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Hurricane Irma and the Whirlwind that Followed

Hurricane Irma swept through our area on Monday September 11th and Tuesday September 12th.  They had originally predicted 60+ mph winds and 7-8inches of rain.  Yikes!  Thankfully, we didn’t get anything close to that.  We had 30-40 mph winds and 1-2 inches of rain.  Actually, at our house it didn’t seem bad at all.  We had some heavy downpours, but the wind wasn’t terrible and the power never went out.  We were in great shape!  Others in our county were not nearly so fortunate.  Power seemed out all of the county and schools were closed everywhere.  Sadly, Florida was a disaster area with power outages expected to last for weeks.  We were so fortunate.

Jim met a friend of his, Joe, on Wednesday morning after the hurricane to talk to him about the electric.  It looked like a war zone in that end of the county.  Huge trees were down everywhere.  Roofs were damaged and torn.  On our property we had lost a lot of trees, but our house was not damaged so were grateful.  And the Old Homestead was still standing as well!  I was thrilled!

We lost some pretty big trees out there. 

I worked really hard to save some of those trees from Jim’s dozer frenzy and the silly Hurricane took them out.  That’s just wrong!  Completely wrong.

The old barn really took a beating.  What was left of the roof was ripped almost completely off.  Several trees fell around the barn making it nearly impossible to get to the barn at all now.  

Jim figured it would take him at least a full day or two of work with the dozer to clean up all the downed trees and limbs.  I’m still not sure where that spare time is going to come from though….

Several large trees had fallen just down the road from our place and had knocked out the power.  All of our neighbors our there had been with our power since Monday night.  Poor people!  Our power out at the property as well.  Not so good for the builder who was planning to install the windows and doors.  Or for Doug who was working on the plumbing.  Or for Joe who came prepared to start the electric.  We hadn’t expected all these people to be working that day, but they were there and ready to work.  So Joe kindly offered to bring over his generator.  I love that man!!  He is the epitome of kindness and generosity!

Joe came back with the generator and the work began.  Doug and his helper kept working on the inside water lines.  Scott and his helper took down all the braces they had left up for Hurricane Irma and then started installing the windows and doors.  Joe jumped right in and started marking and installing outlets and all other “electrical” things that needed to be done.

Everyone was working on something and everywhere you looked progress was being made.  I nearly cried.  Instead, I took the kiddos and headed home so we would be out of the way and the progress could continue.

Jim had me meet him out there later that evening to talk about where the lights were going over the kitchen island.  I drove up to see the doors and windows already installed!  They looked so beautiful!  And the full glass doors let in so much light

The kids liked the doors but I think they liked the open doorways a little better actually.  Without doors they can just keep running and not actually stop to reach for a pesky door knob and open the door. 

Everyone was doing so much work inside that they decided to push the bathtub out onto the porch.  Camden crawled in it several times to hide from his sisters.  But that’s completely normal, right?

We walked inside the house and saw all the work that had been done inside.  The plumbing had progressed with water lines going to the tub and shower.  But the biggest thing I saw was electric lines everywhere.

Joe is awesome.  Completely awesome. 

Joe managed to do all this electrical work in a matter of hours.  

 Let me just say that when Joe goes to work,  Joe goes to work!  Wow!  That man is a one man show!  I was so impressed by all his work.

We marked where the cabinets and appliances were going to go with tape and then did the same for the lights.  Then we took a walk to the creek to see more of the damage from Irma.

Jim was so funny.  He kept reminding me that if I had let him clear all the trees last winter, we wouldn’t have any of this mess to clean up right now.  Very funny, Jim.  Very funny.  Please don’t tell him that he is actually correct.  Shhh! 

These trees have always been leaning a little, but after the storm they look like they are playing Limbo.  Yeah, Limbo for trees.  Ha!  For some reason, Jim and the kids did not find that funny.  Not at all.  Oh, well. 

Some places down by the creek looked like a war zone.  Have fun cleaning that mess up, Jim.  And please try to save the trees we have left!

The kids found this cute little turtle.  For some silly reason, Maylin was afraid of it.  For the life of me, I cannot figure that kid out.  She will pick up a crayfish, a frog or even a dead snake.  But a turtle is scary?  What????

I’m not sure if it’s related to all the rain we’ve had lately, but the ant mounds are growing exponentially.  Note to self,  find a safe way to kill ants. 

On the walk back up to the house I took a few of these pictures.  Wow, what a difference a year makes.  Two years ago this was all woods.

Now, we have these beautiful pastures.

And we are able to see these beautiful sunsets.

I truly love this place.  We are so blessed to be able to have this adventure with our kids and be able to raise our kids on such a beautiful piece of land that God has blessed us with.  

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