Hello my dear friends.
First I thank you for all your prayers and concerns as Hurricane Idalia blew up the coast of the Gulf of Mexico recently.
We were very fortunate as she stayed off shore and we in Cape Coral, Florida sustained a little wind and lots of rain from the bands on the outer edge of the Hurricane, but for the most part, we fared well.
I prayed for those who are still having to live out of campers or at a friends house…. as we didn’t know if our homes could withstand even more rocking and rolling after Hurricane Ian.
As a matter of fact, the Captain and I have finally received a new terracotta tile roof to replace our old one; and a new fence surrounding the Secret Garden in the back of our home; new and different landscaping that had been destroyed and in a couple weeks we will be getting a pool, decking and courtyard remodel.
For a year now, we have gone without a pool cage and I have become accustomed to seeing plastic draped on the top of the courtyard wall which has managed to keep out the elements. So we will be glad to embark on that journey.
Today, however, I would like to show you a few pictures of before and after in the Secret Garden….I will post the front in another post.
Just let me say that our damage was nothing compared to what others endured.
Our home did not flood although the flood waters did come right up to our courtyard doors.
The Secret Garden has a long 3 foot wide and 2 1/2 foot tall pillared landing with steps on each end and the flood waters came up the steps… and came within inches of coming onto the landing.
I named the back area “Kari’s Secret Garden” because it was such a private area with lots of trees and palms. Scattered about were beautiful hibiscus bushes with pink, yellow and red hibicbus flowers the size of salad plates. There is a 3 tiered water fountain that bubbles with the most wonderful sound. I also have 2 stone benches and lots of pots with all kind of flowers and native bushes. There is a pergola that was entwined with pink mandevilla vines. Scattered about were small bistro tables and chairs and under the pergola was a long rectangular table with 10 metal chairs. There were/are also green lazer lights to highlight different plants and trees.
That description was “before” and the pics below show what the Captain and I saw as we ventured out after the Hurricane.
The leaves etc you see in the back of this photo is actually to top of our neighbors huge Carrotwood tree that was uprooted and landed on our fence and came into our yard.
This photo is on the West side of the landing and this Plumaria Tree completely uprooted. It used to have the most fragrant, yellow blossoms. In Hawaii, they use the Plumaria for making Lei’s that greet one at the airport.
This photo is of the water fountain and the East railing of the landing. The pieces of metal came off of our fireplace chimney on the top of our house. There is an older black bench in the photo that we have had for years and although we took most of the outdoor furniture into the garage, we tried to turn over and rope together pieces we weren’t too concerned about.
we had partitioned off part of the Secret Garden with a chain link fence mixed with the wood fence and the above photo shows both fences flattened. Jesse James is in the bottom of the pic…I kept him right beside me because there were nails and shingles from the neighbors’ houses on both sides of us. Brown shingles on our East and black shingles on our West. We picked up their shingles for weeks. We were fortunate most of our barrel shaped terracotta tiles from our roof stayed in place although they lifted and small pieces were strewn about front and back. We found things for months that were not ours. We had someone’s mailbox and post propped in our front hoping someone would claim it. No name but a house number not from our street.
This photo is of the flood waters rising, which is why the pic is taken from a window with screen. The waters rose so fast. It was at the top step and just going over the landing in a matter of minutes. The water fountain is that mess in the middle of the photo.
This photo is of our street in front of the house during the storm surge. The flood waters came up even closer. I watched as the white caps whipped in the wind. We are at nine feet elevation. The little tree in the middle of the photo is actually in the middle of our front yard. The flood waters stopped right at our front door. When the water receded, we were out picking up fish and putting them in buckets to redeposit in the canals.
As I have stated before…the Hurricane did so much damage to others and the Captain and I suffered only minor damage. Roof, fence and landscaping. How could we complain when so many lost so much?
So now I will show you the “after” photos one year later.
You may ask why it took a whole year for many of us to replace and repair damages.
It is because resources were stretched to the limit of many businesses.
So it became a waiting game.
I must tell you that one of our church friends made an announcement in Sunday School today that their home is finally “repaired” … but they will not be able to move in again until all the inspections have been met and legalized.
Of course being a blogger, you know I have tons of photos but I am only going to show you a few as I don’t want to make this post longer and bore you wonderful readers. However, this will give you an idea of just how far we have come since the Hurricane.
There are odds and ends still to be done here in my Secret Garden, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
And I have included a few night time photos.
We are truly Blessed.
What a difference a few months make.
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.
Please continue to pray for those who are still re-building both their lives and their homes.
2 Corinthians 9:10
“Now He that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness.”