Whew! We’re so thankful that Hurricane Irma isn’t going to be a direct hit here on the farm. We sure do remember Hurricane Hugo‘s visit back in 1989; who can ever forget that? We lost most of our fences and the roof to the hen house, but all thirty-two of the trees that went down in the front yard blew away from the house, thank goodness. Our six horses ended up in the back yard, wild-eyed and bunched tightly together. I can only imagine what they experienced all through that long night!
Last week we took a break and went to the Great Smoky Mountains for a few days of R&R and, while we were there, we donated a shopping cart full of diapers, formula, and personal care items to Hearts with Hands in Asheville for distribution to the flood victims in Texas. Now, we are looking at another huge hurricane barreling through Florida on Sunday, and there will be more victims in need of supplies.
Back in 1982, Farmer Bob and I were living in Ft. Wayne, Indiana with our infant daughter, when we were impacted by a late winter flood. The whole city was flooded, including many of the neighborhoods around our house. We had a basement full of water and were evacuated. Somehow, the old dike next to our house maintained its integrity…probably due to the huge sandbagging effort by every able-bodied person in the city. The Chicago Bears football team came to help, and even President Reagan flew in to lend a hand. Here are a couple tiny pictures I found on the Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel website. If you’d like to see more pics in a larger format (including President Reagan), you can visit their website here. (Seems like just yesterday, but you’ll get a kick out of the hair styles and clothes…and you can’t help but notice how skinny everyone is!)
Being evacuated from your house is a horrible experience. You must rely completely on the generosity of others for all your needs. After hours of sandbagging, you have no idea how heart warming it was to see the American Red Cross trucks pull up in our neighborhood and set up their food service. I can only imagine how we all looked to the Red Cross volunteers, but to me, THEY looked like angels. Bologna and cheese on white bread never tasted so good! Our box lunches were served up with warm smiles and kind words and, after the waters began to recede, there was the American Red Cross again. This time they brought us mops and buckets, disinfectant and personal care items, including First Aid kits, and drinking water, since our city’s water system had been compromised.
We’ve never forgotten our experience with the American Red Cross, and we still donate to them annually. We’re going to have a beautiful day here on the farm on Sunday, and we hope many of you will come see us for our guided farm tour at 2:00. It’s just $5 per person, and we’ll donate all of our tour fees on Sunday to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. In fact, we’ll have a jar set up for you to just put your $5 into or, if you don’t do the tour, you can just make a donation. If you can’t come for a visit, then please use the above link to make your own contribution. Every little bit helps families, just as our small family was helped all those years ago.