Monday, August 29, 2011

I'm BACK--and in one piece

I wish I could say I had a restful and relaxing blog break but I DID NOT so I figured I might as well get back to blogging. :-)



Between the lice, then the earthquake, then having to evacuate my town because of Hurricane Irene...I'm feeling pretty jittery right now. The high octane coffee I'm drinking now isn't helping either.


We knew Irene was coming up the coast early in the week, but it still never dawned on us--ME--that it was actually on a direct course for our town and all coastal towns. We live back by the bay and our town floods anyway on a normal rainy day because we are a *barrier island so I was nervous.



*A barrier island is a long, relatively narrow island running parallel to the mainland, built up by the action of waves and currents and serving to protect the coast from erosion by surf and tidal surges.



Then the news starts predicting surges up of around 13 feet and winds around 100 miles per hour and I thought, "Our house is done."




Thursday afternoon Governor Chris Christie calls for voluntary evacuation of the shore towns and declares NJ a state of emergency. Then a few hours later it became mandatory evacuation. I can't tell you what that feels like to have to gather your belongings and not know when you'll be able to come back or if you'll have something to come back to, but know it's not a good feeling.



We were working like crazy to get in all my potted plants, outside furniture and grill inside. Then while I was packing clothes and food and water, my hubby worked to get everything off the floor of the garage thinking we would get some water in there (which we did).


We planned to stay with a friend a few towns over then we got an email from another friend who said he had plenty of room. He has a finished basement and a private bathroom there. We ultimately decided to go there since the kiddo would also have some playmates. We couldn't have asked for a better setup but were so grateful to all our friends and family who offered us places to stay. We are very blessed!

I think the worse part was that we knew so many days in advance. The waiting was the killer. And the news was extremely scary to watch and added to my anxiety every time it was on.

Saturday before the Irene was to make landfall in NJ, I prayed very heavily--particularly over PSALM 91.

Then I cooked very heavily. I figured I might as well because it took my mind off things. I made a banana chocolate chip cake, enough chicken Parmesan and eggplant Parmesan to feed a small army.
Then after that, I drank very heavily. Red wine with dinner. A lot of it. But I wanted to make sure I slept through the night (which I did) I even slept through the tornado warning too!

It was all for the best. :)

Then I woke up (with a hangover) but to good news. That we had dodged a huge bullet and our town suffered minimal damage. PRAISE GOD!

All week I kept praying for God to put down his hand and shield our house and town from this hurricane and I really feel my prayer was answered. That night before Irene was supposed to hit and I was reading my Psalm 91, tears came to my eyes and I really God was going to protect us. Yes, I was still nervous because I didn't know how or what was going to happen, but looking back now, I can see what He had done for us and feel remarkably blessed that he had shielded us.

We still have to get our yard back in order and dry out our garage, but aside from that everything is good. :-)

So that's my long winded story. Whew.

It's good to be back here and on the blogosphere again. Normalcy is good. :-)

**I also want to do a HUGE shoutout to all the police and fireman who stayed during the storm and worked so great for such a smooth evacuation process. You are the best!

Did anyone else go through Hurricane Irene? Did you ever have to evacuate your town because of a natural disaster?


32 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

We live inland, so we've never had to evacuate, but that doesn't make going through a hurricane any less fun. (I blogged about Irene today, too.) Glad you didn't have major damage.

Liza said...

So glad you are safe. I have been thinking of so many blogger friends who were in the path of the storm...and now perhaps are affected by the flooding. We were lucky...being on the east side, we got less rain, and the winds had calmed some by the time it blew through here. Outside is a mess; many people are still without power, but we got ours back relatively quickly...so no complaints.

blueviolet said...

So glad you didn't get what you were expecting! I think she hung over us in North Carolina for nearly 24 hours and that helped weaken her before she moved up your way.

We did get water damage and trees downed and we lost power for 24 hours, but we're back up and running today and just need to do some cleanup outside. When the roof and ceilings dry out, we need to work on those too.

Not a fan of double natural disaster week!

Laura Pauling said...

I"m so glad you are okay and your house. I couldn't imagine packing up and not knowing what would be there when I returned. I know what you mean. The hours leading up to the hurricane felt ominous. We lost power for most of the day and our basement flooded but we're okay.

Jessica R. Patch said...

I'm glad you're back and you're safe. Your post brought a few tears to my eyes. I can't imagine knowing a disaster is going to hit and there is nothing I can do about it. But God is gracious.

Kristen Painter said...

My parents and brother went through it on the Eastern Shore of MD, but it was nothing like what happened farther North.

I'm so glad you guys are okay! What an answer to prayer.

Anne Gallagher said...

I'm glad you're okay. Back in the 90's with Hurricane Bob I had to evacuate and couldn't go back for 6 weeks. Boy howdy was that nerve wracking. But I'm glad you're safe and sound.

Em-Musing said...

I don't know why I'm always amazed when prayer works (I'm a Christian, and that's what we do) but sometimes when it works WHEN we want it will have me dropping to my knees in prayer thanking HIM. Thanks be to God you, your family and your home are safe.

Karen Walker said...

Wow, Jennifer, so glad you and your family and your house are safe and sound. I live in the desert in Albuquerque, but grew up on the East Coast. I guess there's no such thing as the perfect place to live.
Karen

Carolyn V said...

<3 <3 <3 I am so glad everything is okay at your home!!!! I was worried about all my friends on that part of the country.

I was watching, on the news, a lone police car patrolling the streets with the rain pouring down. They really do an amazing job.

Linda Kage said...

Whew, thank goodness you're okay. Family and friends are always wonderful to have in time of emergency. God be with you!

Rula Sinara said...

I'm so sorry that you were in an evac zone and had some water damage! I'm glad you and your family are okay though. We were in the outer bands, but inland enough that it really didn't feel as bad as some severe thunderstorms we've had in the past.

Linda G. said...

I'm so glad you're all right!

We were in Virginia Beach when the quake hit, and then had to evacuate for Irene. We had only minor damage at home from the quake (a broken lamp -- a picture shook off the wall & knocked over the lamp), and Irene left us pretty much unscathed.

Take care. :)

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm so thankful you and your family are all right and your home wasn't damaged. Prayer definitely works. And wine.

KarenG said...

What an adventure, glad all is well with you and your home. I have given up on blog breaks. Blogging IS my break.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Wow, What a crazy experience for you, Jennifer! So glad you guys are okay!

Sarah Pearson said...

I'm so glad you're okay. It's hard for me, in England, to appreciate what you guys go through. This is the first time I've had so many people to worry abut and I'm just thankful it wasn't any worse.

Karen Lange said...

So glad to hear that all is well with your family, home, and town. I felt like I lived vicariously through my family, who also had to evacuate. It was strange knowing that they had to leave an area where we used to live. If we had not moved, we would have been evacuating too.

Psalm 91 is just the thing for such a time as this. :)

Nancy said...

That sounds like a terrible thing to go through. I'm so glad you found comfort in Psalm 91. I love it, too. Praise God that you had minimal damage. God is so faithful.

And I agree, normal is wonderful sometimes.

Kelly said...

Whoa! That is quite an ordeal!
I'm so glad you and your family are safe, and that your house is fine too!

Sally Clements said...

Gosh, Jennifer, that all sounds so terrifying. I'm so glad you and yours are okay.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Jennifer, so glad you and your famiy are safe. My husband and I nearly had to evacuate from our halfplex about 20 years ago when we lived in the South Natomas area of Sacramento and it was in danger of flooding. That whole dilemma of what to take! (We decided on his cameras and my poetry and a suitcase of clothes. It was an enlightening experience.) And then we didn't have to evacuate after all. Oh the relief. Glad your town suffered minimal damage.
BTW, thanks for stopping by my blog and entering the contest, and thanks for tweeting it.

Anonymous said...

91 is one of my favorite psalms. I know it by heart and say it before bed most nightts. It calms me if I awake from a nightmare or if I'm worried and can't get to sleep.
Glad you are safe

Mercy

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Jennifer, I'm glad you're back and I'm glad you suffered minimal damage. I couldn't imagine what you all went through, we don't tend to get such storms around here.

Chicki said...

I should've read your blog before I sent my earlier e-mail! Glad you okay.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Oh, my. That sounds so scary. I can't imagine what that would be like - having to leave, and now knowing what you would come back to. What if you forgot something and couldn't go back for it?

I'm so glad that there was very little damage after all and that you had such wonderful people to stay with.

TheBookGirl said...

So glad you came through okay!
We had minimal affect from the storm; the anticipation was worse than the actual event for us I think.

Jessica Nelson said...

Oh. My. Gosh.

Wow...I'm so glad you had somewhere to go, but how scary! I'd have been downing wine too. White though. LOL God is pretty awesome and so is Psalm 91.
I'm glad you're home and that everything is okay. *hugs*

Jeanette Levellie said...

OH, I'm so thankful that you are safe, Jennifer. What a great praise report!!!

Susan R. Mills said...

Sounds like an awful experience, but I'm so glad you're okay!

Lynn said...

Wow. I've never experienced evacuation but my heart goes out to you and everyone that was effected. I'm glad all turned it well and God brought you through the storm.

Admin said...

Nice Post