Monday, October 1, 2018

Walking into October

A warm hellooooooooooo as we walk our way into October!


Well, September didn't turn out at all like I thought it would. What's that saying about best-laid plans? Yep, not at all the dreamy month I thought it would be. Hurricane Florence decided to stir things up a bit here in Wilmington, NC.

First, we are okay. We have tree, roof, fence and water damage, but nothing even close in comparison to what friends and neighbors are dealing with. We are grateful and blessed that Patty and Jim loaned us a generator and were only without power for five days. We were spared and now we are doing what we can to help others in need. A friend and many others lost everything.



Second, not that I have to explain, but we decided to stay for many reasons including an old, fragile Hannah bunny who might not make an eight hour drive. "What do you mean sit in the 'To-Go box' for eight hours listening to Sabrina kitty sing? I absolutely disapprove!"


"What do you mean ride in the "To-Go Box" for eight hours with that sneezing, shedding Hannah bunny? You know she scares me on a regular day! I'm staying right here in this basket of paper so be off with you!"



We have friends we could have stayed with, but most have pets of their own and everyone was in the path of flooding. In addition, the huge financial expense if we had to stay weeks in a hotel with a cat and bunny as we knew we wouldn't be able to get back from the highway flooding. Yes, those are fish on Highway 40 from Raleigh to Wilmington. Just imagine the smell.....



I lost income from five classes that had to be canceled and, as this isn't a hobby for me, but my full time job; well, you know how that goes. Finally, we have lived in Eastern, NC for 24 years. We have been through 10 major hurricanes, most of which have been Category 3 storms. Not to mention the countless tropical storms and Nor Easters. After seeing the storm downgraded to a Category 2 and knowing it would be probably be a Cat 1 by the time it got to us, we decided to stay.

All of that being said, we will NEVER stay again! The tornado that came down our street and right over our house was the scariest thing I have ever been through! It was traveling at 50 mph. Our ears popped and we heard the train sound right above us. It was here and gone just like that. Then the tornadoes all around us for the next four hours with our phones blasting emergency sirens, pushed me over the edge. Never, ever, again!

It took two days for it to stop raining enough so we could go outside. There were not many of us crazy people who stayed in the neighborhood. It was the eeriest feeling. The quiet, the sky, the devastation and the smell of rot and mold made me feel like I was in some sort of apocalypse movie.



This is a neighbor's house. The tree took off her back porch and the entire back side of her house. Doesn't it look like the tree is giving Florence the middle finger? hee,hee,hee. Gotta find humor somewhere.

This is another neighbor's house. Isn't it crazy to see the grass picked up like carpet? I'm 5' tall to give you some perspective.


Here's the other side of it. The plants and even the pot with plants is still attached!


The tornado ripped this tree up and threw it on the house four doors down from us. I love how they made a "happy frog vignette" on the stump.


The face of our neighborhood has truly changed. I have never seen so many trees down. Magnificent, very old Oaks, River Birches and Cypress trees all gone. You can see the size of this tree compared to the light post. 


There are piles and piles of trees and vegetation lining every single street. Some of them almost as high as the houses. The air smells of rot as I walk by them. It makes my heart so very sad.





This was a huge, gorgeous oak. Now it looks like it is saying, "Ouuuuuuuuuuuch!!!"



I collected a bunch of leaves and nuts that fell out of the trees. I think this is as close to Fall as I will get this year because


as of yesterday, the trees and plants are in shock! They lost almost all their leaves during the storm and now... they are budding and flowering!! Poor things don't know what to do!


Even my Hosta's have flowers! It will be interesting to see what changes this month brings.


People asked me if I continued to stitch my daily inches during the storm and in fact, I did. It actually helped calm my nerves. Slow stitching is therapeutic and you don't need electricity. ;)  I have stitched every single day for six months now. I'm going to start a club in January called "The Raspberry Rabbits - Slow Stitching Club." Stay tuned for more on that. It's going to be fun!


Here are a few of my favorite inchies from September.


Sabrina sits on my nightstand at 6:00 a.m. and meows to wake me up. No need for an alarm clock when you have a "Cat Clock." Sometimes I touch her head like a "snooze button." She stops for a second or two and then starts again. hee,hee,hee.


I love these itty bitty acorns. They are just so cute!!



When David and I walked the neighborhood surveying all the damage after the storm, something told me to look down. When I did, I found this little hatch-ling in the road! I picked it up and brought it over to the marsh and placed him down. He took right off into the water. It made me so happy to see this new life after so much devastation.



On the 21st of September, David and I celebrated 27 years of marriage. We both still say that we got lucky when we found each other. Life is good when you marry your best friend.



This month's full moon looked like a Winter moon with all the bare trees.


I see the moon and the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me.


Of course, I had to stitch an inch about my poor, confused trees.




Finally, this last one is about me and my Grandmother. She loved animals, simple things and hugs. At the same time, she was strong and didn't take anyone's crap and could see through their lies. David and my close friends say I am just like her and that makes me so happy!

Feisty -  lively, determined, courageous


My grandmother was 22 in this photo. She was 88 when she told me about what happened to her when she was a young girl. All those years she kept a horrible, sad secret. I will never forget her story or her strength. She was an incredible woman. I love you always Mama and I know you keep an eye on me from Heaven.

To anyone reading this who may have suffered abuse, I believe you. It's got nothing to do with the exhausting, twisted, hateful politics and politicians of our time. It's got to do with standing up for women and people who have suffered and have been made to feel like they didn't matter. I've been taking a stand at varies times in my life since I was 12 years old and I always will. I will always believe. Like my grandmother, I can see right through someone's crap and lies. Feisty am I.


Halfway through this journey "Within an inch of my Life."


So as I walk, or hop, into October, I'm going to take a small look back.


I'm going to remember how the neighborhood and Bayfield Cottage looked before the storm


and I'm going to remember that light will always break through the darkness.


Change is in the air. Better days are ahead and 


Sometimes you just have to tell people to "Kiss your butt." hee,hee,hee.


See you back here next month if not before. Thanks so much for sharing my life and my adventures with me.

Light, love, hugs and friends always,
Michelle