Hi everyone, I have missed you. We have been very busy with an old crotchety storm named Irma who frankly could not make up her mind where she wanted to go. We started preparations by removing everything from our back pool area on Saturday. If you live where there are hurricane's it is safest to toss your furniture in the pool. Well the furniture that can sink that is. Everything else has to be hauled inside or into your garage. All the plants, chairs, tables, swings, plastic play houses, I mean everything has to go somewhere secure.
We weathered the storm miraculously well. I am so shocked because Irma must have some anger issues, she was big, bold and frankly devastating to so many. The morning of the storm it looked like she was coming directly at us. Entering near St. Petersburg, jumping over Tampa Bay and heading to our house a few miles inland. I can't tell you how stressed we were. On top of the stress from a week of trying to find water and supplies. I assume everyone shopped really early while I was at work after seeing what happened with Hurricane Harvey. One week before Irma touched the United States there was no water or batteries anywhere. The stress of every update made all of us go a bit mad. Where would she go? Then to see the major evacuations all over the state, it was crazy. Anyway back to the morning of, I made a tough decision and sent my son, Mr. 20 back to Orlando. We were going to get hit head on and frankly I wanted one of us to be okay. It sounds melodramatic at this point but it is the truth. He has an apartment there, he could start school if needed if we were without a house. It was the toughest thing I have had to do, say good-by to him and know he would feel guilty if something did happen to us. Gosh, I could cry right now thinking of it all. I know you are screaming why didn't you go somewhere? Well there was no real safe place to go. We had yet to be told to evacuate, we are zone C, A and B were the priority. Plus we had Little Buddy's medical foster mom, her girls and a baby staying here from Saturday afternoon until this afternoon. They live in low St. Petersburg and needed a safe place to be. The girls have issues that would not have done well in a shelter. Gosh it was a mess. Suddenly we are responsible for a whole other family. Anyway we all talked and decided we have a very sturdy house, we have been thorough this before, it was time to take more action. We have safe places to go downstairs and have an up stairs in case of significant flooding. So I emptied out my closet and the little cubby under the stairs I use for storage. It is only accessible from my closet. The girls slept there, Little Buddy and the baby slept in my closet. We could all hop in there if needed. The kids thought it was the best, the adults were stressed to the max!
We watched the weather reports all afternoon and evening long. Suddenly Irma wanted to head up the middle of the state after entering near Naples. Those poor people and those on the east coast 100 miles away from her. They have been devastated with destruction and flooding. I felt better knowing we were on the west side of her, and she kept shifting east. So now I have sent my son to an area that is going to be worse than us, I know not my best moment of motherhood. We stayed up late into the night and watched the news and felt the winds gust up over 80 miles per hour. That is doable in our house, not for everyone but certainly for us. At about 2 AM it got very quiet, I think we were kind of near the center of the storm at that point although the eye did not go directly over us. By 3 AM it was game on again, and continued all night long.
In the morning the baby woke at 5:30 and I got him up for a bottle so he would not wake the others. He soon fell back to sleep and I put on my raincoat and took a pre-dawn walk around my house and the one next door. It was raining and windy but the worst was over. We had very big branches down all over, but the miracle is not one of them fell on the house or our screen enclosure. We have had electricity the entire time, even though most of my county is still without power. We are all safe. Mr. 20 had high winds, tornadoes and ended up losing power and just got it back this afternoon. The little's act like they have been on a grand adventure. Little Buddy is completely exhausted from playing non stop and not taking a nap for three days. Last night he actually told us he was going to bed!
My friends just left late this afternoon. They are still without power but do have a generator. It took us two full days to chop up branches, load debris into garbage bags, and replace all the things we had stored away. We are so lucky, so crazy lucky I can't even tell you in words how grateful I am. There are so many suffering. They have lost so much. Somehow we lucked out with this one.
I want to thank you all so much for your kinds words, your emails and your concern. I can't ell you how much it means to me that you would take the time to email me with your concern about our well being. I thank you for your comments on my blog, for contacting my sister when I was not able to get on this space and write that we were fine. I also want to thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts. Knowing you were thinking of us when you were watching the weather just warms my heart. You are all the best.
And just so you know the last photo is Frankie the tortoise. He had to come, too. He is just 2 months old and will live 80-100 years. He is so cute, and loves hibiscus leaves. He was fun to have here.
Okay, now back to regular life. Thank God!