Friday, December 2, 2016


Tennessee has been in the news this past week for multiple reasons, which include the extreme drought, a deadly school bus wreck in Chattanooga, the wildfires in our community and especially the one in Gatlinburg, and the devastating tornadoes, which swept through the community we call home.  

Tennessee U.S. Drought

Our local fire station was leveled to the ground by a F3 tornado that swept through our community Wednesday morning at 2:30 a.m. while most people were sleeping.  

We have no warning sirens here for tornadoes as we live in a rural community.

 Our local post office was also a total loss. 

We are very grateful for the rain that we prayed for to end this extreme drought, but deeply saddened by the devastation to our community from the storms that came with the rain. 

The wild fire that swept through Gatlinburg, Tennessee has also been devastating. Thirteen people were killed during the fires in Gatlinburg, two people from my community were killed in the tornado, and multiple homes and businesses have been lost in both places. 

How has this impacted our lives here?

We are OK here and are counting our blessings, grateful to still have our home and each other. 

We were without power for 18 hours when it was finally restored Wednesday night. 

School was cancelled for the rest of the week as power lines were still down, roads were still closed, buses could not get through, and the high school, where I sub, is still being used as a Red Cross shelter. 

Next week there was going to be a 3 day seminar in Gatlinburg for teachers and all the subs were booked for those 3 days next week. That conference has been cancelled. 

As a result of all this devastation, I did not work this week and have had 3 days cancelled for next week due to the conference being cancelled. I am hopeful that someone will still call me to sub if school is reopened next week. 

You see we were off last week for the Thanksgiving holiday, and having 3 weeks off with no pay will make it hard, but we are strong. Tennessee is known as the Volunteer State and they have lived up to that motto during this time. The community where I live is strong and we are #TennesseeStrong. 

If you are so inclined, I'm asking you to pray for Tennessee.  

~ Living within our Means ~


  1. I call Tennessee home also. Definitely praying for our state. I pray also for you and your family that you will get some work next week.

    1. Thank you so much, Trudy. We are kindred spirits praying for our home state. :)

  2. The devastation is just terrible Belinda!
    I hope you get back to work soon.

  3. I am so sorry for your whole state. The pictures of the fire and tornado are devastating. We vacationed there are few years ago and the area is beautiful. My step-daughter's family were there last year and like me are praying for you area. Glad your home was spared but so sad about what your going through.

  4. Oh, Belinda! This is devastating. I don't always connect the news with where online friends are from. I'm so sorry for all that has happened in your state. I pray for your and your family, as well as the rest of the state.

    1. Thank you so much, Lili. That means so much.

  5. After living here eighteen years I have just this year accepted that this is home and I am proud to be a Vol. TN strong and we will stand together to overcome all that has happened recently.

  6. I am so sorry Belinda. I have been praying for you and your family. I will continue to keep you in my prayers. I am glad you and your family are OK.

  7. I was so sorry to read on your blog how much this has impacted everyone's day-to-day life in your area. Being in MA, we only receive headlines, I had no idea how severe it was for you folks.

    I do hope things start getting back to normal or at least your new normal for the time being and you can get back to work.

    Good thoughts being sent to you and your family and everyone affected.

    1. Thank you so much, Mary Lou. That means a great deal to me. :)


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