My daughter and son-in-law live in northern Florida, on a beautiful grassy acre with moss hanging from the trees and the mighty St. John River flowing by. If I’m lucky, when visiting, I will see the snout and eyes of an alligator or maybe the “aircraft carrier” which is what my daughter told me is the biggest alligator in the area. They used to have one that big in the wetlands which are on either side of their property. It’s a serene and restful spot, but it wasn’t that way when hurricanes Michael and Irma teamed up to devastate their area a few years ago. They live inland, which is good, but the storms bring water surge, and at one point, the water was up to their screened porch, destroying their dock and front yard including 23 trees. They waded out with their valuables on their heads in water waist deep. The cleanup was huge, as the FEMA trucks went up their road many times a day, picking up piled debris. My daughter’s church came with equipment and helped cut up trees and haul away huge root balls. In the years since, I visit in April, before the bugs arrive, when the weather is mild, and the scenery is green and beautiful. They have since rebuilt the dock, 18” higher so debris can move under it and not smash against it.
Sitting in their porch swing, drinking my morning coffee and watching the squirrels scamper, the red-crested woodpecker flies to their nest, the racoon, who in broad daylight, heads for the trash cans, which have now been lashed down and tied to the posts of the carport. Sorry, Mr. Racoon, no breakfast for you there today! The prognosis by the weather bureau is that this may be a more serious hurricane season. I pray they will not have what they had before, but I believe God is shaking things up. We have comfortable beds, food on the table, and planning for the days ahead. We don’t know what will come, but we know who is with us in the storms.