I can hardly believe just one week ago we were bracing ourselves for the historic Hurricane Matthew. In my last post I spoke about some preparations we took (and which ones we didn’t take) after the urgent warnings by the news. Thankfully, our area in Jacksonville got through the storm relatively unscathed. Other places on the Florida coast weren’t as lucky. Family and friends were concerned for us, and saving battery power on our phones was of utmost importance since we lost power and cable to update ourselves on the latest news, so it was touch and go letting them know we were okay. All around, it was a scary time but we were truly blessed that Matthew downgraded to a category 2 hurricane by the time it got closer to us.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Matthew left Haiti in utter devastation, with some Haitians claiming that they feel they have been “cursed” by the frequency of natural disasters. My heart absolutely breaks for the plight of the poor people of Haiti. From what I’ve heard on the news, UNICEF is one of the best ways to make a difference for the survivors in Haiti. Oxfam is also working to help stop the spread of cholera, a disease that never before existed in Haiti before the humanitarian helpers came after the 2012 earthquake. My only hope is that they are able to save as many lives as possible in the coming weeks.
Our home didn’t suffer extensive damage, save a leak above our kitchen window getting worse. I finally had enough of the mixing bowl on the windowsill and concocted a solution using a funnel and a PVC pipe to siphon the leak directly into the sink. This eliminated the need for wringing towels. Right now we’re just waiting on a leak specialist to help us find the source of the leak (after countless frustrating tries on our own for the past two years), but with the extensive damage along the First Coast I expect us to be waiting a while.
Despite our preparations before the storm, I completely forgot about my roses. I kept thinking their trellises would become projectiles (and I couldn’t remove the trellises without cutting down the roses and the growth that’s taken months to come in!) but they thankfully stay put. I will probably buy some quick cement in the near future for ease of mind and safety. Also, I can’t believe how much my Zephirine Drouhin rose has grown in less than one season. I planted her in February and she already has some canes grow upwards of 10 feet. Crazy!
The only evidence of the tropical storm winds were seen in the slanting of my Italian cypress tree and in the podocarpus hedge I planted in spring. By the way, I’m kind of shocked to see how much the landscaping has grown since last year. If you remember, this is what it looked like in August of last year:
My Italian cypress (far right) has grown several feet!
Ok, that’s enough talk for now. I hope you and your loved ones were okay during and after the hurricane!