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My First Look

I’m going to begin the process of catching you up on the past three weeks.

I returned home on October 18th after I evacuated from the hurricane.  I’d spent a week in various venues.

It was a bittersweet parting when I left Tallahassee.

I drove Super Sis to work, and she bid a tender farewell to my fur babies.

The dogs were eager for another adventure.  They had no idea what they were in for.

Truth be told, I’m not sure that I did exactly either.

The drive home seemed okay until I passed through Marianna.  That’s where I began seeing more drastic effects from the hurricane. 

The closer to home I got, the worse things began to look. 

My heart sunk lower and lower the more miles I covered . . .

My eyes couldn’t believe what I was seeing . . .

Gambit sensed that something was up . . .

When I made the final turn onto the street that led to my neighborhood, I lost it.  It’s still difficult for me to watch the video without getting emotional all over again.

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What I’d been told about having to see it for myself was the biggest understatement of the century.

It was like something from a movie – one with the worst possible kind of plot.

Unlike a movie, these were not props, nor were the scenes the result of special effects.

This was the setting of my life.

Pulling up to my house was surreal.  I was finally home.

After what seemed like fifteen trips back and forth, I finally got everything from the car into the house.  Although I had fled the storm with very little, I’d done a bit of shopping for supplies and had a load.

The Mr. was sleeping because he’d been working the night shift.  I have no idea how he didn’t hear two big dogs and a noisy wife enter the house, but he slept through it all.

I unpacked, changed my clothes, and got ready to work.

Me, being Auburnchick, got busy.  That was, after all, why the Mr. had told me to come home.  He needed me to help clean up our home.

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I worked for a solid hour and a half.  I must have picked up several hundred shingles, and I hope I never see a pine frond again.

I found a couple of flowers that survived the storm.

The dogs sat outside and watched.

It was a little cooler on the porch.

I think they were excited to be home after wandering all over Alabama the week before.

Ninety minutes might not seem like much time, but when you’re using Hurricane Speak and have to factor heat, humidity, and no electricity, it’s like a bajillion hours.

In between trips to the dump shingles on a waste pile, I took some time to walk around my street.  What a shock.

Here’s the poop scooping station by the pond across from my house . . .

The next two pictures are of the pond across the road from my house.  I’ve taken a BUNCH of pictures in the mornings of the beautiful sunrise over this pond.  This broke my heart.

I took the dogs for a walk because, hello, no fence!  Take a look at this oak tree that ripped up a neighbor’s yard.

That first evening at home was surreal.

There was no electricity.  All I could hear was the sound of my neighbors’ generators.  Other than that, it was fairly quiet, even with all of our back yards exposed to one another.

I grabbed the boom box I’d purchased in Tallahassee the night before.  I needed human voices to keep me company awhile.  I had to chuckle when this song was the first one that came on.  Chicky will appreciate this.

I’ve gotta tell you that the first night was strange.  I didn’t know what to do with myself.

With no power, I couldn’t do a whole lot, so I set myself up on the porch.  Thank heavens for the generator, which I started without any problems.

I grabbed a book I’d had the foresight to take home for what was only supposed to be a long weekend . . . over a week earlier.

I left the back door open to let in the tiny breeze that was flowing through.  The dogs never left my side.

Y’all, these boys of mine – well, we’d bonded even more when we’d evacuated.  They’d been my constant companions.

When the bugs started getting to me, I went inside.

I was pretty bored, so I grabbed a flashlight and cleaned the fridge.

The Mr. had already emptied it, thank heavens, but it was still disgusting.

Then, I settled in for the night.  I decided to sleep on the floor, near an oscillating fan, because it was still pretty hot in the house.

My first day back was something I’ll never forget.  It had been one filled with overwhelming emotions and sadness.  I’d seen things that had taken my breath away.

It was also the day my resilience grew by leaps and bounds.

I’ve never been one to let things get me down for too long.  I wasn’t about to let this experience be the exception.

2 Responses

  1. Knowing how hot and humid Florida is, I’m sure you were grateful to have that little fan! Hurricane Matthew hit us hard in GA, two years ago, and the devastation is still visible in some places. Many people still have huge, uprooted trees in their yards. I guess they didn’t have the money to have them removed, so they just left them.

  2. I am so glad you are sharing your experience. This is the sort of stuff we dont see after life moves on for everyone else & TV crews leave an area & we easily forget the AFTER that everyone is left to live in & deal with

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