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.



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


11th, morning after.









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.


This photo below looks like a painting to me.


These two boats stayed tied up and survived just fine.


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


Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

So glad that you came through alright but so sorry that you had to go through it. Imagining myself lying in MY bed ( which is by the windows ) I think I'd have taken my pillows and blankets into the bathtub ! :)

Betty said...

WOW, you have been through so much. I watched on tv and so much damage. I am glad that Plum Cottage made it through. Just take one day at a time.

Anonymous said...

My son and his wife has similar conditions at their home in Sanford, FL. I saw on the news someone interviewed (I think from Naples) that stayed there during the hurricane (which of course had more of the hurricane wrath, second to the Keys) and he said he would never stay again during a was so scary. But you (and my son and his wife) had it a bit better and you did well. (Very frustrating to see the news coverage and how mankind really can't predict nature too well, not knowing for sure who would be hit the hardest). It is especially scary when it hits at night. But so true what you said about having trials and tribulations in life. Andrea

Rebecca said...

Your words of faith and confidence in God hold even more meaning because of your experiences - past and PRESENT ♥

September Violets said...

A scary night for you, but glad you were safe in God's hands. Just the anticipation of the storm must have heightened everyone's anxiety. You were fortunate to have a safe haven with your brother & his wife.

Nancy J said...

Your faith, constant and true, your family with you, and then a safe return home. You were indeed in Gods' hands, firm and secure. Bless you for sharing with us. XXX

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Even if I knew my house was solid, I don't think I could sit inside and listen to the wind. I would have to board it up and drive away. Just being in our basement during a tornado warning gets to me. So glad you all are well.

M.K. said...

So glad you are safe, and it is over! It was wise to go to such a solid location, and be with other people. It's horrible being alone in such a situation. I have friends who were on St. John during Irma, and they ended up leaving the island a couple of days later because it was dangerous for people -- hoodlums and looting, etc. I feel bad for them. Glad all is well with you, friend.

Anne Payne said...

So glad you had friends to help keep you calm during the storm, and of course the Lord is always with us and speaks to us through His Word. FL was in our prayers! My sister lives in Stuart and said they fared very well overall, which was a great relief and answer to prayer. I do believe God was merciful to the US in this storm. It could have been so much worse for us. Sadly, the islands are devastated. :(
Much love to you, Rainey!

Ruth Hiebert said...

I can't even imagine how scary those winds and rains must be.Living far from the coast, we of course never get hurricanes.I am so glad you are safe and that you were with others during this time.

lil red hen said...

Thank you for posting this. Your faith is so precious.

NanaDiana said...

Thank you for the pictures. All of us in the north are transfixed by what happened in FL. It is just sad but I am so glad you are safe and sound. Things can certainly be replaced but people can't. God bless you in this clean up aftermath. xo Diana

gld said...

I am so relieved to hear all is well after the storm. The pictures were wonderful.

I do hope your clean-up at the cottage isn't too great and life can soon get back to normal.

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Lorraine, I'm so thankful and glad you came through the hurricane well. Your photos are incredible and that rainbow is such a special sign from God that better days are coming. I hope the clean up is not too overwhelming. Please take one day at a time and rest when you can.
What a difference a week makes. Prayers continue for everyone.

A Joyful Cottage said...

In the midst of life's storms is when are faith is tested. We can choose to lean on Christ, or go it alone. You chose to lean on Him and now you have a beautiful testimony of His presence and grace. Well done, good and faithful servant. :) Hugs.

outlawgardener said...

You've found the rainbow at the end of the storm! Your thoughts reminded me of this poem written on the wall of a WWII concentration camp by an unknown Jewish prisoner:

“I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love,
even when there’s no one there.
And I believe in God,
even when he is silent.

I believe through any trial,
there is always a way
But sometimes in this suffering
and hopeless despair
My heart cries for shelter,
to know someone’s there
But a voice rises within me, saying hold on
my child, I’ll give you strength,
I’ll give you hope. Just stay a little while.

I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love
even when there’s no one there
But I believe in God
even when he is silent
I believe through any trial
there is always a way.

May there someday be sunshine
May there someday be happiness
May there someday be love
May there someday be peace….”