What Hurricane Matthew Taught Me     

It’s been eleven years since the last hurricane came breathing down the coast of Florida and I was a little rusty.

Oh, I get the water and non-perishables in the house every June along with batteries, gas, etc. but for some time now we had been spared the need to move all our outside ornamentals, plants, urns, recycling bins and trash barrels.  The trash barrels and bins are easy but the urns and 100 or more orchids, stag horn ferns along with a plethora of garden supplies that are located in an outside work area felt a whole lot heavier than they had 11 years ago.  And our garage has somehow shrank because finding a place for everything that was outside needed the magic only Houdini could make fit.

Hurricane Matthew taught me a few things:

  1. I can’t lift, tote, and move like I did eleven years ago.  I went to move one of those eleven year old urns and my back went “Heck, NO!  It’s me or the chiropractor and he is semi-retired and only sees patients twice of week and he’s not in the office today!”
  2. We used to be one of the young families on the street but when several of the younger families came to check on us and see if we needed any help getting ready for Matthew, I realized we had become the elderly couple. While we didn’t need their assistance (this time) it was not lost on me that good neighbors make a community thrive and we are blessed to live on a street of caring people.  We take care of one another.  Our neighbors were concerned for us and we in turn took in a friend who lived alone and family members who were evacuated from their home.  The sharing of care, hospitality and kindness made us all feel safe in an uncertain situation.
  3. As we prayed for the best and prepared for the worst, our focus went from what we want in our life to what we truly need. The safety of family, friends, neighbors and the basic needs of water, food, power, and a roof over our heads.  All the other stuff is, well – just stuff.
  4. While Thad and I have gone through our closets, cleaned out the garage and worked hard to downsize, Hurricane Matthew made us realized that our stuff just keeps multiplying! We have too much and most of it is stuff we never use or enjoy.  So it’s time to pass it on and simplify.

Because neither of us are getting any younger and those darn pots, urns, plants, and planters keep getting heavier!



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