Dear random passerbyer on the highway near my house,

I’m truly sorry.

If I knew what the morning held for me, I would have worn a better outfit.

I simply had no idea.

I woke up yesterday morning and put on yoga pants and a bathrobe and my messy bun from yesterday and opened the front door and saw this where my driveway used to be.

Storm photos

And this log wedged into the wheel of my car and mud and dirt and water covering the floor boards of all the vehicles.

And this where the front pull-in used to be.

And the basketball goal down by the gatehouse and the trash cans across the road.

Flash Flood

And all the front bushes flattened.

And tree limbs everywhere.

And garden hoses and planters and pavers and stones and rocks and mud as far as the eye could see.

Back Porch

You see, I was asleep the entire time and missed the overwhelming flash flood and the three feet of water that covered into our yard overnight and then drifted off into the creek.

I found debris the water carried almost to the top of the steps on the back porch.

I went to bed with crickets and chirping and stars in the sky and woke up to this.

Storm Debris

So random passerbyer on the highway it’s easy to see.

You can understand the look of absolute dismay and amazement on my face as I stood in all my outfit glory on my steps and surveyed the landscape and the party that Mother Nature had the night before.

And I wanted to thank you.



For not honking.

Or laughing.

Or even raising an eyebrow.

When I ran down the steps and didn’t see the mud covering the front sidewalk and slid across the entire surface with my painted red toes and my messy bun and my yoga pants trying valiantly to keep my balance and my coffee cup all at the same time.

I think I heard Mother Nature tell the storm clouds….

….there’s never a dull moment around there. 🙂

PS  We are fine.

The house is fine.

The creek is fine.

The basketball goal?  Not so much.

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  1. Image for Courtney Cloe Courtney Cloe

    Oh no! We've had some rough weather here in Tennessee, but not that bad! Praise God, He stopped the water before it entered the house. Praise God, you'll are okay! I'll be picturing you with a messy bun, red lipstick and red toes doing clean up this morning; I hope you have the cutest farm gloves ever to make the work a little bit easier♡

  2. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Oh NO!! You poor thing! What about your beautiful back yard and pergola?? Did that survive? Your poor puppies won't know what to do when they go outside for a potty break. All their familiar territory and smells are wiped out -- so to speak. Well at least you didn't do a beautiful swan dive like you did the time you went to Michaels in an ice storm. I wish I could bring over some cinnamon rolls to go with your coffee. We could both commiserate and then get on a sugar high :-) Hope your weekend is waterless and filled with sunshine. Hugs!!

  3. Image for Monica Monica

    Oh my :-(. What a shocker THAT must have been to come outside to see all that mess. Happy to hear that all-in-all it's only going to be much work for you and your family to clean up and not hospital trips!!!! Mother Nature has some wild parties!!!!

  4. Image for Sherry Sherry

    Karianne, glad you r all ok. It reminds us we r not in charge-a reminder I need every now and then . Sherry

  5. Image for susan susan

    I'm glad you are ok and hope you can get things cleaned up soon! I can relate to the messy bun, lol! That's so me too! Sending hugs, Susan

  6. Image for Mah Mah

    Sometime we just need a little reminder! Thank God you woke up all rested up and the crickets will chrip again and the stars will twinkle again and our beautiful life will go on. Take care rock star.

  7. Image for Barb Barb

    We are so very sorry, thank Heaven you are all OK. But oh, what a mess that will take days to clean up. Pray your weather will dry up a bit and cool down so you can make your yard and home picture perfect once again.

  8. Image for Christina in FL Christina in FL

    Oh my stars, what a way to wake up! I'm glad you are all safe. Lots of clean up for sure. How are the vehicles? I'm glad you slept through it all... better than freaking out all night. Have another cuppa and know we would all help clean up if we were there.

  9. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    Glad you all are okay! I can now imagine how you will perfect and rearrange the wild party mother-nature had with you home and property last night You go girl and show her how it's done! Remind mother-nature one of your projects is pictured with the Frog Tape advertisement in this July/August House Beautiful on page 100...and just go for it clean-up today!!! Congratulations is in order to you by the way for the lovely featured House Beautiful picture!!! You Rock Girl!!! :)

  10. Image for Taste of France Taste of France

    OMG! It's amazing you didn't hear it--when the river near us (usually about ankle deep, and some summers not even enough to go over your foot) goes up, it thunders so loud you can hear it with all the windows shut. Terrifying. Before we moved here, it almost took out the neighbor's house. It's best that you had a good night's sleep instead of worrying about things out of your control, and now you just have to face the cleanup. Not fun, but you'll have it back in shape soon.

  11. Image for beverlee beverlee

    I know that scared the britches off you! There is a heart shape in the mud on that last photo! Guessing there will be lots of work around your home this weekend! Your cars are damages? Sorry for your troubles. We'll walk it with you.

  12. Image for Gail Gail

    Reminds us always to keep some good flashlights, clean water, baby wipes, crackers, can food, meds and gas on hand. Living all around the world I have learned you can have sunshine one minute and then nasty the next. So glad everyone is ok and the main home is good.

  13. Image for Mercy Heston Mercy Heston

    Oh KariAnne, so GLAD you & yours are all fine! It's just dirt and trees, and all your loved ones (human & animal!) are ok, so it's all good in the end! Mother Nature just likes to remind us once in a while who's REALLY in charge!

  14. Image for gail gail

    whoa! so happy all is well Karianne! I think I'm glad you slept through it. I can't imagine how worried you would have been if you were awake watching it and worrying. gail

  15. Image for Vicki Vicki

    So glad you and yours are safe. You need a new outfit of overalls and muck boots to clean up that mess. Both look great with red lipstick!

  16. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Oh, no!!! Praying for you, dear friend! I'm sure that when the sun comes out, and the storms are gone, that Thistlewood Farms will reappear in all its beauty! Thankful you did not need a canoe to travel this morning!

  17. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Wow, it's one thing to hear about it, another to see the pictures. So glad everyone is OK! And the vehicles are still there and not in the creek! But, I have to ask, know me...'painted' red shoes? Did I miss that post? lol

  18. Image for Pat Pat

    Oh my goodness ! What a sad mess to wake up to....I'm so glad you and your family are safe and that your home wasn't flooded....thoughts and prayers for you.♥

  19. Image for Teresa Teresa

    As hard as it is to see the MESS outside what a blessing it didn't come inside. We had 20 inches of rain two years ago and the creek by our home did rise and the rains continued and water ran from the street down and the creek up. We had to take the house down to the studs and basically build again. Many that lived on our creek suffered loss but no lives were lost. Wishing you the BEST cleaning up your yard and restoring it to the beauty it once was. The first thing we did was wash away the mud surrounding the house so get your water hose and get that sidewalk clean. I promise the small stuff will give you hope.

  20. Image for Ren Ren

    You must be one good sleeper! I would have heard the first raindrop. So sorry for all of the mess to be cleaned up but glad everyone is ok. I'm sure you will make something fabulous with some of that debris. It's just another opportunity to be creative! Blessings to you and your family.

  21. Image for P. Jean P. Jean

    I am guessing that you haven't been down in the basement, yet??? Hope that it is all OUTSIDE. Hope you have good friends, and neighbors. One of those 100 year floods near my daughter's apartment complex for the second time in two years found a brand new Buick up to its doors in water and debris. A whole street full of duplex renters with eyes wide open. So sorry but glad that you just need to get a new basketball location. And need to work your fannies off for a week or two.

  22. Image for maureen mawby maureen mawby

    Life is full of ups and downs and it's how we "weather the storm" that teach us to be grateful. Prayers to you and those around you for patience, time to clean it up, and the opportunity to help one another.

  23. Image for Janet Janet

    Wow! So glad you are all okay, although looks and sounds like a terrible mess. Although, I'm sure you will find a way to get creative about cleanup! Good luck!

  24. Image for Toni Toni

    Oh so sorry. So glad you and those you love are ok. Sorry for all the hard cleanup work ahead for you. Glad you have some kiddos who can help!

  25. Image for Michelle McDonald Michelle McDonald

    OH NOOOOOOOO!!!! I hate that for you. I'm so very sorry, but so glad to hear that you guys are all OK and thankfully it wasn't much worse. Sometimes those flash flood's come into the house and trap the people, And especially so in the dark. So were all very thankful that you're still with us today!! Meanwhile, knowing you-you'll have it looking pristine and picture ready by tomorrow. Take a deep breath and don't let it get you down. It will be back to its usual beauty very,very soon I'm sure. Hugs from Atlanta!

  26. Image for Rosalie McCreary Rosalie McCreary

    So thankful Karianne that you and your family are all safe. I like what Teresa said about cleaning the mud off the sidewalk first! The rest will be easier to tackle. Your wonderful husband will have some great ideas too! It's amazing how quickly you reached out to your readers! You really are a Super Star!!!!!! Take care.

  27. Image for Babette Babette

    Oh my stars!!! Glad you are all safe!! What a mess though!! Although, I still see the KariAnne design vibe in the pictures! I can only imagine what beautiful DIY's you will create from the "destruction." God bless and hopefully all will go well with the cleanup.

  28. Image for jae jae

    Saying thank you prayer you are all ok and hoping your neighbors are also. What a nasty shock to wake up to in the morning.

  29. Image for Linda Andersen Linda Andersen

    Yikes! So glad you didn't fall in that will have a job on your hands, that's for sure. Good thing you have lots of kids, you will have lots of helpers!! A storm came through here last night in Michigan the wind was fierce and then we got a beautiful downpour. We needed it we are having a drought this year. Glad my favorite blogger friend is ok!! Love, Linda

  30. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    Oh my. Good thing all the water and muck didn't get into the house. Now I see where all our rain is going...No rain here in a month and 100 degree temps. I can't wait to see what you'll do with all those downed limbs. :)

  31. Image for Brit Brit

    I know I cannot really say anything that has not already been said but, I really am glad that my favorite blogger and her family are all still safe and sound. Our God had His hand on you guys for sure! Now the insurance person in me wants to take over and make sure that you guys have functioning cars and all that good stuff. lol

  32. Image for Mary Sosa Mary Sosa

    What a mess! So sorry, but happy the water didn't enter the house. BTW, there is a 'heart' on the bottom left hand corner of your last pic. A little sign that even in bad, there is good. ((Hug))

  33. Image for Cheryl Johnson Cheryl Johnson

    Karrianne, my prayers are with you, your family and neighbors as you clean up from this mess. Thankfully, you are ok...and I pray that this brings ya'll closer. Our neighborhood seems to get closer after Mother Nature gets us to pay attention. May you be blessed.

  34. Image for Candace Courtney Candace Courtney

    So glad you're all safe. I feel sure however that all those tree limbs won't go to waste.... They'll come back as an arbor or a table or something else you envision!

  35. Image for Pegg Pegg

    Ugh! So sorry for the damage to your lovely home. That was quite a frat party Mother Nature threw! Wishing you a speedy return to normal.

  36. Image for Sue Sondker Sue Sondker

    Well, I guess there is a blessing there somewhere. You all are ok. Sorry for all the mess, wish I could help. Mama Sue

  37. Image for Regina Regina

    Oh! Bless your heart!!!! I'm so glad the water didn't get any higher! Now to bottle that ability to sleep through ANYTHING!!!! I would be your first customer! LOL!


    Oh! My! What a mess Mother Nature left you. So glad to hear that you and your family are O.K. -- and your lovely home. Keeping you all in our prayers as you tackle the clean-up. God Bless You All! It won't be long before you are all enjoying some Sweet Tea on your clean porch -- and the task of clean-up will be behind you.

  39. Image for Loryl Fisher Loryl Fisher

    When I saw the first picture I sucked in my breath said OMG and hurried to read the rest of the post to make sure you were all ok. Thank God you were! Of course you handled in in true red lipstick fashion with a cheerful, funny post and thankfulness that is wasn't worse, I too can't wait to see how you'll make lemonade out of this situation!

  40. Image for Linda Linda

    Karianne, So sorry that Mother Nature sent bad vibes your way. So glad to hear that your family and home are safe.

  41. Image for Peg Peg

    If I know you, you will find some amazing, wonderful and brilliant silver lining to all the mess and destruction. It's the Thistlewood way!!! Sending positive energy to my far away friend. xoxoxo

  42. Image for Susan Susan

    Awwwww, KariAnne...seeing the pix of some of the damage really gives me a better sense of the horror you woke up to. Bless your heart for having such a great attitude about it all...I think I would've lost it, waking up to that nightmare rolled out before me. I am very thankful that you and your sweet family are okay...I'm praying you are able to get through the cleanup okay, too. I'm so very sorry this happened! Had I been that random passerby, I would've stopped to ask if I could help somehow. Big ((((((((((((((((((((HUGS!!!!)))))))))))))))))))))

  43. Image for Joy Joy

    Oh my gosh! That is crazy to wake up to. You have a great sense of humor to get through it. We had that happen one year when we lived at the beach. Woke up and all the trees in our front yard were down.. one was laying over our car.. all you can do is laugh and hang in there.

  44. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    I know your morning brought the unfortunate surprise of rushing & rising water damage to your gardens & yard, but how much fun is it that others also saw that heart! As I was racing thru the pics to answer the looming question on our minds ~ "are your home & everyone in it ok?" ~ I spotted the heart, too! Such a sign of love, of calm! Damage to trees, shrubs can be mended pretty quickly, but harm to animals, even family ~ not so much ... You were all personally spared, so thank the good Lord for that. And I know you will get right on the clean-up, and soon be finding creative ways to make those tree trunks a "wonderful gift from M. Nature!" Please remember, tho' ... many would give a lot for your ability to SLEEP so soundly! I have frequent bouts of insomnia ~ so nighttime is when I do reseach/correspondence, but I hear everything! Good luck on a fast & easy cleaning job! Hugs! kj

  45. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    OH my word! So glad everyone is okay...but what a mess!! Guess I know what you and twinkling eyes will be doing this weekend! ;)

  46. Image for Karen Karen

    I'm so glad you're all alright. I'm also a little jealous of your ability to sleep through all that. I sleep through nothing. Hopefully, the cleanup won't be too bad :)

  47. Image for Bonnie Schulte Bonnie Schulte

    Love how you turned something horrible like this, happening to you, into something light of heart. You always come up with a smile, no matter what life throws at you. You are an amazing young woman, and I am so very happy that you and your family and your home are all right. Love and Hugs to you from Wisconsin..

  48. Image for Michele Riggsbee Michele Riggsbee

    Oh my dear, sweet, KariAnne I'm so thankful ya'll are okay! I wish I lived closer, I'd come help you clean up! Praying for you!

  49. Image for gina gina

    So glad you are safe. Silver lining...the flowers look so vibrant! Love how you seem to always just "go with the flow."

  50. Image for Cindy Pierce Cindy Pierce

    Oh dear, what a mess!! But so glad everyone and the house are okay! You all will have it cleaned up and beautiful in no time! The flowering trees are so pretty!

  51. Image for Melinda Melinda

    When I heard there was storms in your neck of the woods,my thoughts turned to you and yours....thank you for the update,I am now relieved to know that you are are ok:) Hey and the thought of you sliding across the slick sidewalk with red toes and the bun and all.....well that makes me laugh,even though it isn't a laughing have such a way with words,that I picture this all in my mind as if I can see a movie scene played out,if I lived closer I would come and help you with the clean up.

  52. Image for Jayne McLeod Jayne McLeod


  53. Image for Jane Jane

    All of you are fine and that's all that matters. I am a weather freak and have 6 weather apps on my phone. I can tell you what the weather is like in Hong Kong at any given time. Jane

  54. Image for Rebecca K Rebecca K

    Just now, while traveling on vacation, I am catching up with one of my favorite blogs. I found your account very refreshing, full of grace (and humor), and no whining of "why me." Thank you for your openness and kindness. Hope the new book is going well!

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