Sep 10 2017 Safe in North Carolina * Bless Those I Left BehindCategory: General     10:33AM   0

Hello My Friends and Supporters,

I made it to North Carolina  and my daughter's after a long day in the car.  Luckily I drove up 41 until it met I-75 just south of Lake City.  I stopped to top off the gas, there were few stations with any on 41 and could see 75 was moving fast.  So I hopped on.  No problems until 40 miles south of Atlanta when the traffic came to a halt.  I counted my lucky stars. Most folks making that escape have had 24 hours of a parking lot on the way north.

But when I got to North Carolina and the mountains my GPS quit and even the written directions were putting me in circles on the dark mountain roads.   Texts and calls to my daughter were failing.  So I back tracked until I could get a signal and contact her. "I'm lost." Within minutes she met me at the crossroads of two roads that were in the directions.  

Here I am in the middle of nowhere, pulled over to the side of the road, with flashers for safety and before she even got there, two cars had stopped to make sure I was okay.  They saw the Florida plates.  One guy waited until she arrived.  Of course, everyone up here now is from Florida.  Many have mountain homes and they just came back to them or were here already to escape Florida heat.  That's how it is here. Kindness abounds.

Around noon I finally crossed the Florida/Georgia line on 75.  I pulled into the first rest area and it was packed of course.   Evacuees with cars, RV's, huge motor homes and boats were parked everywhere.  As I parked and exited my car, trying to keep Meepy in it, I saw the sign I've attached below.  It was a local Baptist church and they had set a tarp up in the shade and were cooking hot dogs and handing out food and drinks for those of us escaping.  It so touched my heart and I thought, "this is what Christians ARE called to do."  But I had money and I didn't partake as I knew a lot of those folks who were evacuees had left on a wing and  a  prayer with no extra dollars for the trip.

Normally I'm pulling over somewhere on a long drive for a nap but somehow I stayed alert and kept going, with short stops to stretch my legs and a meal.  I finally got to my daughter's at 8:30 pm.  I had gotten on the road at 7:30 am.  I considered myself blessed after the stories I' d heard about others getting out of Florida.

I'm here in a safe haven and I'm fortunate.  It's beautiful and serene here but the wind howling around the cabin is reminding me of what Florida is now experiencing and what's coming to Tampa.  I am concerned for my granddaughters, one who stayed on St. Pete Beach.  Big mistake as it's going to get walloped.  The other went inland.  I can only pray they will be safe.

I think friends will be okay but there certainly will be major wind damage to my community even though it's not looking like the eye will hit them now.  Who knows with this storm?  No one has gotten it right.

There were a whole gamut of emotions running this week with the decision to stay or leave.  Of course, when I saw the Tampa track there was no other option.  The retreat was leaving me in a panic but when I identified that it was fear stopping a careful decision there was no other choice but to go.

Thursday evening my chest started to feel tight.  I was stressing about what was happening and trying to think clearly.  I sat down with my gratitude journal and made a list.

1. I might lose my apartment and my stuff.  I have insurance.

2. I might lose everything in my storage room.  I have insurance.

3. The mink is in Tampa cold storage. I have insurance.

4. I have enough money and credit to escape.

5. I can work anywhere. 

I calmed down.  When I saw the revised track Friday evening I knew I had to leave.  I'd already packed the insurance policies, car title, will, legal docs, stuff to finish my taxes (yes, extension) and other small things. My daughter and son were frantic.  My sister was upset.  It was coming to Tampa and so it was time to leave.  I started packing the clothes and things me and Meepy needed in the car. 

After I'd left, people were calling for adventures in Tampa.  One this morning was in the Panhandle and wanted to know if I was available.  I said, "no, I am in North Carolina." He announced he'd come here.  Ahh...no, you won't.  Another a few minutes ago with a NYC number asked if I was in Tampa or Orlando and promptly hung up when I said North Carolina.  THAT made me lose it.  I texted back how thoughtless I thought he was and how about a "are you okay, safe Anneke?"  He called back and said to get over it and I told him HE need to get over it and realize we girls are real people too and don't ever call me again." Hey...I'm allowed to lose it once in a while. lol

I've had my coffee on the log cabin porch, pic of the view below and I'm updating all my ads to reflect I'm gone and wish Tampa Bay safety.  When I talked to Tina in Houston after Harvey she said she was experiencing survivor's guilt.  While it hasn't hit Tampa yet I understand what she means.

So pray for the folks in Florida and Tampa and the nudie resort.   I'm safe. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your calls and concern.  

I don't know when I'll return.  I may work  in the Southeast that is unaffected after Irma passes. It's too soon to say so stay tuned here.  She's heading up into west Georgia but missing their coast and South Carolina.  I may head that way.  It just depends on what state of my home after.

We can always Skype if I go on to a hotel after my daughter's.

Life is good and hoping for miracles in Tampa.

Love and Hugs,

Anneke
 


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