A quick thank you for all your thoughts and prayers and support over the past few days…it means so much! We packed up and left our home this past Saturday under a mandatory evacuation order for Hurricane Irma. We live on a saltwater canal directly on Tampa Bay only 9 feet above sea level (the storm surge for our area was forecasted to be 8 feet!) at one point, the eye of the storm was forecasted to go right through our community- and that was when it was still a category 4!!
So Saturday morning, we drove our two cars, 3 kids, beloved dog and just “the essentials” across the state to Northeast Orlando to ride out the storm on higher ground at my mother-in-laws. As we were packing and leaving, I couldn’t help but wonder if we would have a home to return to! Two other families came with us, and over the next several hours, we watched as the hurricane made landfall in the Keys and then SW Florida and then made its way north, churning through our state! Luckily, Irma lost some of her power and was downgraded, then took an east turn sparing the Tampa Bay area, thank GOD! Ironically, it came across the state and right over us on Sunday night- I barely slept that night listening to the wind and banging outside.
Monday morning, the winds calmed down enough that we could go outside and survey the damage. Debris, branches, even entire trees were down- but we were safe and still had power! Eager to get home and see what Irma had done to our area, we packed up and headed home.
I can’t tell you how relieved and thankful we were to pull into our driveway and see our home. We had weathered the storm well- little to no structural damage, just a bunch of fallen branches and yard debris, we even had power on- unlike much of the state! God was good to us and we are so grateful!
There are so many things I love about living in Florida, but hurricanes are not one of them! Hurricanes at the least, are scary and stressful and at their worst devastating! My heart goes out to all the families that lost more than we did- Florida has a lot of recovering to do…but we will do it.
Hurricanes and other disasters have a way of putting things in perspective, it was firmly reconfirmed that what was most precious to me are my family and friends- not my home or material “stuff”- that could all go away or be replaced, but my loved ones are the most valuable. Decorating and blogs are fun but whats really important is WHO lives in our homes.
Thanks again for all of your thoughts and prayers and support- it means so much! I’m happy to report Starfish Cottage is safe and sound and we hope to get back to some normalcy soon…like maybe some beautiful “beachy boho” and seasonal fall decor!