Hurricane Matthew was an emotional rollercoaster that I’m more than happy to not experience again. It started Tuesday when I had to accept the fact an Category 4 hurricane was heading straight towards our county. Wednesday we packed, secured the house and yard, and then just waited. We had planned on evacuating Thursday afternoon to my in-laws condo on the main land. Around 12:30 am on Thursday the storms direction put us right in the path for eye wall to hit us, the storm surge predictions were getting to be up to 11 feet (putting flooding on our road at about 8-9 feet) with possible winds of 140+. It was decided that we were going to head further away. We found a hotel in Orlando that had made their whole hotel pet friendly for the hurricane. So first thing in the morning we had the kids play “the house is burning, which 3 things do you want to take” game, packed up the pets (all 5 of them), and headed to safer ground.
We took our first family selfie right before we left. We were saying good bye to our house.
We decided to drop the cats and guinea pig off at my in-laws condo. The dogs came with us to the hotel. It was a long 20 or so hours. One dog gets extremely flatulent when he’s stressed, the other barks and grumbles. It was a rainy and windy night. We decided in the morning to head back toward home since the eye of the hurricane was heading north.
In the night the storm had shifted north again, so the eye was about 20 miles off shore when it passed our town. St. Augustine and Jacksonville ended up receiving the flooding that we were preparing for.
Our house was in amazing shape. Mostly tree litter, some very minor flooding (a rolled up rug and some sandbags prevented it from being worse), and we lost half of our plumeria tree. We had power, water, and joy of joys for my kids, internet. No broken windows. No roof damage. All five of our huge trees were still standing.
The pile is about 5 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and maybe 25 feet long. I’ve been slowly getting the house back in order. Something about the storm has made me want to purge all the clutter. I just want it all gone. Clean slate. I don’t know why, but we’ll see how long it lasts.
I feel extremely fortunate for how everything worked out for us, but I think I’ll pass on the next hurricane. I may have aged 5 years in 36 hours time.
I haven’t done much mini-ing since we’ve been home. Trying to get my mind back into it is hard right now when I see so much that needs to be done. Both my parents and my in-laws have winter homes here, so we’ve also been checking on their properties, organizing with insurance adjusters for them, and emptying their refrigerators of spoiled food. I’ll get back into the swing of things. My drive to be creative will start demanding to be acknowledged.