Florida Strong

Spoiler: We survived Irma here in Miami. πŸ™‚

It’s been quite a week of preparation, impact, and recuperation. My State, city, town, local businesses, family, friends, and neighbors did a marvelous job keeping things in order. I’m sure there are gaps everywhere but I’m shocked with how orderly things went. 

Before the storm, we rushed to get gas (which everyone managed to find, even if an hour or longer wait), had food, filled up with water, gave advice, protected our homes and that of loved ones, and braced ourselves for the Big One. 

And then we waited for Irma to arrive… and nearly ate all our damn hurricane food prior to her arrival. (Side note, just about everything non-perishable is unhealthy or can be easily consumed in mass quantities. Yes, I’m talking Nutella and gummy snacks.)

Then, the storm did all sorts of tricks and confused every meteorologist and person tracking it. Miami avoided direct impact but the Florida Keys were hit hard. Captain, my boyfriend, lives in the Keys but hunkered down with us. He stored his boat further north as he wanted to make sure it was protected since that’s his livelihood. No boat = no dinero. 

We were hit with major wind and rain. In some ways, it was beautiful to watch. It was scary to hear the wind howling and sad to see our trees ripped out of the ground but something about the sheer strength of nature and watching the grass and trees blow was fascinating. 


We built Legos, played cards and games, ate, talked by candlelight, tried contacting loved ones, took a few brave steps outside during the storm, ate some more, napped, and practiced patience. It’s the most still any of us have been in quite some time.

My children are not used to living without electricity. It was an incredible wake up call for them to function without light or AC. We were conservative with water and plumbing use, and had to be creative with ways we entertained ourselves. (They’re not complete brats; you do start to get serious cabin fever locked in your house for days.)


Once the storm was over and we assessed our damage (which luckily was little), it was great to walk our area and talk with neighbors. We told stories, even compared to our experience with Hurricane Andrew, shared tools, helped each other clean up, and were just very grateful for coming out of this relatively unscathed. 

My ex, Grayheart, was very supportive and helpful with the kids and sharing time with them. He popped by a few (too many) times but I could tell he was very lonely. Makes me feel bad for him at times. 

I took the kids yesterday for a “safari” drive around town to go check on family. We pointed out damage to familiar places and took a few pictures. It was humbling.

We are incredibly lucky. The Keys were hit bad and people are missing. Naples and much of the west coast here is flooded. Over 6 million people in FL without power. Georgia and South Carolina are getting hit now. Much of Cuba is destroyed because it took the direct impact meant for us. Barbuda uninhabitable. The beautiful BVI ripped up with few ways to communicate with the rest of the world. It could have been bad for us. I’m very aware and am using that knowledge to make my kids aware and responsible for helping our community and others impacted by this. 

We appreciate all the love and volunteer efforts sent to us from around the country and world. We will pay it forward. ❀️

Captain was finally allowed access to the Keys this morning. I am waiting to hear what’s left of his place. Crossing fingers for not-so-bad news!

I’m sorry for the lengthy post… just started blabbing on. πŸ™‚

Sending everyone much love. xo

Athena

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60 thoughts on “Florida Strong

  1. Im so, so glad to hear y’all are ok and that the damage wasn’t worse. Sure could’ve been.

    As for the Keys, it doesn’t look good. Hope his place is ok. Wise move taking his boat north. I’ve been watching and waiting for news about damage, and just saw some yesterday finally, but still haven’t heard from two friends that did not evacuate Key West. We tried and tried to talk them out of it, but ya’ know how it is. Not sure where Captain’s place is, but the mid section of the Jeys appears to have taken the brunt of it. Hope all’s well for him. And glad to hear you and the kids are ok. Good luck with the clean-up. 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, buddy. I’m so grateful. I know how bad it could have been.

      Captain lives in Islamorada. So it’s a toss up there. He’s bay side, and we heard the bay emptied out while the Oceanside flooded bad. So I’m hopeful it’s ok. I’m sorry that your friends in key west didn’t evacuate. Most people left but you have those few that refused. I hope they’re ok. No one south of MM 82 has any kind of service so hopefully that’s all it is. We fish a lot out of Big Pine so it’s very upsetting to see the destruction there. 😦
      Thanks again for caring!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know, I’ve seen footage from Key West that a hurricane chaser put out yesterday. Looks pretty bad. But up north it looks worse. I figured cell service would be gone. I’m hopeful they’ll get up today. No need in staying down there right now. I haven’t heard of any bridge or causeway damage. Hoping the roads are intact and passable.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The response is much improved from past storms, I’ve noticed. It appears lessons were learned from Katrina. This is a much bigger scale though. Seeing a lot more out of the Keys yesterday. It looks devastated. Islamorada looked bad. Hope Captain’s place is ok. We heard from our friends late last night, by the way. They’re out and in West Palm with family today. They said they weren’t sure they’d survive, and the house shifted off its foundation. Bad scene down there. Y’all be careful if you go to check his place out. Roads are hazardous for sure.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I could not agree with you more. I’m normally not a fan of the governor but he’s done an incredible job leading these efforts. They’re moving quickly and efficiently.
          Captain’s place is luckily ok. I don’t know how but he’s super lucky. I’m very happy to hear your friends are ok and hopefully learned a valuable lesson! Evacuate! Lol!
          I worry a bit for everyone’s work situation down there. Lots of people will be out of jobs for some time. And out of their homes. We’ll see. Let’s hope it comes together quickly! And then when can get everyone to celebrate down south! πŸ˜‰

          Liked by 1 person

        • Sign me up for that celebration! We’ll be back as soon a humanly possible. It’s likely to be a while. I’m accutely aware of how things are after Katrina, at least. 10 years later and the coast of MS is still recovering. It’s definitely a marathon, not a sprint. The landscape will look different even longer. Sad. But I’m glad to hear his place is intact. He’s very lucky indeed. 😊

          Liked by 1 person

        • I was holding out hope until Tuesday. It was obvious it wasn’t gonna turn north and then mandatory tourist evac came down. That was that. Did you see the stories of the tourists in St Marteen? Holding vigil all night with machetes to ward off looters, driving over to the Dutch side in the night, then having to be airlifted to Puerto Rico? That’s crazy shit, man. It’s critical now in the Caribbean. πŸ˜”

          Liked by 1 person

        • I’d heard about people looting with machetes. But I had not seen the news about the tourists! Omg! The Caribbean is going to be nuts for awhile. That’s why I keep counting my blessings.

          (Makes you really think about your backup plans in case of an emergency situation if you’re out of the country. I have a friend currently stuck in Mexico. Sounds fun but it’s not.)

          Liked by 1 person

        • No, it can’t be fun. And as a tourist, you’re definitely a target. It’s complete anarchy in some places right now. No food, water, power, cell service, facilities. It’d be hell. Yeah, it’s gonna take years for those islands to fully recover. πŸ˜•

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Many of the blogs I read are Americans, and my family tree is split between Canada and USA so I interested and relieved that the destruction is not worse. I have visited the Lido beach area and look forward to returning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you guys made it through okay. It’s scary that weather can knock us down. Your story sort of reminds me of our ice storm. We were weeks without power. But we put blankets for warmth and heated soup on the BBQ and played lots of cards.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, amiga. Very much like the effects of an ice storm – which sounds terrifying to my Floridian ass – so it’s very cool to hear that you roughed it and rocked it! I don’t know what’s worse… heat stroke or freezing, lol!

      Like

  4. Moi says:

    I livr in Ga and just got my power back on. No landline service. Almost all of Ga looks like a war zone. Thank goodness we had straight winds from the east or we would have lost out house to the huge maple tree that fell.
    I hope Captain finds things ok.
    Glad you and your family did fine

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow. Scary shit! Tell the truth, I hadn’t seen much on it on NZ news – just on FB posts of a friend who’d spent time living in the Caribbean. Glad to hear you’re all ok. Sounds like you made it a wonderful, memorable time with the kids. Hoping all you know are safe xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad everyone is safe. We weren’t terribly inconvenienced, either. We went without power for maybe 16-18 hours. It felt like forever, but we made up for it by going outside, playing board games and just being still, as you said. And now, we are thanking the Lord for keeping us safe, because it wasn’t the same situation for many others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why hello and happy new year!! I’m doing very well, thank you! And I hope you guys are doing as equally fabulously well (or better), too! Give those doggies a big ole hug from me. πŸ™‚ And sending you love and warmth too!

      Like

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