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My First Blog Post

Just Be Brave….

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

FOLLOW-UP ON PREPARING FOR THE STORM

I don’t usually post on Monday, but I wanted to write a follow-up on preparing for the storm. In my last post, I wrote about preparing for Hurricane Ian and gave my best tips for prepping.

The Storm

Hurricane Ian arrived as predicted in the early hours of Friday morning and moved through the Pee Dee region of South Carolina until around 5:00p.m. There was rain and wind all day long.

At times, the wind and rain were quite heavy. It was often hard to tell which way the wind was even blowing. Silent Charlie did not like the situation at all. Thank goodness he can use “potty pads” in the house!

Fortunately, we did not experience any damage or power loss. Our daughter in Savannah had the same good fortune. We are grateful that the impact to our cities was minimal in comparison to the devastation that others in Florida experienced.

Here is a 1 minute video of what it looked like around noon on Friday. If you have the sound on, you can hear the wind gusts coming which averaged about 50mph.

I appreciate the well wishes and prayers that so many of you expressed. Thank you for your kindness and concern.

PREPARING FOR THE STORM

As I write this post, I have just finished preparing for the storm that will hit our coast on Friday. The storm is a hurricane named Ian and it has packed quite the punch for Florida. It is now moving in my direction and expected to land between the South Carolina and Georgia state lines.

grayscale photo of wooden dock on sea
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Been Here Before

This is not the first time a hurricane has made landfall in this specific area. I live far enough inland that storm surge won’t be an issue for me. However, my daughter lives in Savannah, so storm surge and flooding is certainly on the radar for her. Fortunately, she lives in a second story condo made out of cement/industrial materials, so she will be safe.

I have lived in this area for 13 years and have learned a few things about preparing for the storm. While unpleasant, it has become second nature to know what to do. That is not the case for my new neighbor from the Pacific Northwest. Although I had to learn the hard way, I shared my best do’s and don’ts with her so she would be ready.

Things To Do

In case you have never prepped for a hurricane, here is my list of things to do:

  • Purchase groceries that don’t need to be refrigerated. Canned meat, soup, and fruit; meal bars, snacks, bottled water, soda, coffee, and of course plenty of wine and toilet paper!
  • Wash all of your laundry and dishes the day before the storm hits. Depending on water and power outages, you want all of your “house business” taken care of before the storm arrives.
  • Bring all of your lawn chairs, pool things, garbage cans, and yard decor that could “fly away” into your garage or house. I can attest that if it isn’t heavy enough, it will wind up in the next county!
  • The last two things are very important. You must charge all of your devices the evening before the storm. In addition, make sure you have charging cords available to use in your car and plenty of gas in the tank. If the power goes out, that will be the only way to keep your phone charged so that you can stay informed and let family know how you’re doing.
  • Finally, just in case the water supply is interrupted, fill all of your bathtubs with water. You can use this water to flush toilets, wash your face and basically maintain some kind of personal hygiene. Some folks even take a shower and wash their hair the night before storm.
  • Oh yeah, candles, flashlights and batteries are valuable to have on hand in case you need them.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for the storm doesn’t have to be stressful, provided that you have a plan of action. I typically maintain a good supply of OTC meds and other essentials so that my hurricane shopping remains simple. I’ve learned not to fill my yard with too many lightweight items, as that can be a real chore to get everything inside. I regularly charge my devices, so a little extra charging isn’t hard to remember. Remembering to collect water for toilets is probably one of the most important things you can do. You can manage without power far better than you can without water! Just a Southern gal keeping it real simple!

Praying for the safety of all those in the path of this storm.

A MOUNTAIN TAILGATE PICNIC

On my most recent trip to the cabin, a tailgate picnic was on our agenda. The weather was spectacular and the Blue Ridge Parkway beckoned us to sit for a while. We came prepared and I thought I would share just how easy and fun it was.

Supplies

It’s pretty obvious that you can’t have a tailgate picnic without supplies. I discovered that Amazon offers a cooler backpack that includes a blanket for a very reasonable price. The blanket is gray and black plaid with the underside covered in waterproof material. This was perfect for placing in the bed of the truck. We also brought two folding beach chairs from home so we could sit comfortably in the back.

The backpack cooler was lightweight with several pockets on the outside for holding plates, utensils, etc. The inside was roomy enough to hold food for two. It even had two side pockets that would hold a wine bottle. Clearly that made it a winner for me.

In addition, I ordered a stainless steel wine container with two stainless cups with lids. Yes, I am describing adult “sippy cups”. Nobody wants to spill their drink on the picnic blanket!!!!

Location

The Blue Ridge Parkway is full of overlooks where you can park and check out the view. We chose the Mile High Overlook. At an elevation of 5,250 feet, this view is spectacular.

Robby backed the truck into a parking spot so the tailgate would face the overlook. It felt like the beauty of this place literally surrounded us like a gentle cloud. The quiet is so pure, you almost feel guilty talking.

The air was crisp with a beautiful sunset in the background. Aside from our occasional conversation, the only sounds were from the mountains themselves.

The Setup

Setting up the tailgate picnic was super easy. Here’s what we did:

  • Lowered tailgate
  • Spread out blanket
  • Placed beach chairs on blanket
  • Unpacked backpack with food
  • Poured a beverage and relaxed.
  • When done, pack it all back up!

I choose already prepared food, real plates and silverware to keep it easy and environmentally friendly. I also brought a trash bag for any garbage and put dirty dishes in a container for transporting home.

Final Thoughts

Robby and I both agreed that the tailgate picnic was the highlight of our trip. Being prepared helped to make the experience easy and fun. The view did not disappoint and we plan to try out other overlooks in the future.

You don’t need a “mile high” view to do this. Any spot that is meaningful to you and of course, allows parking, can be the perfect place for a tailgate picnic. Get outdoors and give it a try. It will be the best “table for two” that doesn’t require a reservation!

Happy Fall Everyone!

MOVING ON

Moving on has been the focus of our past week. Our youngest daughter moved into a new condo last week. While she did all the packing and unpacking, “Two Men and a Truck (three in her case) did the heavy lifting. Robby and I sat back and let our youngest take the reins and work out the danglers (utilities, cleaning, etc.) And guess what, she did a great job.

Of course, an important event like this got me thinking…..!

photo of a woman packing and moving on
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Moving Spaces

Sometimes moving on means moving spaces. Jobs, retirement, relationships, as well as, other things and people, open the door of opportunity to move a household. A new home in a new place stretches us to grow. Faces and places are new. Even a local move challenges our daily routines and causes new paths to be taken.

Moving Bodies

Perhaps I should have chosen a better heading (lol), but this kind of moving on is also known as exercise. Phrases like “get a move on” refer to personal movement. We have been created to move our bodies and good health is often the reward. And just like “moving spaces”, it stretches us and causes us to grow. If you do the same thing, in the same way, every day, you will simply “stay the same”!

Moving Emotions

Our emotions are no stranger to moving on either. Heartache, proximity, maturity, and different ideals all bring us to the same crossroad, and moving on is the only way forward.

With all of our chatter about moving last week, it was no surprise that Rascal Flatts’ song “I’m Movin’On” popped up on my social media. It was always one of my favorites so I took a moment to listen closely to the lyrics.

I’ll leave you with my favorite lines in the song:

I’m movin’ on

At last I can see life has been patiently waiting for me

And I know there’s no guarantee’s, but I’m not alone

There comes a time in everyone’s life

Whan all you can see are the years passing by

And I have made up my mind that those days are gone.

Songwriters: David Vincent Williams/Phillip A. White

So wherever life takes you, don’t be afraid to let God’s plans develop. Moving on may be the best way to see the desires of your heart fulfilled.

LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR

While trying to decide on a “Friday post”, my mind was captured by the thought of loving your neighbor. As I’ve mentioned previously, I have a lovely new neighbor right next door that get’s me! My husband would tell you “that’s a hard thing to do!” LOL! Yet, just a stones through away is someone who is generous beyond words, thoughtful, a great cook, and speaks my language. She is “easy” to love.

The Others

Let me also say that I have some other terrific neighbors that don’t live quite as close in my neighborhood. The difference there is proximity. There are also “neighbors” that live a few doors down that I have never met. If I passed them in the grocery store, I wouldn’t know who they were.

The point I am trying to make is that the word neighbor includes a lot of people. Actually, as a Christian, it includes everyone. We are all “neighbors” in this world. Here’s the thing, loving your neighbor isn’t rooted in a feeling about someone. It’s roots go much deeper into how we treat everyone!

Greater Words

I have been reading C.S. Lewis book Mere Christianity (Copyright 1952, C.S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.). The chapter I just completed is about charity. In this chapter Lewis talks about charity not being tied to feelings. Basically, you don’t have to like someone to be charitable.

To quote Lewis, “The rule for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbour; act as if you did.” He goes on to say “Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance.”

If I am honest, my neighbor next door is easy to love but loving all the “others” is often quite hard!

a couple drinking wine
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

Final Thoughts

In my community, just like many others all over the United States, there has been a dramatic increase in murder and violent crimes. I cannot help but think that what is missing is “loving your neighbor”.

Some may think this idea too simple. However, it is very hard to harm that which you “love”. My hope is that in terms of “loving your neighbor”, we all simply “act as if we do”!