Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Surviving Irma...........









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!  

49 comments:

Araignee said...

Oh, wow....what an experience. She had everyone in Florida running in circles for days but better safe than sorry. Where she was at her worst is very, very sad. We were a week without electricity after Isabelle destroyed our beach town in 2003. I'll never forget the feeling I had when we drove inland to find a gas station that had an operating soda machine that had ice after a week with no ac and no running water. That coke might have well have been champagne it was that good.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I kept in close touch with Claudia so I knew updates. It was so scary but I am so thankful you all are safe and had almost no damage. We ended up with high winds and rain but never lost power. My Daughter Sara had a tree fall but missed the house and cars but did take out their power. They have been here most of the day with the Grands. It's been fun but exhausting. I truly forget how quiet my life is until they are here for hours at a time. We will have dinner and baths and I think they will sleep at home. Not sure if school is back on tomorrow or not yet. Just so thankful you and so far all my blogging friends were safe. Hugs!

Cheryl mylittlepieceofengland said...

So glad you and yours are safe, I thought about you frequently when we heard the news over here on the other side of the pond. So much tragedy happening around the world, I find it all so heartbreaking xx

Mac n' Janet said...

I have been worried about you! So glad you came through it ok. It was a scary time for a lot of people and the devastation is horrible. But most folks survived and that's a miracle.

busybusybeejay said...

thank goodness you areOK.I have been checking in all the time for a blog from you.I have been soooooo worried.Bxxx

Betsy said...

So, so, so glad to read this post. I knew through Claudia that you were okay but it's good to see it in your words. Irma was a tricky storm, couldn't quite make up her mind where she wanted to go could she? I'm so glad that you didn't suffer severe damage, but feel so bad for the people who have. Meanwhile, up here in the Northwest, we're still dealing with major fires and can't go outside again today. What in the world is happening to this country? So glad to see this post Meredith.
Blessings always my friend,
Betsy

Lisa said...

Oh My! So glad you and your family are all safe. Just reading all you went through made my chest tighten. I hope you are able to find a little time to relax after all that stress.

Melanie said...

So good to hear from you...and even better, that you and your family and home are all safe and sound. So thankful! I was keeping you and my other Florida friends in my prayers during this hurricane. My sister and five of her girlfriends were vacationing in Orlando, but left the day before the hurricane hit - which was the day they had planned to leave anyway. She said there were empty seats on the plane coming back to Chicago. I was surprised. Anyway, you certainly had an ordeal with all you had to do to keep safe and with another family staying with you. You are a strong, amazing woman. xoxo

Teresa Kasner said...

I'm so happy to read this post and know you're all safe and that you didn't have much damage. Dayle and I both had a flash of concern at the same time while watching the evening news and I texted you to check on you, then reloaded my blog and there you were at the top of my blog list with a full report! yay!! Sounds like a busy home over those hours with another family there. How good of you to welcome others in to your secure home. You're a darling. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Dee said...

Glad you came through it okay.

This was one of the worst that we have been through. Jax is devastated, but thankfully we were safe and dry.

Hugs to you and Little Buddy.

The Well Fed Wheel said...

So glad to hear you are all safe and didn't have any damage or power loss. For a minute there I thought the storm put all your furniture into the pool. LOL The kids look like they were having fun despite it all which is good. Many here in NC are without power as we sustained ferocious winds and rain as it passed through us. That was one monster of a storm. So many lost so much...sigh. This will take a while to come back from.

Sigrid Swinnen said...

I'm truely glad to learn you and your family are okay!! Can't imagine how it must have been for you! We don't have hurricanes like that in Belgium, but I had you in my mind!
Big hug, Sigrid

Jo said...

Glad you're safe. I've been thinking about you and watching out for an update, it must have been so scary. My heart goes out to everyone who's been affected.

serendipity said...

So glad that you're all safe and Irma spared you the worst. xx Debbie

busybusybeejay said...

I have been sooooo worried about you and your family.Thank. Goodness you are fine.xx

Amy at love made my home said...

So glad yo hear that you are OK. I have been thinking about you, but decided not to send an e-mail as I didn't want to add to your inbox imagining you to be far to busy to deal with e-mails and thinking you would be without power so unable to read them anyway! So I am glad to hear that it was not as bad as I feared it might be. I never would have thought of throwing the furniture in the pool, but it is a good idea when you think about it isn't it. Hope that you can return to normal life already or very soon and that all will be as well as it can be very soon for everyone else affected. Glad you are alright if tired!

mamasmercantile said...

I am so thrilled to be reading this post and know that you are all well. You were in my prayers and I am thankful. We still haven't heard from some of our friends in Mount Dora but we are hoping that it is power issues and that they are safe. What an ordeal.

Christina said...

I am really happy that you are all safe, I was very worried about you and your lovely family. I am also really glad that your house remains undamaged. The images on the news were terrifying!
It is amazing how the young children in your house just sailed through this experience, enjoying the adventure and not picking up the anxiety and fears of the adults around them! I bet Little Buddy had a long lie in after not napping for three days. It is good to hear from you. xx

CJ said...

Thank goodness you are all okay. It was the best decision at the time to send your son somewhere you felt was safer, so don't be hard on yourself, you did what was right with the knowledge you had. So much devastation, it is hard to imagine how people are coping, especially on some of the Caribbean islands where almost everything has been destroyed. I am so very glad all is well with you and yours. Look after yourself Meredith. Hugs, CJ xx

Anonymous said...

Also kept looking for updates from you. Very glad you are all ok. My friend in Houston has had similar 'adventures' for her kids re prepping them in closets with cool flashlights etc in the past---this time around with Harvey they were extremely fortunate! How is Max? Xo from NYC

kathy b said...

What a stressful event. I m of course, so thankful you are ALL safe and well. This kind of stress takes a bit to get the adrenaline out of your system. I hope the relief outweighs the work you still have left to do. You made good decisions in bad times Mere.
I will be saying prayers of Thanksgiving that your family was safe. I hope Max was not too stressed with all of the stress around him. During the MExico earthquake, the cat who lives with Zach, (owned by the apt owner) took off and was gone for a day. She came back, but we wondered about her.

Oh my. ORdinary days you are so appreciated. Meredith you are so loved!

Delighted Hands said...

It was quite an experience, wasn't it!? We are still without power but have a generator also. The yard is calling me to work but with the boys, it gets complicated!
So glad you weathered Irma ok!

Bridget said...

Meredith, I'm glad all went well for you and yours. It's always stressful, but even worse when the storm keeps changing course.

I hope Little Buddy just thought it was a weird slumber party. :-) A friend of mine who has a 3-year-old said he had such a good time sleeping in the closet, he didn't want to go back to his regular bedroom, and wanted to know if they could "have another rain party" - that made me laugh!

Take care. And give Max a kiss from me, and tell his turtle friend I said hello.

Babajeza said...

This is good to hear. I'm glad it went that well for you. Regula

Nance said...

Happy for this report of your safety and wellbeing. That you opened your home to others did not surprise me at all. Continued best wishes.

Karen said...

So glad you are all safe and sound, Meredith! You had some tough decisions to make, and I don't envy you. I honestly don't know what I would have done! but you certainly did all the right things. What an adventure for those kids. They will have lifelong memories of the 'fun' time they had during the hurricane.

Toni said...

I'm so relieved to hear you are all safe!

Vera said...

So glad to read and see this post and know that you all are ok. Been thinking of you.

Sandra said...

Relieved you are all well and safe. Don't you love how kids find adventure and fun while the adults are worried sick. Ah, the blessing of youth! You did good Mama. :)
Hope progress continues and all will be back to normal soon...

Wanderingcatstudio said...

I know its no laughing matter, but the furniture in the pool made me giggle a little

I'm glad you all made it through safe and sound.

Deb said...

I kept up with you via Claudia. I am so glad you and your family and extra friends are okay. I so understand send your son back. I would have done the same thing. My youngest, Laura, was and still is in Charleston, SC. She went there for her birthday to visit a friend. I have been making myself crazy with worry. At the brunt of the storm I had no contact with her for 14 hours. 14! Of course I imagined all types of things. Turns out she and her friend and family were fine, just no electric.
I don't know about you, but I think that there were enough hurricanes in a short week to last life time!

Claudia said...

Wow! How terrifying. I'm so happy to hear you are all safe and sound and have miraculously escaped severe damage. When we lived in the midwest we had a tornado touch down on our property and it chewed up a stand of tall trees like they were tooth picks and I never underestimate the power of mother nature after that. Good tip about putting the furniture in the pool, I would never have thought of that! Again, happy to hear all is well.

Nana Go-Go said...

Very, very glad that you and yours are safe and well. What a time you've had. I Facebooked you at the weekend just to make sure you were ok.xxx

Jo said...

I was thinking of you all the way through Mere but I knew you would be busy or without power. My prayers were answered you are all safe. You have moved from weary to stressed to safe. You need a rest! Sending grateful hugs right at ya. Jo x

Joyful said...

Dear Meredith, thank goodness you and your family and friends are all right. I can only imagine what you have gone through mentally and emotionally as you prepared to weather the storm. Hugs. xx

AnnieOBTextiles said...

So glad to hear you and yours are all okay. You have been in my thoughts during Irma's tempestuous journey, it must have been terrifying. Thank goodness the children felt secure enough to feel it was an adventure. Take care and best wishes to you all.

rue said...

So glad to hear you were okay, I thought about your family alongside people I know in real life in Florida as I watched the damage on TV.

Judy S. said...

So very glad to hear that you and your family are all OK. I sure thought of you lots over the past week or so. It sounds like all of our friends and family are OK, too, thankfully. Hugs from the PNW!

Anonymous said...

Glad everyone is safe.
Marilyn

Becky L. said...

I'm happy to read that ya all made it through the hurricane with little damage. Sweet of you to care for a few other people as well! 💜 My brother lives in Coral Gables and made it thru altho there's flooding. I kept up on all that and earlier last week was all the fires in the gorge and so much smoke here til Friday. Glad your son is ok too. Never know what storms will do. Intersting year we've had! Blessings to you and your family.

Gracie Saylor said...

So glad to know you are okay!!! I am still in Burbank, CA, and watched your channel 9 news on my iPhone trying to track how you and yours might be fairing. I have not been able to do much blog reading on my phone, and am thrilled to see your post now!!! Thanks so much for posting!!! You continue in my thoughts and prayers with love. XX

Crafty in the Med said...

So very glad to hear you and your family are well and over the Irma catastrophe!!! I assure you you were on my mind!! Beyond terrifying. We were worried for our family in Boca Raton Miami but they too were lucky and it past them by.

Big sigh of relief for you!!!

keep well

Amanda xx

Christine Westerhof said...

Glad to hear that you're alright!

Neighborhood Watch said...

I am glad to hear you are safe! The storm came here, but of course, had lost a lot of its vigor. We too put up our patio furniture, etc., etc. even this far inland. The concern here being mostly about trees falling. I cannot even begin to imagine your distress. Take care!

Caffeine Girl said...

I'm so glad you put that furniture in the pool. When I saw that first picture, I freaked, thinking that the storm had done that!
Of course, I am so happy that you, Dee, my daughter, and most people survived the storm. My heart breaks over the damage the Keys and the islands that were flattened. My daughter went back to Miami on Friday and her apartment was fine. She had power. I'm amazed that every thing was OK, given that she lives four blocks from the Atlantic.
I was not at all surprised that you took in another family. Of course you did! It looks like a ton of work for you, but LB had the time of his life!

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

Just moved to Venice from Michigan, 3 months ago, so our first hurricane. We were going to stay, but when the path changed we got scared and left. No damage for us and so grateful, because as you say if Irma had gone up our beautiful gulf coast, I can't even think about it. So happy to hear all was well with you at home and your son in Orlando!

Chris said...

So happy to see this post and very relieved to hear that you are all safe and sound. We were all glued to the tv up here . Boy, Mother Nature is sure angry these days!! I was not too surprised to see you had another family with you!! I love the picture if the kids in the closet !! That will be a memory they will all talk about for years to come. The furniture in the pool is such a good idea. Hope your next week is uneventful :)

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

So glad that you fared the storm well. Hard to decisions to make for sure. So many are suffering. I cannot even believe the things that the orange one has said about Puerto Rico and how he conducted himself there yesterday. He is such a dimwit. God help us all.

Suzan - said...

Glad you all survived Irma!!!
Now that's a great way to take care of the porch furniture!!!
Mom's house in St. Augustine had 3-4 ft. of water after Matthew.
Our whole end of the island was flooded.
I had to retire from teaching here in Atlanta to take care of Mom and to rebuild her house. The week Irma came through --- we were to move furniture back into Mom's house. We got 6" of water - enough to have to pull out all the carpet, vynal, and new appliances which hadn't been used yet.
Now our contractor says maybe by Christmas.
Everyone on our street was flooded - again - and all the trailers popped back up. Nothing like Puerto Rico. We need to count our blessings!!
Looked like the kids had fun!! What an adventure!!