Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our 23rd Anniversary

We enjoyed the dolphin tour!

Clint and I had an adventurous anniversary celebration on the weekend of the 19th. Our anniversary is on the 24th, but we decided to go with the preceding weekend. In light of things, it worked out! Last weekend, we braced for Hurricane Irene! We enjoyed some down time and then headed out for a dolphin tour. After that, we visited with two sets of friends in Chesapeake. I was very adventurous when I let a friend's son with his brand new learner's permit drive me around the block in Clint's car a few times! :-) Clint and I made a lot of little stops along the way and enjoyed a more leisurely pace.

I am constantly humbled that God would give me such an incredible Christian man as Clint. I am not deserving, but I am very thankful!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More Picts

This is the first tide. It got a little higher than this. The tide at night rose much higher. We saw a car float away after we offered the people inside of it refuge! (They got out safely before it floated off the road.)We went out to check on some friends and picked up breakfast for the family on the way back when I took this.

I let the hurricane wash my rugs. I moved them before the high winds set in. Heavy rains with some dish detergent do a better job with these rugs.

In Hurricane Isabel, these tanks floated all over. Now, residents tie them to something to keep from losing them.

Ready at Contentment Acres
I love my old 4WD Ford pickup!
The light is on so if someone needs help, they know we are home.

We leave our gate open and the light on for every major storm.

Clint took a chainsaw to it. I saw him do it.

Fire, Earthquake, Hurricane...OH MY!

What a week last week was! It started out with our neighborhood having thick smoke from the Dismal Swamp Fire in Suffolk, VA. That stinky, throat burning air gave me a sinus infection.

By Tuesday, I had a raging sinus headache, so I took pain reliever and laid down on my bed while I waited for some relief. I woke up to the bed shaking so hard, I thought my teens were messing with me. I immediately looked up and my ceiling fan was shaking so hard, I thought it would fall on me!

As I rolled off the bed with an action hero's finesse, I thought it had to be at least TWO of my children jumping directly over the spot in the attic. "One could not make it shake that hard," I thought to myself. (I do not know why I thought they'd do that since our attic is kept locked, but that's what I thought.) Before I even made it off the bed, Brandon came busting into my room yelling "MOM!!!! Did you feel that?!!!! We just had an EARTHQUAKE!!!" That's what I had been thinking, but his two cents helped anchor it. I posted on Facebook "What just happened in XXXXX County? It felt like an earthquake!!" My friend Ricky in Suffolk wrote back "That was weird. It was an earthquake." I thought "If Ricky felt it down there too, it was BIG!"

Brandon told me our old, heavy tv set nearly toppled where it could have killed one of our smaller children. Our dining room table walked across the floor, and our pictures were all crooked on the wall. Clint anchored the tv that night.

Before we could recover from the freak earthquake that was felt as far north as Canada, we had to start preparing for Hurricane Irene. Because the winds were expected to be near 100 mph for our home, we planned to evacuate. We prepared all of our animals to survive the flooding and time that we may have been kept from returning home. As the storm got closer, the wind estimates became lower and lower. So, after prayerful consideration, we rode it out at home.

The storm was pretty noneventful for us. The winds weren't as bad as we were expecting. The flooding was about 2' lower than Hurricane Isabel. We had minor roof damage, lost an old metal shed to the winds, a pear tree toppled, and we had less than 2" of water in the new sheds. The winds at the end were horrible. The house creaked and shook! They lasted for hours and hours. We had a forewarning from our OBX and Suffolk friends who told us not to think we were in the clear one the eye passed. "The worst is yet to come!" Clint and I did not sleep a bit. Our power was out for only 16 hours. Our exhausted family laid down for a nap mid-day the next day.

I normally take a picture in the middle of the road when it is flooded, but the wind was pushing on those pine trees so hard I was afraid to go under them. This was one of the few pictures I was able to take of Irene. The wind literally blew the rain into the cracks and crevices of the camera, and it would not work for a couple of days until it dried out. Clint gave it "rice therapy."

Please pray for our friends in Hatteras and other areas of the OBX. Some lost their homes and others lost friends. Thank you to everyone who called, wrote or came by to check on us. We love you too!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dismal Swamp Fire

The Dismal Swamp fire, which has burned 6100 acres, is about two hours from us, but we are still getting the smoke. WTKR says people in Maryland are getting it also. While we do not enjoy breathing the smoke, we are thankful friends who have dealt with it for the last nine days are getting a much needed break.

The smoke has not been that bad for us since the wind keeps changing direction. We have it for a little while and then it clears up as quickly as it descended upon us. I tell ya though, smelling smoke causes some concern here at Contentment Acres.

You can find current information on the fire here: You can also learn about other incidents around the country. Thanks to Felicia B. for the link!