Going Through: Hurricane Irma (post 1)

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Our drive BEFORE the hurricane. 
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A section of the Oneacrewoods before being ravaged, already drenched.

We have electricity. How much of the time do I not even think about this marvel? That is one of the positive aspects of natural disasters. If you survive them, you do so with a heightened appreciation of normal life. So while I am still connected to the outside world, I will write…

The last few days have been hard mostly because of the uncertainty of the path of Hurricane Irma. Early in the week we decided that we would stay in our house rather than evacuate. Whether in the store, the line at the gas station, or on the road, I abhor crowds of panicked people. That played into our decision, but we also reasoned that everyone can’t leave, and we do have a house with some safety features that is not in an evacuation zone. There has been a degree of peace just in having made the decision to stay.

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Amazing that we have a generator. More amazing, it runs and we have gas to put in it.

We are six here at our Oneacrewoods Shelter. We are not helpless and have a mix of skills and abilities that should serve us well. We have put in a supply of water, food, and gasoline to run our generator. We were able to get the generator running – always a questionable thing since it doesn’t get used very often.  I have set up the Coleman stove so if when the electricity goes out we will still have morning coffee. Small comforts are taking on new importance.

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The worst part so far has been the week long watching and waiting. Preparing for a known thing of catastrophic nature is possible and absorbing physically and mentally. When what is known keeps changing, it is different, creating a confusing array of possibilities to be sorted out and chosen or eliminated.  There is also a sense of community and responsibility for family, friends and neighbors close by that makes us want to stay together even though our situations are different. Of course, our default wish is to be in our own home, so there has to be compelling reason to do otherwise. When the compelling reason becomes wanting to preserve our lives – well, that’s pretty compelling, so we really don’t want to make a mistake. If we knew our situation would be that critical, and if we knew the safe thing to do was crystal clear, and possible, we would do it. And as I said, what we know has changed hour by hour throughout the week. We never feel like we know.

(Actually, we know more now, but it is past time to decide and the decision is made for us. We are staying.)

So here we are, at bedtime on Saturday night. Our worst weather is supposed to be in about 24 hours when the eyewall of Irma is scheduled to come up the Florida west coast pretty much through our back yard. I have seen what 100+ mile per hour winds have done in all the islands out in the Caribbean but as I look around at my plants, my huge live oaks, the structures outside – somehow I can’t picture it  all  ruined, maybe even gone. Doesn’t seem real, or even possible.

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I’ve been bottling our own drinking water. Knew I had a reason for keeping all those canning jars.

I know that God cares about what will happen, and I do see this as an opportunity to prove what I know about him. We are asking to be spared the worst because we can ask that. God is not afraid of our requests, nor is he bound to grant them. Whether he does or not I feel he will use this unusual situation in some way for our good and his glory – meaning that he will in some way show himself to be both powerful and loving. He will go through it with us and we will be able to look back and say it was so.

As usual, more to come until the electricity is gone.  It is scary how we depend on electricity, just sayin’…

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Everything that isn’t nailed down has to be put inside – a real challenge.

 

Shoveling the Drive

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My drive is lined not with snowbanks, but flowerbanks. Rough, huh?

While some are bundled up and shoveling the white stuff, I am in my shirtsleeves and shorts shoveling the red stuff.  I’m not complaining.

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Every day, the heavy, wet blossoms fall out of the kapok tree. They are sticky as they decompose and notorious for embedding themselves in the soles of our shoes and tires of our vehicles. Capable of denting a car, or a head…

 

 

If you’d like to check out Just Jot January, the rules are here.

JJJ 2016

Don’t We All Have a Favorite Machine?

Florida. Spring. Getting warm but the tropical rains haven’t started yet so everything outside gets pretty dry in between showers, in between days when we are allowed to irrigate.  The grass (and in my case, the weeds) know it’s growing season though and already mowing needs to be done about every five or six days.  Mowing is a dirty, dusty job but I do it because I am a farm girl at heart, and this is as close to the land as I get in my present situation.

Machine love....
Machine love….

I am also a fan of tractors (at length in this post  ) and this wonderful machine, which is as close to a tractor as Iget in my present situation is my favorite ride.  It almost always starts when I turn the key, it holds enough fuel to mow the oneacrewoods, it turns on a dime with very little effort, the seat is comfy and it has cup holders which I don’t use but they are a nice touch.  The zero turn concept is really cool once you get used to it – almost like the way you move your body.  I mow a mean swath, not to brag, just a fact.

My last mowing session, however, almost did me in. The air became so thick with leaf dust and dirt that I had to go in the house to clean my eyes out and get some fresh air.  I decided to don “the costume” which I usually skip. Masks of all kinds make me feel claustrophobic but this kind of mowing calls for extreme measures.  The fact that I can breathe and see outweighs the shame of looking like a panic stricken alien flying around in clouds of dust.

All this to say that if I didn’t love this machine so much I would  probably consider hiring someone to do this job for me, like maybe a real alien.

Me in my hazmat face gear.  Fighting panic....
Me in my hazmat face gear. Fighting panic….