Friday, September 8, 2017

why don't we just leave?

Alright folks, it's been about two years... so I guess it's time for another post right?? Man, I really do want to do more on this blog here, but finding the time just doesn't seem possible in this season.
I have had this post on my heart this week though, and feel like I need to put it out there. For whatever reason.... to comfort my family, to help people understand our side, to help calm my nerves, who knows the "why". We always get comments and messages from folks when a storm starts heading our way asking us why we aren't flying out for the storm. Here goes my best attempt to explain....

One big reason we do not leave when storms head our way is that this is our HOME! It isn't a vacation destination or location for us. We don't own a second or third home here. Our home, our pets, our friends, our entire business, all the boats, sailboats, kayaks, gear, etc are here. We are a part of this community and we feel like in times like these, we are needed or can be of better use right here on the island. We were off the island one year when a storm came through and it was gut-wrenching wondering what the conditions were like down here, were our boats okay, was our house secured, were our pets taken care of.... and we had very good friends that were helping us deal with all that. We learned that year for sure that we would much rather be here than not.  (This is why I try to post on social media often throughout the storms-- the photos helped calm me when I was away and I hope I can help calm someone else that can't be here.)

Note, I am a fully devoted follower and believer of Jesus Christ-- I do realize that material possessions only carry so much weight in this world and that our lives are way more valuable than any of these things. We have yet to feel like 'staying' is putting our lives in any more danger than any other day that we drive down the road, fly in a plane, or simply climb out of bed.

We've weathered our fair share of storms over the last few years. No, we haven't taken direct hits at this point, and as Big Irma closes in on us as I type this, we pray that her projected path remains true and she passes down south of us, out of range of a direct hit.  
 Another reason that I, Tamara, won't leave is because I know that Dallas needs to stay here for all the things I mentioned above. I truly believe our little island family is strongest when we are all 4 together. We don't like being separated from one another. Our boys aren't tiny little babies any longer. They can be big helpers. These two photos (above and below) were taken just today while we were securing Exuma Sailing Club boats and shutters at our home. They were big helpers, and are wonderful little boys. We love the days spent playing games, reading, hanging out together when we're locked inside. I would hate to be somewhere else with Dallas down here on his own.

We feel that our little island home is in a pretty good spot when it comes to storms. We aren't right on the water and we're elevated in our area. Surrounded by bushes and trees, it takes the winds pretty well. It's called "Sweet Breeze", and it gives us just that :) I would feel a lot more nervous going in to these storms if we were in a risky location for flooding, unprotected, or inaccessible for long periods after the storms. 

PEACE.... it's not an easy thing to have in these times, yet we do. Peace in our eternal salvation and trust in the Lord allows us to put all of our fear, anxiety, stress, worry, ______(fill in the emotion) in the Lord's hands. We can't do a thing in the world about many factors in this life, but we can rest in peace knowing He has it all under control. I know there will be major devastation after these storms and many people question God in those times and wonder why he allowed it to happen and how can we believe in a God that would let people suffer this way...well this is a topic for a different discussion, and one I am happy to have with anyone that would like to hear our thoughts on this. 

As I am typing this up, there are family members trying to travel to safer locations and having major issues, on the news we see nothing but traffic jams, people in panic mode trying to get from one place to another... and there are no guarantees what so ever. No certainty that the next place you go to will be any less hassle than the storm your fleeing, and for us it is much easier, cheaper and less stress to stay put, ride it out and be ready to help on the other side of things. 

As we sat here in Exuma through Joaquin, the slowest moving storm EVER, our hearts were breaking for people over in Long Island (our nearest neighbors). We knew that storm was just hovering over them and they were getting pounded. Within a few short days, we were able to help round up materials, food, water, bedding, pillows, toiletries, toys, all kinds of things to send over to the people that had lost so much. Yes, if we had been away, we could have still done that, but it was nice to be able to get to work immediately and not have to wait until we returned. We go and check on our boats in the water at the earliest possible, safe moment. Sometimes there are situations that can be salvaged if they are caught quick enough. We like to help out in our community and some things can't really wait in these times, so we like to be here on this end ready and waiting. 

I posted this last year during Hurricane Matthew because it eptomized our feelings during those frustrating weather updates that really didn't tell us a whole lot, because so much is still guess work. It has become a running joke in our house during hurricane season. Yes, we do realize that in the actual movie it says "cone of shame", but we did a little play on words here because the weather guys always refer to the cone of uncertainty for the hurricane's potential paths... get it?? How bout now?? And here we thought we were so funny with this one... ;) 

I don't know if this will help ease some concerned friends and family or make you worry for us more, but I'm hoping for the easing side of things. Irma is coming and expected to be closest to us later today around 3pm. We greatly appreciate the calls, texts, emails, comments, posts and general concern. We appreciate even more the prayers for all in the path of these storms, as well as all those in positions of power when the storms pass and big decisions must be made to get people back up and running. I must add that the recovery side of things is always another favorite (after all the family game time) for me. Showing what we are all truly capable of when we put aside our pety differences and come together to help each other is such a cool thing to witness. If only we could treat each other in this manner always...

Stay tuned on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for posts as the storm progresses as long as we have communication!

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