Loss..emotional, monetary it’s all hard.

Well you all know my house went belly up with hurricane Michael. Apparently that jerk felt the need to ruin so many lives.

So many lives lost, so many homes lost, jobs lost as well.

While I’m feeling so blessed my kids,hubby and pets made it through without injury I have to say losing my house hurt my soul.

My house held so many memories. Raising my kids, losing my husband etc.

I had one woman say well I guess it’s just time to move on. Like really lady???! My response was “NO I’d rather have my home that I’ve had for years.” The gall of her flippant attitude about my home flew all over me.

This wasn’t anyone I had known for any length of time so in her defense she didn’t have a clue. To me it was almost an insult. My home wasn’t anything fantastic, but it was fantastic because all that it held.

With having to put my old boy Wiggles down and then dealing with this, it just made me anxious because it was like I was moving away from everything good I had experienced over many years. I felt like my past was quickly disappearing.

I’m hoping it all turns out great, but to say it’s scary is putting it mildly.

So many have said it’s “just things” . It’s not just things. It’s part of who I am.

So now me and the hubby are in a pretty nice hotel. Far outside of the area of impact. Hopefully I can handle my Ins and fema business without having to drive 2-2 1/2 hrs to have a signal. Verizon sucks!!!

We have our pups and cat in tow with the exception of Mr.Sampson. He was really scared of having a muzzle on. He’s an anxious little guy, who’s been through a lot lately. I left him with my boy David, David is my go-to. If I ask, he always steps up. It also helps that Sampson thinks David hung the moon. They’re pretty tight.

I’m going to end this with a HUGE thank you for all the prayers, thoughts and good ju-ju.

Have no fear folks my family will rock this like we have rocked all the other hard times we’ve had.

Love you all thanks for reading ❤️

Life is still good and God is still great, every single day!

Keeping a semblance of normalcy during very abnormal times

So this was me the other day under my beat to hell carport applying make up. Am I crazy? Maybe. Am I that vain? Not at all.

This was my coping technique. I sat there waiting for someone to come look at my crumbling home. I was attempting to carry on like always, if anything it occupied my mind for a moment with some level of normalcy. Things are very,very NOT normal for my little family. If we are anything we are durable in times of trouble.

With our backs up against the wall we come together and push through.

I’ve had numerous people reach out to me, telling me how impressed they are with my resilience. I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. I’m not that resilient, I just have a will to live and an appreciation for whatever I have. No matter how big or small it’s all a gift.

Several days after the hurricane hit I received a call from an old friend from my car selling days. Old Lester called to check on me. That meant a lot, he’s a good guy and has been a dear friend for many, many years.

While talking to my bud he tells me one of our friends from the dealership killed himself. I have to say it breaks my heart to hear news like this. He was a really sweet man.

I have to say even when you think you’re going through it, there’s someone out there having a harder time than you. The thought that this sweet man was so despondent that he took his own life is sadder than any natural disaster ever could be. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, that kind of tragedy is heartbreaking. I’m sure his family is devastated.

So my thoughts on this are take a moment to look at your situation, really look at it from another angle. There’s always so much worse out there, so much more pain and so much more suffering.

With all of that I’m going to end this with talking about something a little lighter. Lance and I came home to find our front door wide open. There were deputies doing traffic control in front of my house, so I asked them to clear the residence before we made entry. They did and did not mind at all. I thanked them for their svc to this community. They were an out of town agency. The amount is support we’ve received from agencies as far away as Canada (linemen) has been tremendous.

There have been so many putting their own lives on hold, leaving their families to come help us in Panama City. I’ll always back the blue, green and red, as well as other agencies that assisted us in our time of need.

Thank you to all that has taken the time to help, there aren’t words enough to thank everyone. To the asshole that made entry to my house you’re lucky my dogs weren’t  there, they’d have chewed you up and spit you out. May you burn in Hell for all eternity, taking this time to loot is really horrible. The big guy sees all and they will pay eventually!!!!

Unexpected kindness

I just have to dedicate a blog to the people that have shown me how blessed I truly am.

As you all know hurricane Michael battered Panama City proper. Usually hurricanes come in to our beach. Not this time it came barreling towards us making landfall in Mexico beach, traveling through town.

This particular one was especially devastating to the area. No one had  thought it would get as serious as it did. Long story short, we got spanked, even as prepared as we think we are, we wasn’t.

The level of devastation was uncharted territory for this lovely little town. Homes were leveled, lives were lost and we were all left in a daze. I know I was left feeling like I had went 9 rounds in the ring. On top of being shaken up by the storm I was dealing with horrible cog fog. My left leg went numb and my hands are so weak I can’t open a bottle of water unassisted. My grip is gone and my legs pure shake when walking.

With all of this going on it’s pretty hard to stay positive. I will say that a gal could really get into a funk if not careful. In times like these it helps to have an awesome group of friends. My childhood girlfriend Maria started a gofund me account for me. I was shocked at the response it got.  People I hadn’t seen or talked to since my teenage years came through, friends from my MS support group Sofaking sick and tired of MS came through. One of my friends Kirsten did a live feed on my group page singing ” in the eyes of the angel” it was beautiful and touched my heart. My sissy wired me money. My sons friends offered me their homes. The amount of love and support is incredible. The community came together to help each other. I can’t describe how this touched my heart and soul.

Anyone that knows me knows I’m a very proud woman and not one to ask for help, but in this particular circumstance it was nice to have friends and family that didn’t wait for me to ask but jumped in and did. They looked out for me so selflessly. I’m still amazed and in awe at the kindness I’ve been shown.

With that I’ll end this with thank you all for being there for me. I’m honored to have such wonderful people in my corner.

And yes I’m tattered and beat to hell but I still got my cheesy ass smile going. Thanks for bringing a smile to this tired old gals face. It’s appreciated more that I can relay

Dealing with the aftermath

Well folks hurricane Michael kicked our ever lovin’ asses. This event was by far the most horrifying thing I’ve ever experienced. My hubby said it was scarier than war (he was a Marine in his younger years), a statement like that really brings home the gravity of the situation, I know it did for me.

After everything passed we sat in our cars, made brief trips into what used to be our home to collect important items. My boy being every bit as sentimental as myself went back in for the photo albums. Lance and I made trips in to use the bathroom and grab belongings that we would need to get through when we get a hotel room.

While walking through the wreckage that was our home brought many, many tears to my already swollen eyes. So many questions filling my head, like are we going to rebuild? Should we call it a day and rent or is it salvageable?

My neighbor Ken came over took a look around and said it was a total loss. Ken works with Insurance companies and has many years experience in rehabbing properties. I was glad he shot from the hip.

Now at least I have some direction without holding out useless hope. I still don’t know where to begin with this whole process, but I’ll make a go of it. First thing is to call the insurance co after we get a hold of our families.

Cell reception is a no-go, we’re positive both our families are sick with worry. Lance received a txt from his daughter Marci. She was panicked because she couldn’t get a hold of him. We both felt terrible he couldn’t respond. My phone wasn’t receiving any type of signal.

I had promised my mom I’d call her as soon as it was over, but was unable. To top it off her 87th birthday is on 10/12. I never miss the chance to call her to wish her the best of birthdays. I’m pretty sure last year was the first and only time since she became my mom that I’ve missed a birthday. That was only because I was really sick and my MS was kicking my butt. I just know she’ll be waiting for my call, and worrying.

My mom and my sissy are the two I’m desperate to get a hold of. I know if I can get a hold of them they’ll get a hold of everyone else.

As the day progressed and alerts came through about a mandatory curfew, I thought to myself. How the hell are we getting alerts about a curfew and boil water notices and not able to call our families?

With trees and power lines down it was painfully evident that we couldn’t go anywhere. We couldn’t go in the house for any length of time because of water everywhere and the ceiling falling in.

We opted to just sit in our cars with the pets, we really didn’t opt but had no other choice. Our neighbor Ken and his wife came over with sandwiches and chips for us. We were thankful for their generosity. They really are the kindest people. Those are not the neighbors I’m referencing when I say I hate my neighbors. 😂

As we sat in our cars and night fell upon us the reality of everything set in. We are essentially homeless at this point. I was so afraid to go back in the house after dark I wound up having to pee in my front yard. Had I been able to go to the side yard I would have, but that’s where the majority of our roof landed. Between my cane and leaning against the car I was able to hold myself up for a moment to urinate without wetting my clothes.

As I squatted and leaned on the car to urinate I had to chuckle to myself. I pride myself on being well put together and behaving somewhat like a lady. These extraordinary events pulled any pride I had in me out. I was taken down a notch pissing in my front yard. It was dark so I don’t think anyone saw, but to be honest I really didn’t care.

While the evening progressed and I was able to breath again with the storm passing nerve pain set in at an unbelievable level. Nerve pain can really throw you for a loop, it feels as though my skin pure hurts. Not like flu-like skin hurting but worse.

There was no sleep to be had for this gal. The pain is mind boggling and every time I started to drift off I was startled awake with the irrational thought that I would die as I slept. I wound up getting a total of about 1/2 hr sleep. David slept in his car and Lance was able to get a couple of hours, I sat there thinking about how lucky we had been to escape unharmed.

So now my hubby is going to feed the pups, who by the way have been excellent animals. They went with the flow the whole way through. I’m a proud pet momma.

The sun is rising and we have the gift of another day. I’m tired and in pain, but still thankful, and yes God is good every day. I’ll say it til my dying day.

I’m going to leave everyone with a thought, be thankful for everything and everyone in your life. They’re a gift and can be taken away at any moment. My husband and boys have been spared and if that isn’t the best gift ever, I don’t know what is.

Thanks for reading the ramblings of a tired old gal ❤️

The devastation from hurricane Michael

I have to say I am more thankful for God’s great mercy than I have ever been in my entire life. To say I have been through many, many trying times in my life would be an understatement.

The loss of a husband, sisters, both parents and grandmother have if anything, leathered my skin. I’m far from thin skinned in regards to life and loss of life. I’ve dealt with it more times than anyone should. The one thing I’ve always held on to was the faith I was raised with. My mom taught me at a fairly young age that God can and will see us through everything and anything. I’m good in the thought that everything is in Gods control. Life, death the whole shabang.

With my faith being what it is, I have always looked at it ( mortality) as if the person that had passed had fulfilled their duties on earth. I believe we all do a service in life. Some good and some not so good, but when we part here it’s because our little part in this great big world is done. The term resting easy always reminds me of that. It’s as if to say their job was done and they are now they’re resting easy.

I’ve also looked at my own life in the same fashion. Thinking ok, when I go I’ll be ok with it because my job here will be done. Mission accomplished! I hope when my part here is done, people can look back and think I made a positive impact in this ugly world we live in.

I still feel that way to a certain degree, but today made me cling to everything and everyone a little bit harder. I felt my part was unfinished, making me desperate to make it through.

I felt fairly prepared for the storm heading our way. After all my boy David dressed us up with plenty of supplies (because the stores near me ran out). We had been also able to get some things ourselves. Dog food, cat food etc.

I felt pretty good about things going in. I had been through several hurricanes in the past. The worst being Opal, just an FYI Opal was NOTHING in comparison to Michael. This was something that had never hit this area ever!

Lance and I were hunkered down and ready to ride out the storm with our pups and the boys if they wished to come. Neither wanted to, I think we may bore them. Lol. That’s ok, I never wanted to HAVE to hang out with my Da either.

Jake said he was fine and the area he was not in a flood zone. , I said ok, you’re grown. Luckily, I was not in a flood zone. David on the other hand was in zone C. Not good at all!!

I called, txted and even implored his brother to talk sense into him. Jake said “mom I told him, I hope he changes his mind, because he does NOT need to stay in his house”. I agreed, but with David being almost 30 I can’t very well “TELL” him a damn thing.

Sweet David blew us both off, but thankfully around 2AM Wednesday David came walking in, with even more supplies. Lance and I were sleeping on the couch when we heard the door. I got up and was so very happy I could have cried.

They wound up doing a mandatory evacuation in his neighborhood. I was grateful as any momma could be to have been to have her kid safe.

We slept off and on, David sleeping in Jakes old room and Lance and I on the couch ready to do whatever if things got crazy earlier than anticipated

I’d have to say around 10-11 AM things started to get even more worrisome. The news outlets advising that the storm would be a high 4-5 cat hurricane. With winds up to 145 MPH, btw they topped out with gusts up to 175.

I thought there’s no way in hell that would happen. You all know the optimist I am. Even in the face of danger I’m going to, if anything pretend the glass is half full. It wasn’t, but I put forth the effort. If anything I’m proud of that.

Around 1 pm the wind clocked in out of the North. Sinuses started clogging as did my ears. Dizziness was unnerving, but what was more unnerving would be the sound of wind whipping around under my roof but inside the ceiling. It felt like it was pretty quick, when in reality it took several hours of us moving from room to room as we could hear the roof peeling back.

My brand new roof was toast. If that wasn’t bad enough it started pouring rain inside the house. That didn’t worry me as much as when we could see the sky through our kitchen ceiling through a gaping 5×6 hole.

During all of this commotion I was rattled to the core. My beloved old house being torn apart. The house I raised my boys in, the house my husband died in, the house my new husband and I decided to start our life together in….gone.

With all of those emotions going on we had still been going from room to room trying to escape the wreckage of our beloved home.

I was crying the whole time, I was crying out to God to please save us, keep us and protect us. I was crying out to God to please make sure my Jakey boy was ok and to protect him.

I was so thankful my David made it back home, but those two are a matching set. I literally NEED them both, them and my hubby keep me going. They literally are the legs I walk on. Lance was a rock today, between him and David I was able to deal. Not well mind you, but deal all the same.

The thought of losing one of them would quite literally be the end of me. After the roof blew off we went to an exterior room off of the garage. It has its own entrance leading into the house and into our laundry room.

We stayed there literally 15 min before more hell arrived. Lance opened the attic access panel and literally the wind was sucking the air out of the room. I’m not 💯 sure but I think there was a tornado touching down in the area. The suction was incredible.

Lance and David said we need to leave the house. I was crippled with fear I didn’t want to go. It was horribly scary inside but it was even scarier outside. The wind was insane. They decided we needed to go to the cars. I said I’m not going unless the dogs go, and go they did. We got all my pups and we headed out the kitchen door under the carport where the cars had been parked. We got them all in the car with the exception of Vivi who decided to hide.

Picture it Lance, me, David and 3 75+lbs dogs all sitting in mine and Lances Cadillac. We wound up waiting out the worst of it in my CTS, then David took Sampson and sat in his car. That was worrisome as well. My porch was ripped clear off the house and David’s car was right next to it.

I was scared to death the carport would fall on both cars killing the whole lot of us.

Finally the winds died down enough and Lance had David move his car and Lance moved our car just on the off chance the carport collapsed. Luckily it didn’t, about an hour after that David put in to go check on his brother who was about 15 min away walking distance.

I was worried to death and not wanting him to go, but I also wanted to make sure Jake was ok. Before leaving Lance and David went back into the house with the roof caving in in the living room, spare room and kitchen and found the cat. GO David!!!! He was quite the hero coming out to the car where I sat, Vivi clinging to him and handed her to me. She was in Jakes bedroom ( which is now hers) perfectly fine. The only two rooms on the house that didn’t suffer roof damage was Vivi’s bedroom and the bathroom.

The whole time David was worried about everyone else. He went and checked on the Daniels (my step daughters in laws)and then headed off to Jake and to his best friends (Chases) brothers home to make sure they were ok.

David wound up returning with Jake and Jakes best friend Ray. Jake came running to me, both of us choked up. He said “Mom I’m so sorry about the house”. He knows how I’d always loved it so.

So I think the house is a complete loss, does this break my heart? Very much so, but the fact that God saw us through, unscathed is a gift. I truly don’t think without Gods great mercy we would have made it out of there.

All I could say is I have 17 or 18 yrs (can’t remember which) in that house full of wonderful moments, filled with a lot of love and a boat load of tears. I always say everything for a reason, I’m sure there are good things coming.

Now for a new chapter in mine and the hubbies life, this will be a fresh start. We’re going to get through and still enjoy every day that we’re given. Without Lance,David and Jake along with my wonderful pets I don’t know what I’d do. Don’t get me wrong they all piss me off on occasion, but we’re a tight group.

I told Lance and David if my faith has ever faltered its renewed after today’s events. I can still say God is great every single day., even on a day like today.

I thank God I was raised the way I was. Without the foundation that I had, I surely would have fallen to pieces. Thanks to my mom in times of crisis I turn to God for strength and courage.

I wrote this the night of the hurricane while trying to sleep in my car with Lance, the pups and the cat. It wasn’t fun but we’re all alive so my glass is STILL half full.

The calm before the storm,fun stuff….NOT

As most of you know I live on the gulf coast. Panama City to be exact. It’s a really chill beach community. We are known to get hurricanes or tropical depressions every year. Some years are better than others.

I remember first coming to this sleepy little town from NYC and thinking holy shit, this is like a vacay every day. It’s relaxed and everyone treated me with Southern hospitality. I LOVED it!!!!!

About five months after we got here hurricane Opal hit. Holy crap I was scared. I had a 3 yr old and a 6 yr old at the time and was truly concerned for our safety. That was a hell of a storm. Turned out to be a Cat4. Luckily my sister was here and guided me through it. I was a NY’er through and through. I had absolutely no clue what a REAL hurricane was.

Since then I’ve been through many storms, after that one we haven’t had any that neared Opal’s severity. At least until now that is. The weather people (sometimes inaccurate) are saying this may be worse than Opal. I truly hope they’re wrong.

During Opal I wasn’t sick. I was healthy and considerably younger, although with my boys grown, at least I don’t have to run behind little ones. I do still worry about them constantly. I suppose a mommas job is never done.

So back to the hurricane heading this way, his name is Michael and he has the fine folks of Bay county acting like the world is ending.  I’m not saying they don’t have a right to be concerned, but the whole vibe of this area has gotten a bit hostile. Kind of reminds me of Black Friday shopping. Everyone’s pissed off and ill tempered, as well as driving like lunatics. I keep thinking, Come on folks we’re all used to this; let’s act like we have good sense. It is worrisome that this may be worse than Opal, but if anything, MS has taught me that I can deal with just about anything.

Yesterday the hubby and I went shopping for supplies. Shelves were bare, but we got some supplies. Later in the day my son David called telling me not to worry, he had me covered, and did he ever. Lance, I and the pups are hunkered down.

With having Multiple Sclerosis for the past 14 years, I am very, very familiar with how my body can act the fool when bad weather has arrived. Here’s a link regarding preparedness I thought you all might find useful:  Weather preparedness

So while we’re bracing for this shit show of a storm, I have my hair up and pearl earrings on. I’ll let you all know how it goes. Wish me luck and say a prayer