Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Minnesota Adventure

We Floridians know what happens up north when the leaves change color--
The snow birds fly to Florida.
That's exactly what Randy and Chrissy did while grandma and grandpa put on their Florida winter clothes and went to Minnesota to have fun with the grandkids. (In fact Randy and Chrissy made it all the way to Cuba!)
We did lots of sports--
and some joy riding==
hunted for the perfect pumpkin for Halloween--
searched for animals--
searched for potholes made by glaciers--
got lost in mazes--
paused now and then to refresh ourselves--
We made it to church to practice for the primary program==
The snowbirds returned to a happy family and now we await their visit to Florida next month.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hurricane Party

We got back from California just in time to prepare for Hurricane Irma, who couldn't decided which side of the state to devastate. We boarded up the picture windows, stocked up on water for drinking and flushing toilets, made sure we had plenty of nonperishable but fun to eat food, then hosted a three day hurricane party for 15 for Sage's and Bonnie's families. Joe's family decided to ride out the storm at their place since they thought the hurricane was coming up our side of the state rather than theirs--it didn't. We had a great time. We ate lots of biscuits and gravy (the family favorite), played games, rode horses, held a family Sunday School with David conducting and the older grandkids and the moms giving lessons and talks, cooked over a campfire, played with the chickens, and surfed the water in the drainage ditches around the house.
We all had a great time. There was no damage (though our power was out for one week) and everyone was home by Tuesday. However, much of the area is at an elevation of 10 to 15 feet so with 12 inches of rain and hurricane force winds backing up the St. John's River and its tributaries, there was some flooding nearby and many people now had lake front property or worse.
So the following weekend the Mormon Helping Hands in their yellow shirts were out in force, as is the tradition around here. Church meetings were canceled, except for a short meeting to partake of the sacrament, and teams went out on Saturday and Sunday to help those in need. Our team mucked out flooded houses (removed damaged furniture and appliances and soaking wet carpets and cut out the bottom of the drywall up to the level of the flooding), cut up and removed downed trees, cleaned up debris, and cleaned up gutters. Everyone was shocked that we do this for free as a public service.
Of course some needy home owners weren't very cooperative, no matter how much help we offered.
The hurricane left us with a double rainbow (you can't see the second one very well in the picture) and a spectacular sunset. I'm sure that's a good sign.