Thursday, September 14, 2017

Re-living and Restoration

Stranded Manatee after waters receded from Tampa Bay, Florida
as Hurricane Irma approached. (Internet photo)
He/she was successfully rescued.

Some of the glam associated with our move to Florida was clouded over with Hurricane Irma. She’s gone now. Today I can once again wear my cute flip flops to coordinate fashionably with my denim Bermuda shorts and eat lunch on the peaceful screened-in back porch with my Beloved.

However, as much as I’d love to be writing a whimsical post right now about my tropical life and the fun things we do around here from day to day, it is good mental therapy for me to share some of our experience over the past week. 

It’s one thing to watch a real-life storm story played out before us like a disaster movie on the home television screen (i.e. Hurricane Harvey). All of that changed dramatically when the forecast for yet another hurricane, this one the biggest one ever known to be spawned in the Atlantic, was heading straight for us!

Here is a list of just some of the thoughts and questions that went through our minds before and during the storm:

Hurricanes don’t normally hit Jacksonville because of the shape of the coastline. We'll be okay.

Hurricane Matthew in 2016 was a notable exception, and it was an exception. We'll be okay.

The storm will stay out in the Atlantic. We’ll be okay.

The storm is heading into the Gulf. We’ll be okay.

The storm is marching up the center of the Florida peninsula, but it weakens over land. We’ll be okay.

Our house has not been given an evacuation zone on the county map. We’ll be okay.

This house survived Hurricane Matthew (before we moved here). We’ll be okay.

The governor has declared all of Florida in a state of emergency. Do we have enough water?

Look at the flooding in Houston. Our house could face that.

How much time would we have to move valuable stuff upstairs if a flood threatens?

What should we move upstairs? 

Okay, so flooding is improbable and dangerous wind is more of a threat to us. Will one of those huge trees behind our house fall on us?

If a tree might fall on the house, we should not sleep upstairs. But our main floor master bedroom is on the side with the trees. We shouldn’t sleep there, either. 

What part of the house should we designate as our ’safe place’?

What should we put in our ‘safe place’? 

Does our weather radio work? Can we count on it to notify us if the power goes out and the TV, too? 

Fresh batteries would help.

Soo thankful for local TV news and The Weather Channel.

Soo tired of listening to local TV updates and The Weather Channel.

But I want to know what’s going on!

We’re going to bed with the TV on.

I’m sleeping in my street clothes. If disaster hits, I don’t want to be stuck in my jammies for the next week. 

I’ve got my most important prescription pills and my phone in my jeans pockets at all times. If I lose all else, I don’t want to be without my meds — they’re too hard to replace.

The TV went out! The power is out! 

The weather radio is making an alarm sound.

Get up, now! Put on your shoes and glasses!

Yes, we have to do this! Two tornados are moving south of us!

Yes, close the door. We don’t want to be hit by flying debris!

I’ll doze here on my pillows in the corner with the door stop jamming my back. 

Keep the radio on!

I think it’s  okay to leave the room. My backside is dead and my neck is stiff.

There haven’t been any more tornados reported.

Let’s open the sliding glass door for air. 

Do you want to open a can of beans for breakfast? 

I miss my coffee.

Looks like we’re okay. I see some palm branches on the ground across the street.

They say our power shouldn’t be out too long because we’re in the same grid as the hospital.

Let’s work on the jig saw puzzle while it’s still daylight.

After dark it’s going to be very boring.

Yay! The power is on!

Our land line is dead. No Internet.

The ice in the refrigerator is only slightly melted. I think the jar of mayonnaise is okay to eat.

Can I let the water out of the bath tubs now?

As my regular readers know from my previous posts, we survived Hurricane Irma nearly unscathed and abundantly thankful.

Of course, there are many others who did not fare so well. When we went to prayer meeting at church last night, announcements were made about various ways we can help the unfortunate. One is to fill a Bucket of Help. 

We went to Home Depot, picked up one of their orange buckets and filled it with items from a list. These products are things people need for the clean-up of flooded homes and businesses. 

When we got home, it was Beloved’s task to figure out how to fit everything into the bucket AND snap the lid on.

He’s a bright fellow. He got it done.

For more information about this effort by Florida Southern Baptists, you can visit this link:

from Face Book


  1. Yes, that stream of consciousness was good. Just how the mind works. The bucket is an inspired idea. I hear about the good work the Southern Baptists do at CTH. So glad that you are getting back to normalcy to include cute shorts and flip-flops.

  2. We have supported Southern Baptist Disaster Relief in the past and continue to do so. However, with this storm here in our town, it felt right to "get some skin in the game" by putting together this bucket of mud-out supplies. We are SOOO grateful that we were not the ones who needed it!

  3. What a great post, Barbara. My folks in Ocala still don't have electricity. The Star Banner reported that the utility polls snapped in 1/2, still no word from them, no phones and no cells.

    Thank you for the smiles, you guys will be pros of storm preparedness before you know it, smiles.

  4. Glad y'all are doing well. Poor Manatee, so glad he or she was rescued though. Harvey did a number on our area, many around us were affected.

    God bless you Barbara!