Adventures with Debra and Robert

Behind the Scenes

Episode 6-Disaster Strikes! Fulltime Workampers.

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Photo of Tree on House
Grateful to be alive, Shannone takes photos of the tree that crumbled her in-laws’ home.


Our wonderful, AWE-MAZING viewers and readers raised $620 for Shannone and Jim! We gave them a scroll that listed the messages from 22 angel donors. Thank you!

We always say … We have the best viewers in the world!

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Can you imagine being awakened at 1:00 a.m. by the ceiling falling down on you, with glass, walls and doors shattering all over the house? No electricity is available because the power lines are knocked down, but you don’t know that. You only know you have to get out, in the dark. As you make your way out of the bedroom to try and get downstairs, you have to scramble through the rubble from broken dishes, decor, knick knacks, photos, and windows because the house is still crumbling.

Their first thought was that a plane must have hit the house. After all, Connecticut isn’t known for earthquakes. A lot of the details weren’t shared in the feature video (see link below), but I’m trying my best to convey some of it now.

The truth is, had they been sleeping in their van, Gypsy Lyn, parked where they usually park while visiting Jim’s parents, they would not be with us today. Fortunately, they were house-sitting, and they were inside. For them, another silver lining was that they had moved the van and put their new trailer next to the house because they were going to start moving in. The very next day. Before crisis struck. Their take on that? At least all of their belongings were still in the van, and they still have wheels. Those two always look on the bright side. And, they’re still alive.

Jim and Shannone are sweet and generous. Jim loves to cook and shares every meal with whoever is around. He even brought Robert and I a plate of ribs the other day when we couldn’t make the cookout!

Photo of Jim grilling ribs.
Everyone comes running when Jim fires up the grill. Yum!

Shannone volunteers at the drop of a hat to help with whatever is needed – whether it is at the RTR Button table or the camp next door. Actually, they both do. And they both always have a smile on their face.

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Shannone Volunteering at 2018 RTR Button Table

They are fun, fun, fun – always laughing, always looking to see what they can do to help. You could see that in the video, especially mine from last year (see below). So it’s heartbreaking to see the worry, to see the weariness, and unless you know them really well, you would never know anything had happened. They hide it. But those of us who know them can see it.

They didn’t want to share their story, even now. Their mantra is buckle down and buck up. They have refused offers of help in the past, but I’m glad they let us tell their story this time. It’s not easy putting your story out there and being vulnerable. But I believe in the generosity of our community and the hearts of our viewers.

In case you missed the video on YouTube, and/or the links shared in the video description, here they are again:

And the reason we are only collecting money for them through Saturday, January 20, 2018? . . . . .

Well, Robert and I leave the RTR and ultimately Arizona on Sunday, January 21. We want to be able to hand them whatever funds come in before we leave. We stay in touch with Jim and Shannone year round, but often our travels take us in opposite directions. Plus, we want our viewers to see the money transferred, in person – heart to heart – so that there is never a question where your donations landed.

I know there are a lot of people hurting right now from natural disasters, coast-to-coast, and beyond. Our hearts, love and prayers go out to them too. But today, this week, we’re asking you to show some love to our dear friends, Jim and Shannone. Thank you.

POST PUBLICATION NOTE: We should have covered this in the vid I guess, but it’s a sensitive subject for them and I chose to leave it out. Their parent’s homeowners policy does indeed cover 30% of the damage cost to Jim and Shannone’s new trailer, but it remains to be seen whether or not Jim and Shannone will receive any of it.


  1. velda kerin

    I would like to know how he cooks that brisket without a smoker . thank you

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