The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of one thing compounding on top of other things; what we didn’t expect was to have Hurricane Irma on top of us wreaking havoc even a week before she got here. That was one crazy storm. She shifted directions more times than Hannah changes socks in a day (and that is a lot people….a whole lot). I won’t even try to go over with you all the different changes in direction that stupid Hurricane did, but needless to say about a week prior people (including me) started to panic slightly and preparations were made to get ready just in case we got hit.
We got hit pretty hard and in all honesty I don’t care to ride another one out. Moments (especially between the hours of 2am-4:30am) on Monday morning were pretty scary for me. You could hear the rain hit the windows and the wind howling through the trees. We were at my brother’s house (which was safer than our house due to all of our tree coverage) but it was still scary. Dennis was working and Hannah kept saying “rain scary mama, rain scary.” Needless to say, little sleep occurred that night. The next day I waited to hear from Dennis when he got off work, as he was heading straight to our home to assess the damage. Fortunately for us, we had no damage to our home. We did have a few small trees down, TONS of debris and limbs but we were so blessed as none of our big trees were uprooted. Our flooding was not as severe as many areas of town and that was a blessing as well. Some of our neighbors didn’t fare as well though. A tornado touched down in our neighborhood Monday morning at 4am and ripped through several of our neighbors yards and one neighbor had 3 huge trees uprooted and landed on their home. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Our whole neighborhood looked like a war zone though. We had no power, no cable, no internet, no phone service and we were told it would be 7-10 days for restoration so Hannah, Dennis and I packed up and headed to my parents where we spent 2 nights until we heard from our neighbors that our power had been restored. We came home Thursday and began the clean-up process. First up, our refrigerator! Eeewwwwww! Dennis had made sure he got to the house several times to run our generator for our freezers so at least we kept all of that food but the fridge just had to be cleaned out and we had to start over. But, compared to what it could have been that loss was minimal.
It has been a LONG week but Irma taught me a few things and I thought I would share those things with you now (since I can blog again as we just got our internet back today):
- FAMILY…..how important family is. Dennis’ and my families all rode the storm out safely and I am incredibly thankful for that. My brother and his family took us in for 2 nights and my parents took us in for 2 nights. They fed us, gave us a clean, cool place to stay and that time with all of them was invaluable. Games, laughter, HELP with Hannah (LOL) since Dennis worked the majority of the time. I wasn’t alone, in a storm with a child who has many special needs. I am thankful. My family came through for me in my time of need. So very blessed.
- NEIGHBORS…..can I just tell you how wonderful our neighbors are for a second? Offers of a place to stay. Texting and lots of communication before, during and after the storm. Help cleaning up our yard. Offers of food and anything else we might need. Amazing neighbors, amazing neighborhood, amazing friends……
- Facebook Friends…..far and wide who care and checked in on me! So thankful for you all! Friends in other states who were so concerned and even offered Hannah and I places to stay (next time I am taking one of you up on your offer)! Oh who will the lucky one be?!? LOL!
- Modern day conveniences…..let’s be honest I have never lived in a time where we didn’t have electricity but WOW…..life without it is so very hard. I am quite convinced I wouldn’t survive in a world with no electricity. We live in the “country” and we have a well and septic tank; which is good as we don’t pay for city water, but bad because when you lose electricity, you lose your water! So no power means no water for us…..NOT GOOD, especially if you have to use the potty! LOL! Internet, Cable, Phones…..not necessarily “necessities” but in our day and age a day without those things is quite strange. I did okay because I knew that it would come on eventually but we don’t get great cell reception at our home so my fear was if something happened it would be hard to get in touch with someone. You feel totally cut off from the world. In fact, just today I saw there are 3 more storms in the Atlantic….Jesus take the wheel and make those storms make a u-turn please!
- Food…….if you want good food when in a hurricane, go to my brother’s house…..we dined on pork, ribs, chicken, mac-in-cheese, broccoli casserole, baked beans, chips and dip, cake…..well, let’s just say, none of us went hungry!
- Working in the yard is not that bad……yes, after 16 years of marriage Dennis saw me work in the yard for the very first time (I am pretty sure he took a picture to document it). I busted my booty yesterday (and feel it today) for 5 hours. Then today, I washed my car…..who am I?
- I love playing games…..Skipbo, Uno, Spades……had so much fun playing games. I had forgotten there were games besides those on my iPad that you could play. Time with family was awesome!
- Sharknado is a hysterical movie that everyone should watch! Yes, we watched it before we lost power on Sunday night…..so ridiculously funny. Made you forget a hurricane was on the way and when it hit, I looked up for sharks! LOL!
- Always take a potty seat with you to other people’s homes…..when your 12-year-old child’s hiney is so tiny big people potty’s are not fun! Important lesson learned here…….
- Invest in a blow up mattress……thankful my sister-in-law had one. I will be buying one soon!
- Always have bottled water stashed in your home (2-3 cases). If another storm comes through you won’t have to go to 24 different stores in search for some (thankful for my neighbor who found cases and bought me 3).
- Always have a supply of non-perishable snacks…..
- Keep your phones, computer and important things backed up so you don’t run around like a crazy woman doing it the day before the storm hits!
- NEVER run out of Vasayo Sleep, Neuro, Core Essentials, Energy or Renew…..you will thank me for this! Always have a back-up supply!
- Hurricanes are scary, tornados are scary….I don’t want to go through another one….but you know what the most important lesson I learned was? It was even though I was scared…..even though I didn’t know if I would have a home to go come back to…..I knew my God was bigger than any storm. I knew that He would protect us and no matter what happened HE had a plan. It boils down to FAITH…..my faith grew a little stronger….my hope got a little bigger and my strength and resilience, although tested, is stronger than I thought. I serve a loving, gracious, merciful God who taught me that He is indeed bigger than any storm and reminded me that NO MATTER what trials or tribulations we have here on earth we have Heaven to look forward to for eternity.
A few pictures of our Hurricane Adventures……I didn’t take a lot of our yard…….just picture piles and piles and piles of limbs, debris and trees! UGH!
Until next time……..