I got an email last week from someone who follows my blog, but not my personal social media accounts, and she wanted an update......SO, well, in a last second ditch Matthew turned and weakened. For some reason, our area was spared. From everything I have read says 20 miles is what really made the difference. 20 miles. I mean let that sink in for a bit, every article says twenty miles is what saved us from total destruction. Think about the town that is only 20 miles away from you, not really that far. The only real damage we had was our sign fell down. How lucky were we?!?! I was overcome with an incredible feeling of gratitude, hopefulness, and thankfulness, while also full of questions and sadness.
Gratitude for the storm not hurting people or tearing up peoples house here, but it also leaves me with so many questions. Why were we spared and not Haiti? We have so many more resources and ways to get help, those people don't. We have so many ways to be notified to take cover and evacuate, those people don't.......Once I just stopped asking questions, and accepted, "it is out of my control." I started thinking about all the lessons I have learned through this experience. We have this sign framed at the office by our coffee station, I sometimes need a daily reminder.
One thing I learned is a thing Josh has always said, "It is what it is, it be what it be." Now that could have tons of meanings but at this point, it is just accept what life throws at me, live everyday like it is your last, and enjoy your time while you are on this Earth,
I also was reminded things don't matter. I know I have said it again and again, but so often I need to be reminded my house does not need to all "go" it doesn't need to be "Joanna Gaines," like I would love for it to be. It just needs to be welcoming and inviting while it provides a roof over our head. It is so easy for me to fall into the decorate everything to a T stage, the struggle is real.
Another thing I was reminded of is, if you think about someone. Reach out to them. Let them know that you are thinking about them. When people are in a stressful situation, a little nudge that you are not alone really helped me out. I loved getting on Facebook to see hurricane updates and getting an encouraging like, comment, or smile. Everyone reaching out was really encouraging and really meant a lot. Thank you.
The last lesson I will share that I learned, is SMILE at that random person in Wal-Mart, at the gas pump, and other places. Ask them how are you? When everyone was preparing for evacuation, people were STRESSED, but when I was waiting in the lines for water or to check out everyone was so kind. One lady even gave me a hug before we parted ways. When we were in Tampa after we left, the hurriedness of a hurricane was coming. The people would just walk by in their own busy world. I wanted to stop and yell, "WE ARE EVACUEES." I know that sound like a brat, everyone has something going on in their life. I was not so self-centered I thought I was the only one. I mean I know I understand everyone has their burdens. To be honest it really made me stop and think inwardly about how I act in public, how often do I stop and smile, ask people how they are doing, see if I can just spread a little cheer. Everyone has their baggage and struggles, we just do not ever know what is going on in the inside, and how our smile and cheer could help.
Since the hurricane we have been swamped at Glass Doctor. I know it is cliché to say, we really have been blessed, but we have been. Two weeks in a row we have walked in on Monday morning, and not really had much on the books, but by the end of the day, our week has been FULL. Not really from storm damage, but more from people damaging their windows or noticing damage to their windows when they were putting up their shutters. We have also been swamped with calls of people wanting to update small things around their house. I think the storm got everyone thinking about their home they wanted to protect so badly and then when it was safe, they wanted to make their home a little more special. To be honest, I am glad that is the type of way we are swamped. I am so happy that we were not getting call after call to board up houses and stores because the storms destroyed them. I hope our growth continues. We are really still trusting in God, that we made the correct leap of faith, opening Glass Doctor.
Don't think we have been all work, I have snuck in a couple trips to the beach since the storm. I can't live this close and not go at least look at it. It has been crazy how much it has changed since the storm. The Friday the storm hit and the Saturday, it was amazing, I have never seen an ocean be so much like glass. That Sunday, I went out was going to rent a paddleboard and the waves were out of control. We went back last Saturday and the ocean has this weird color and the waves were again pretty big. We are really trying to fit play time into all of the working lately. I know all the work it will pay off in the long run, but small playtimes is OK. Got any fun things we need to explore in Florida? We are always looking for fun suggestions!
As we were evacuating I decided to take a couple of pictures of our rent house for documentation purposes, but hey why not share them. I finally have a little bit of time to blog.
I have thought about this post over and over, but to be completely honest with you, I have not had time to type it. Since I have been back in America it has been a crazy whirlwind adventure. Running around like a chicken with my head cut off would be an understatement. Mom and I landed in Little Rock from our Thailand trip around 8:00 pm and Josh and I left on this Florida adventure around 10:00 pm that same night. Yes, you read that correctly. We had about a two hour turn around. Josh was loaded and ready to go!
I should have taken Josh being so ready to go and eager as a sign of what was to come. Once we arrived in Florida, I have jumped through all the hoops to get certified to teach here. Florida is really expensive to get certified, but for the most part took all of my Arkansas certifications. I ONLY had to pay around $1,000 and take two tests. Everything came down to the line, literally. I took one test, and started work the next day.
I know a lot of people have been wondering what our next plan is so.......
When Josh and I were talking about moving back to the States, we both knew I didn't want to leave my students in the middle of a term. I didn't want them to have me as a teacher on Friday, and then a new teacher on Monday. We wanted to transition to be as seamless as possible for the kids. So for that reason I stayed in Australia for six weeks longer.