Saturday, September 16, 2017

Surviving ~ thankfully

Good morning Folks ~ It is Saturday morning 11:41 a.m. EST. I went outside at 7:45 to beat the heat so that I could mow. I came in at 9:30 for water and to rest a bit. Even at that time it was in the 80’s but real feel temp was low 90’s. I didn’t finish mowing a small bit because it was sprinkling when I headed back out, so I put the lawnmower away for the day. I am just doing a little at a time and not stressing over what needs to be done.  It is a whole different story being by myself than being with my DH and working together as a ‘team’.

I have hibernated since Tues. morning after getting home around 8:30. Just haven’t felt like going out at all. Plus the light at the big intersection near me was still out and I didn’t feel like dealing with traffic. I was only going to go out to the grocery store, but have found out that there isn’t much to be had. No fresh veggies, no dairy, maybe a few eggs. All of the trucks are going to the west coast and south of us to the areas that were hardest hit by Irma.

I’ve been drinking my coffee black, sweetened but black. I have cereal but no milk. I’ve some canned goods, food in the freezer, I can make bread in my bread machine. I have rice and pasta too. I’ve been eating peanut butter and crackers, canned veggies, with hot dogs and hamburger from the freezer.

I am so thankful for air-conditioning, clean water, a toilet that flushes, my comfortable bed, a roof over my head, a full tank of gas, compliments of my in-laws. My feline girls are all fine. Flowers are still blooming, butterflies are flitting, birds are singing. I have much to be thankful for.

I did find an unwelcome little snake while doing some clean up the other morning. He was about 6-8 inches long. I was concerned when I looked at his markings. Ran for my camera and after I took a blurry photo, I got the flat edged shovel and chopped him to bits. I sent a pic to my bro in law Todd, and he confirmed my suspicion, a rattle snake. I’ve never seen one here before, but we both figured he got blown in by the storm, either wind or water. I’ve not seen any more and hope I don’t either. Sheesh! A baby diamondback rattler. He kept striking at me. The usual snakes slither off in the opposite direction as fast as they can go, but not this little guy. I was so nervous I didn’t get a good picture, but you can see the diamonds on his back.

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This morning during one of my mini breaks while mowing, I saw this sweet little beauty. She is one of my very favorite roses, with a delicate scent. ‘Kathleen’. As I was standing there enjoying her beauty, I thought “this is why I garden”. Yes, it is a lot of work, some harder work than others, but so worth it for as long as I can do it.

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I’ve had a bit of lunch, now I’m going to take a nap. Talking with my sis in law, Sue, yesterday I was saying how I felt and she said she was feeling the same way and that she had heard some ‘call ins’ on some show about how people are thankful they are safe, that they have food, a.c., etc. but they felt awful. The dr. or whoever was taking the calls said it is because we’re all going through a bit of traumatic stress syndrome.  Freaking out and preparing as best we could for a possible cat. 5 hurricane, not knowing where it was going to make landfall, took a toll on us all.

So, thank you again for your kind thoughts, comments, and prayers. They help more than you realize.

Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

Friday, September 15, 2017

Before, during & after Irma

Good morning folks ~ It is a new day and I am rejoicing in it. Your comments have been such a blessing to me. Thank you all so much.

Yesterday morning it didn’t feel bad when I started out temperaturewise, but after 1 1/2 hours I couldn’t be outside any longer and came in to the a.c. It was 83 but felt like it was 96. Today I hope to do some more, a little at a time. I will show pics of debris, etc. in another post. This post is from my stay with my dear bro & sis in-law Todd & Sue.

The way the storm was predicted, we were NOT going to stay at their place but stay where Todd works which is built of concrete and hurricane rated. As we watched the news before the power went out, storm surges for where we were was to be 6-10 ft. and they are on a little inlet, off the intra-coastal waterway. At first it was mandatory evacuation, so we were planning to leave, then as Irma kept moving west, then northwest, it was dropped to voluntary, so we stayed where we were.

To me, their place was a calm shelter in this storm. They both had a calming influence on me. Sue said everything was going to be fine with Plum Cottage and my barn girls, and she was right.

Hurricane shutters did go up on the sliding glass doors. The other windows are hurricane rated to withstand winds of 150 mph. Todd did go out and take a center panel off the sliding glass doors, so that we could see out and see what was happening with the rising tide and let in some much needed light.

Saturday wasn’t too bad. Sunday we were getting the winds and rain. Once the storm got to the backside our winds really picked up and were pummeling my two corner bedroom windows, s.e. corner. (I read that some places, and I think we may have been one of the areas, got 90 mph gusts. Where I live 55 mph).Very scary, especially at bedtime. Here I was lying on a queen size bed, having a mini-freak out session. I decided to take my little devotional book (into the bathroom where it was quieter and definitely more cozy,) ‘Jesus Always’, reading from past days and came upon this one from 15th of April. (If you are not familiar with this series of devotionals, they are as if God is speaking directly to you. Very comforting. I got my first one from a friend two months after my DH went to be with God.)

“I want you to rely confidently on Me-not only as Savior, but as the God-Friend who is taking care of you. Relax in my loving Presence & confide in Me. Tell Me all your hopes & fears. Cast all your anxiety on Me because I care for you.”

I underlined ‘rely confidently’. Here is the definition for confidently ~ in a way that expresses little or no doubt about something. As it says in the Bible, “I believe, help thou my unbelief.”

I decided to rely confidently on Jesus, my God and Savior to take care of me. It was so scary though, that I put pillows on the floor with the bed between me and the windows. That was uncomfortable to say the least for this 68 year old FlowerLady, and I thought this is crazy and it is NOT relying confidently on Jesus at all. So, I got back up onto the bed, buried myself under the covers and turned my back to the storm all the while saying this bit that I had just read over and over, thanking Jesus for taking care of me and fell asleep. I woke up close to midnight and could tell that the worst of the storm was over and fell back to sleep again.

Preparation and anxiety were very stressful to say the least. Irma was huge, her winds covering the whole state, surf surges on both sides of the state. We did not know what catagory of a storm it was going to be until it made landfall, starting out as a cat. 5 with 185 mph winds. The last we heard was that 7 million people had evacuated, video showed highways out of FL like parking lots with traffic inching along out of harms way.

The next morning you would not know that a storm had passed through by how ‘calm’ it all was. But, then you see downed limbs, and when we went out to where Todd worked to pick up my van and Sue’s car which had both been parked in the wharehouse, there were trees down all over, and of course no power so that there were no lights at intersections. When that happens, we are supposed to treat every intersection like a 4-way stop. Most people did this, some did not, but Jesus kept us safe.

Now for some photos.

As the tide comes in, and with storm surge as high as it got in the last of these first 3 photos.

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We’re about 10-12 feet above, I think.

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11th, morning after.

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I was blessed with seeing this beautiful rainbow. I grabbed my camera & snapped the first photo, then headed outside in barefeet to walk down the sidewalk for a couple more shots.

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This photo below looks like a painting to me.

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These two boats stayed tied up and survived just fine.

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We are not promised a stressfree or no problem life when we follow God, what we are promised is that He will never leave or forsake us. He is always with us. It is how we handle what life brings us. Do we draw closer to God for a more intimate, loving relationship with Him, or do we get angry, frustrated, more fearful etc.? I pray that I will always draw closer to Him, and stronger in faith.

That’s it for now. I wanted to get this post up while my feelings are still fresh. In the next post I will show how it looked when I got back to my little home sweet home, and clean up.

Love, hugs & prayers for all ~ Thankful FlowerLady