snow with little to no accumulation.  I never saw any rain and the solid white stuff dancing around on the highway in front of me didn't bode well for my respect towards local meteorologists!!  I ending up stopping twice between Chattanooga and Knoxville for about an hour each time.  I knew the temp was eventually going to rise above freezing and the system move on through.  I just needed the patience to sit and wait rather than put myself or my car in danger.  On the twenty mile stretch between stops (locals will know it as the fog advisory zone or the Bowater Plant "stink" zone), I saw 56 cars either against the retaining wall, in the median facing the wrong way, t-boned into another car, in the woods, down an embankment or upside down.  I was grateful for the Wendy's at the Riceville exit!  Believe me, you may have driven this highway all your life, but the Riceville exit is one you've never noticed until you need it!

But as you can see,  I made it home safely, but I don't mind saying that the days since then have not been easy.  Going from a constant temp of near 70 (both indoor and outdoor) to the extreme temp variance has been oh so tough on the old arthritic joints.   The constant change from freezing to warm to cold to hot to sunny to cloudy and back to freezing just spells painful!  I knew that would be the case, so rather than get out and be excited about being home, all I really want to do is wrap up in a blanket and hide!  I am so thankful to have had those days in Florida - physically, I felt better there than I have in a long, long time.  

So how did I spend those last couple of days in Flagler Beach.......................

There was a lot of this......................

And some route planning...........................

 Hmmmm....guess I better start actually putting some things IN these suitcases!

Will all of this fit in my one large cooler?  (Yes, those are frozen dinners - don't judge!)

One final visit to my beloved farmer's market.  Look at that cloudless, blue sky!

A final walk on the boardwalk with a look at the bridge that would carry me away from Flagler Beach the next morning.

Yes, I'll have to admit there was a little more of this..............

In order to avoid the nightmare of driving through Atlanta during rush hour on Friday afternoon, I chose to stop in Macon, GA for the night.  After a very restful evening in the Candlewood Suites Macon, I was up and out very early Saturday morning still confident I'd be home well before the snow began.  An easy drive through quiet downtown Atlanta, but a very eye-opening mile through Adairsville, GA where the tornado had devastated the little town just two days earlier.  A short time later as I crossed the state line into Tennessee, I was greeted with a WALL of swirling snow that had begun much earlier than predicted!  WELCOME HOME, SHARON!

My days at home thus far have been very low key.   I have enjoyed getting back in the routine of our early morning walks even if it is at the mall.  Although my own parents are still in Florida (lucky devils!), I spent a few hours with my MIL yesterday and it was good to get caught up with her.  I have a lunch date planned for later in the week with my niece whom I've really missed and tonight will find me back in my seat (if it hasn't been given away!!!) at choir rehearsal.  And yes, with a couple of sunny, relatively warmer days on tap, I'll be heading for my beloved mountains in the next day or so.  Not sure I can call it a hike as these legs are going to have to work back up to mountain goat level, but a ramble will do and I can't wait!

Yes, leaving Florida was tough, but this is home and I truly am glad to be here.

Thanks for reading!   


  1. Hi, Sharon,
    What a wonderful respite you had in fl! Glad. Your travels back were safe even amongst all the winter swirls. That picture of you in the chair with the ocean nearby is priceless. I love winter, but that picture makes me dream of the long summer days near water. Enjoy greeting our daily routines.

  2. Aw...will this result in a 2 month stay next year? ha! I'm glad to see you back, and as you've already noted, mother nature has not been kind to your mountains while you were away. Can't wait to catch up with you next week :)

  3. Well, yesterday was gorgeous in Tennessee, if that helps any! I envy your trip. Glad you made it back safe and sound.

  4. I'm glad you got home safely. That snow took us all by surprise. We've joked that when the meteorologist says "no accumulation" it is time to prepare for some snow.

    We've had sunny skies here lately, so maybe you missed most of the gloomy, rainy days. We've had some early spring flowers poke through. That always does my heart good. Of course, you have a real physical reason for needing the warmth and sun.

    Welcome home.

  5. Well, I for one, am glad to have you home safe and sound. And I am glad to hear that you will be going for a ramble in your mountains. That will do you more good than any medicine!

  6. Welcome home! Glad you made it safe and sound.

  7. Glad you are home safe! I am wondering how you got that first picture, though ;)

  8. What an adventure traveling home! So glad you are safe and sound. I do hope you get to go back again to Florida next year. Remember that Spring is just around the corner!

  9. Welcome home... I have been wondering where you were. Sorry you got caught in that weekend storm. You'll have to look at my Monday's blog post. We had 1-2 inches on Friday morning, 2-3 inches on Saturday morning, and another inch on Sunday morning up here. Altogether we had about 6 inches (Knoxville got almost none) ---but since it came in spurts, much of it melted between storms... It was pretty and I did get some good photos.

    You all may have to eventually retire to FL (or somewhere warmer) for your health... BUT--I know how much you'd miss your mountains. Maybe you can stay 6 months here (when it's warmer) and 6 months in FL....

    Glad you are home safe and sound.. Hope you get to "YOUR" mountains soon.

  10. Sharon, my group is heading to Ramsey Cascades on Saturday. We will leave Maryville at about 7:30. If you are interested....

  11. I'm so grateful you got off the road during the worst times and that you made it home safely!

    I've stayed at that Candlewood Suites, and for the same reason! :) I don't *do* Atlanta at rush hour or anywhere close to it. Saturday/Sunday mornings are much more my style.

  12. Glad you got home safely. Hoping that Spring and warm weather comes quickly.

  13. I'm happy you arrived safe and sound, Sharon! I can well imagine how the transition would be a shock to your system. I do hope that with time, the coming spring weather, and a hike in your beloved mountains, your acclimation will be more comfortable. I always look forward to spring, but I must say...this year I'm especially eager for it.