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Difficult October

To say this month has been difficult is an understatement. Have you ever had one of those months, or heck one of those years? We have, and let me tell you they are awful!

Hurricane Matthew

At the beginning of the month we were hit with Hurricane Matthew. This was a huge hit both emotionally and financially. We were in no way prepared to be hit by a category 4 hurricane. To make matters worse my husband was away on business and we had very minimal money in our bank account.  Areas near the water were being evacuated as they expected terrible flooding up to 5 miles inland, strong winds, and massive power outages.

To begin preparing I went to our local Dollar Tree, and purchased flash lights, and lots of batteries. This was an amazing savings as most packages of D batteries can run you over $5 for a 4 pack in other stores. I bought enough packages to refill all out flashlights 3 times. Figuring that we would only be using them at night for approximently 3-4 days. About 2 days before the hurricane was going to hit, I went to the local grocery store to buy some items such as canned food, and water. With a very limited budget I was not able to buy much, but got enough to last us 2 days. I also took gallon size zip lock bags and filled them with water and placed them in my freezer on top of any frozen foods. This was a MASSIVE help once the power went out. It helped keep our food cold for an extra day. FINALLY, the day before the storm hit my husband was finally able to come home. This was such a huge relief to me. The though of taking on the hurricane by my self with a 3 year old was terrifying.  I was going to evacuate to my best friends house, who lives in the panhandle but the traffic on the roads was horrible from everyone else evacuating. The last place I wanted to be was a sitting duck on the highway. So at home we stayed.

The day before the hurricane hit we started to get bad weather, but we still had power. I took this opportunity to start cooking the food we had in the fridge that I knew would go bad once the power went out. I also had 7 dozen frozen cookie dough pucks from a fundraiser my sons school had held a few months prior. So I figured, hey why not bake all the cookies. When I get bored I want sweets something fierce. So I started baking. It also helped keep my mind off what was coming and helped me stay relativity calm. While baking I prepared Go Bags, for our clothing, food, and essential items should we need to evacuate to a local shelter.

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Finally, its Friday the day the hurricane is going to hit us. We are trying to see what is going on with the storm, but we lost power at 8am and lost all out cell signal as well. We watched the storm outside our windows and waited for the worst to come. Occasionally we are receiving text messages from my family in South Florida, and I am having my mom update us as to where the storm is. We got extremely lucky and did not receive any damage to our home, other then our fence being slightly damaged and losing all of our food. To say we got EXTREMELY lucky is an understatement and a true blessing. At last minute the storm moved more off shore, saving us from severe decimation. Although people in our town received varying amounts  of damage, with lost roofs, downed trees, broken windows, crushed cars, etc. Our neighbors in Flagler Beach and to the North of us St. Augustine and Jacksonville received severe damage to their homes and businesses. Some still uninhabitable today. We have seen our community come together to help each other recover, clean, and rebuilt and its a great thing to see.

After the storm

This was the worst for me. I am still struggling with the lost of my grandmother, and this made the realization that she is gone come to the forefront. She was always there for us when ever we needed anything, even if we didn’t want or truly need her help. Here I was, just having gone through a hurricane, I lost all our food, and we were without power for 5 days. The financial stress of know we didn’t have the extra money to spend to pay all the bills due, and purchase all new food was difficult for me. My husband had to return to work the Monday after the storm, so I was here alone again to think about everything that was going wrong and how much I wanted my grandma back. I finally broke. It’s been almost 3 months since she has been gone and I have been holding back that grief and the dam broke. I cried for an entire day, if you looked at me I cried, If you talked to me I cried, I cried watching tv, or when my son would tell me he missed his great grandma so much. It was a messy day for sure. But, I made it through and we are doing ok. We are slowly rebuilding, and most companies are helpful with things like bill due dates, etc because of the storm. We will get through this, that I am sure of. Our struggles only make us stronger.

 

Goodbye October,

Brittny

puremichigan

Michigan, Our Dream Adventure!!

What is your dream adventure? My dream adventure is to move to Northern Michigan with my family, find a nice piece of property and maybe start a little farm. I love the outdoors, which many may not know because we currently live in Florida and it is impossible to do anything with out getting heat stroke 4.5 seconds after walking out the front door. Summer days sky rocket to 113 degrees outside by 11:00am and only goes down to the low 90s by the evening time. I know I have shocked some by saying that I love the outdoors, because it has been years since I have been able to do anything outdoors with out the risk of passing out due to the heat and this little thing called a heart issue.

When I was younger I use to go camping a lot with friends and it was one of the best times of my life. I remember one weekend we went out and somehow ended up camping under a small bridge in this area with these amazing dead trees. Looking back it was a little creepy, but it is still one of my greatest memories. I remember waking up that night and it was so cold, one of those rare winter nights in Florida where is was probably only 60 degrees but felt like the new ice age. These are the memories I want Chief to have, fun times outdoors and not in front of a tv set or video games.

Why Northern Michigan you ask? Well my response to this has always been why not? What do we have to lose? Yes, we know its going to be a major change and adjustment in weather. Yes, we could choose a state closer then Michigan. Yes, we know that is snows A LOT in Northern Michigan and Yes, we know that we are going to be thousands of miles away from our families. But this is our life, our adventure and we have to make the best out of the time we have. Plus, have you seen Michigan? It is an absolutely beautiful state, and there is so much that we can do outdoors with our family. We are looking forward to camping, exploring, visiting the great lakes, taking a trip up to the Upper Peninsula and possibly Canada. But I would have to say that the thing I am looking forward to the most, is our FIRST true Fall.

So what is our plan? Well we plan to list our house for sale this coming spring. We are hoping that it sells rather quickly and that we will be able to move before winter begins in Michigan. If we sell later in the year, then our plan is to wait out the winter and move up in the Spring. Once we sell our home here, we will take a trip up to Michigan to begin our home search up there. We are hoping to find a property that has no less then 5 acres and no more the 10 acres, unless we come across a piece of property that is larger and we just love. My hopes are that we can find an old farm house, with the iconic old red barn. We have seen a few homes available that meet that criteria and are absolutely beautiful. That would be an absolute dream for me.

We have started to talk to Chief about our move, to get him prepared and ready to move from the only home he has ever really know. We bought a large map of the United States and we use it almost daily during our homeschool classes, and we have shown him the path we will take when we move, and what states we plan to travel through. We have also talked about the adventures we will take and the things we will do. Since he is so young, I don’t believe that he will have an issue moving away from his friends. He has one best friend named Hadley. Her mom Nikki and I are best friends as well. We will miss both of them greatly when we move, but they are also starting a new adventure of their own as they will be moving to Connecticut. Nikki and I have already started to plan our visits with each other and the kids. We will be a few states apart, but not as bad as if we are in Florida.  We look forward to making new friends, and starting new activities. Our first major thing we will work on is finding a great homeschooling group.

So, no matter what your dream adventure is. No matter how scary or outrageous it seems, just go for it. (Well, unless its dangerous then just stay home.) Life is very short, and you want to do everything you can with no regrets. We know that our adventure is scary, but we also know that if Michigan doesn’t work out for us then we can just move back to Florida. I am sure my mother would welcome us with open arms. But what I know 100% for sure, is that we don’t know if it will work or won’t work until we try. I don’t want to be 40-50 years old saying, man I wish we would have at least tried.\

Make sure you stay tuned to follow our journey from Florida to Michigan.