Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Our Hurricane Story

Being of the strange and often time maligned breed of Native Floridian (yeah I get it... all the weird junk goes down in Florida), Irma was about the 4th or 5th hurricane I have experienced that I can remember clearly. Our story is not extreme. We did not lose life, property we could not survive without or even, miraculously, power. For that we are very much thankful. We helped neighbors and family, shared our generator with someone in need and cleaned up the after math quickly. 

But it was still scary as hell and anxiety was running high in the home in the wee hours of the morning as Irma's eye crashed directly onto our home.

Before all that happens though... there is a whole lot of prepping and waiting. And rock painting.

And game playing.

And Lego building.

And even working. Why is he smiling while he works? Because he's just that kinda guy. 

We had my mom, sister and her boyfriend over to weather the storm. While I am a planner (water bottles, bread, cupcakes baked, eggs boiled, tubs filled with water, generator filled with gas), my mom is a techie planner (weather radio, battery power charger, cell phone power banks, rechargeable batteries), so together pretty much all the bases were covered.

And then we waited some more.

And waited. And snacked (can I tell you how many peanut M&Ms were consumed? Maybe a good two pounds).

And that beautiful thing called family time occurred. 

After a sleepless night of wind howling, the eerie blue green flash of transformers exploding with loud pops and bangs and the thumps of heavy objects toppling to the ground... we awoke to the tail end of Irma still trashing the trees and the sight of shingles scattered everywhere, fencing tossed like so many dice and our playset (and the neighbor's) in shambles.

We started tearing it down for firewood, piece by piece, and helped our neighbor pick up his fencing.

The retention pond in the backyard is now a nice sized lake and Savanna has been using it to go "fishing" in.

We drove around our town and saw many power lines down, many a roof caved in by massive oaks and damage everywhere. Over 80% of the town is without electricity. We won't have school for the rest of the week. But we will have some time together. 

Thank you for all the well wishes and prayers and messages that you were simply thinking of me and my family. It truly means the world to me. To know someone cares is the best gift. We are thankful we have lost so very little and were able to come out of the other side whole and intact. Thankfully most of the time hurricane season is nothing to worry about, but it is just a fact of life where I live and a risk that is always present. 

Now... I am hoping Jose decides to curve out in the Atlantic. Because I am done trying to reason with the hurricane season.


  1. Good to see the trees around your property made out okay as well! I recall from last time that tree removal can be expensive. By the way, just wondering what happened to the fence, did it get covered in tree gunk or vandalism or someone decided to be creative since it was coming down anyway?

    Looks very cozy there with 3 generations and everyone doing fun stuff. Next time we have a hurricane I review this post since you are clearly hurricane handling pros!

    1. Yes! The older oaks tend to topple but ours is only about 12 years old and still pretty young and strong. The fence is vandalized. Neighborhood teens spray on it at night I think. We can never catch them. :-(

      It was a nice way to spend a couple days together. I learned some more about hurricane prepping this year for sure. Things I would do again. Hopefully we won't have to any time soon but we plan on living in Florida for the foreseeable future so I am sure there will be more one day down the road.

  2. I am so glad you received so little damage and it looks like you managed to have some great quality family time out of a tense situation.

    1. Thank you! Same! We were very blessed. I think it helped that our power went out about a week ago and it was recently fixed so maybe that helped to hold it? Not sure. Normally our power goes out pretty easy. Definitely a miracle. Family time was nice indeed. I have not spent that much time with my mom or sister in a while. It was enjoyable.

  3. So glad all is well and you guys are safe. You made the best out of a scary time and were so well prepared! I need hurricane tips from you!

    1. Thank you. We are very happy to have made it through all together. Being prepared helps a lot. I cannot imagine being surprised by something like that decades ago. I would be more than happy to help and give tips but hopefully you will never need it. <3

  4. Aw, that was really beautiful - it's so nice that you're able to see the good/fun/enjoyable things that came out of a less than good/fun/enjoyable experience. At the very least it'll become family lore and legend - The Fall (literally) of Irma. Oh gosh, nearly 20 years ago now there was a huge ice storm in my city that felled trees, wiped out power to pretty well everyone (our power was out for three days; saved by the gas fireplace in the basement) and turned the entire city into a deadly skating rink. And it's now just one of those things around here, a weird little cultural nod to what we all went through - I suspect a similar sort of thing will happen in Florida. I'm glad you're all all right and the storm has literally passed. Now get gone for another couple of decades or so.

    1. It will be a conversation for many years to come. Driving around afterwards and seeing all the debris and effects really hit home to the girls how serious it was. Yours are snow storms and ours are tropical storms. Every region has its craziness. Right now my friend in Tokyo is watching a typhoon that is headed right their way. This is definitely a season of extreme weather. I hope your winter won't be dangerous.