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,


Love Bears All Things said...

loved this thankful your damage was minor.
Mama Bear

Shirley said...

Hi Michelle, I think of you quite often and what you all have been through. You still have those that pray on people and steal from them and it is sad that people are like that. I have been through tornados, but never a hurricane. I know the worry I had when my oldest lived in Louisana when they had the hurricanes. You wait for the phone calls telling you that they are alright. I love watching your stitch an inch. It is calming and helps to keep the stress from not being so bad when you do embroidery by hand. Take care. Hugs and prayers from your Missouri Friend Shirley.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Wonderful post. So glad you and yours are safe.

Jeanette said...

Wonderful post Shell. Glad you are all ok & made it through it all. Love seeing your hexies everyday & following along on you journey. Can't wait to see what you have in store for slow stitching next year. Give Sabrina & Hannah a hug for me please. Love 'n' hugs,xx


tell Sabrina and Hannah--that like their mom I want to go back in time for a month or two--!!! Loved the way you told your story and that you are fine though tougher now for what you went through--love how you kept up with the hexies with something positive for each day--
keep going and keep stitching-
enjoy, di

debsews2002 said...

Wonderful post Michelle. Very touching.

Lois Evensen said...

What a terrible storm experience, but so glad you are safe. What a lovely neighborhood. It's amazing, isn't it, what Mother Nature can do when she gets wild. Wonderful post.

Susan said...

So sad to see all that devastation. Mother Nature can be too cruel. Glad you are all OK. Amazing photo of the tree on its side.

Valerie Reynolds said...

I had tears in my eyes reading your post. Just do much. I’m so glad you guys are okay and prayer for your neighborhood as you put things back together. The tornado, your grandma....your stitching,..,all touched my heart. Thanks for sharing your strength, loves, bravery and yes, stitching. You inspire me.

Butterfliesandfaeries said...

What an extraordinarily beautiful story of your survival of the storm. Fiesty is a good word for survivors. Your grandmother was a strong woman, a survivor. God bless her...and you!

Sherry said...

Glad you and yours made it through all right. Stay safe.

Jules Woolford said...

You told that story so beautifully dearest Shell.x

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Darling, darling friends....I am so relieved to finally get a glimpse of your world after hearing so many reports and seeing frightening photos of the deluge surrounding your area. It's terribly hard to find the words of support at this moment, but I am glad to see that you did not suffer the kind of damage I was imagining. Oh Hannah Banana Bo and Sabrina have endured so much but mum and dad are such good protectors!

That tree that took the carpet of grass with it...that is TOO SCARY. Shell, we are so glad you are OK!

Joyce Mostard said...

Michelle -
I am thankful that you and your family made it safely through a very difficult time. Our neighborhood was affected, lot of trees lost, and it is amazing the difference it makes. Everything is bright, and seems much lighter. The debris is mostly gone and my neighbors are getting their lives in order. The dogs are hoping the fence never returns, so they can go visit the neighbors - even the Saint Bernard got through a 5 inch opening - shows that where there is a will, there is a away!
Take care and be strong.

Judy1522 said...

What a scary time you had and I am so glad that you made it through ok. It is amazing to see all the fish in the road and all the downed trees. I really hope the trees and plants don't stay confused although it will be interesting to see how that plays out.
I love those acorns. We have a different kind here and so when I was on the east coast I brought some home and haul them out every year for part of my Thanksgiving decorations. I have had to glue the tops back on some of them.

DIGBY said...

So glad you and your little family are safe. I can only imagine what it must have been like for you through those horrible hours when the storm hit.

Thank you for sharing that little bit about your grandmother. I am appalled by what is going on in Washington and with people in general. I don't understand how things got to this point. We must strive to make things better for everyone, but especially for those who have been abused. We will succeed if we all do what we can to inspire, educate, and demand simple kindness to others.

Loved sweet Hannah's bunny butt! Give her and Sabrina a hug from me and Digby!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Butt, butt, butt ..... anyway, glad all survived and can continue on. Those things must be frightening ...

Susie Q said...

So sorry for all the damage caused in your neighbourhood but so glad it was only a small amount for you. I completely understand why you stayed and both of you were very brave. I hate the high winds we get and they are nothing like you experienced. I do hope the clean up gets on well before anymore bad weather. Love the last picture. Have a great October, Hugs, Susie xx

Shasta Matova said...

We had a tornado run through here too, but nothing like what you experienced. So sorry you had to deal with this. Your hexies are so cute! Glad they were able to provide some calm in the storm.

Laura Bullinger said...

It's hard to go through devastation and damage, but as you said, there are better days ahead and change is in the air. Looking forward and moving forward are sometimes the only things to do. It's good to hear your positive outlook. Wishing you the best.

Lesley said...

Sounds like you are indeed a feisty one! Thank goodness you and your family got through that devastation...and your positivity will help you as you face the challenges. You’re so smart to keep doing the stitching...and I can imagine it was pretty therapeutic for you. Sending hugs and smiles as your post took my emotions up and down and then back up! You go, girl!

Anonymous said...

Glad your ok, bless you for rescuing that little turtle and now I wonder how you are after the heavy rains from hurricane Michael.