On Sunday, most all churches cancelled for the day. We had our own worship service. :) We ventured out and started dragging things out of the garage and vehicles to try to salvage what we could. All the neighbors did the same. For days, our neighborhood looked like a giant yardsale! Our great neighbors fired up their grill and we all chipped in and brought food to eat. It was really an awesome day. Neighbors were taking care of neighbors. No one had cell phones, internet, tvs, jobs, etc. to keep them busy. We had time to stop and talk to each other. It sure makes you wonder if this was how God intended our lives to be. Our neighborhood alone had 300 homes with trees on them. We quickly began learning of all the damage around our neighborhood and our town. We soon realized how minor we had it compared to SO many. It sure helped to put things in perspective for us. There were so many homes that had water inside. I read an article yesterday, a year later, that there are still over 300 people still not back in their homes. I sure don't have time to write about all the stories we have heard!
We honestly were so blessed by the whole ordeal. After FINALLY settling with the insurance companies, we have better vehicles and our house is better off! Thank you, Lord. My van wasn't even running at the time! Yes, there was a lot of aggravation. Nothing in the garage or any of the vehicle contents were covered but even with all of that loss, we still came out ahead. That still baffles me. If our garage had been detached they would have covered everything! They covered all the playhouse contents because it was detached! Isn't that stupid!! I did tell one adjuster if he would give me a saw I would detach it (the garage) for him! ;-) There was weeks worth of clean up. Gary did so much of the cleanup to save money. He pulled out and hauled off all the insulation under our house during those hot days. He said he never wants to touch a piece of insulation again! The mosquitoes were AWFUL. It was all on the news how bad they were around here. Dealing with insurance companies can be a pain, but we learned so much. However, even with all that, God sure used it for good! We were very blessed by others during all of this as well. Our families helped us with a LOT of the cleanup. My parents brought us the motorhome so we had somewhere cool to stay during the power outage and ANOTHER generator to keep our food cool/frozen. (One night when we were sitting in the motorhome, it started pouring rain! Gary was so concerned about all our stuff getting wet that was sitting outside. It took him a few minutes to grasp the fact that it already been soaked! haha) We were without power for about 4.5 days. Gary's parents came and stayed a week with us and helped us pressure wash, clean, etc. My daddy helped us with getting things fixed, etc. My mom brought us meals/food. Our dear friends, the Tyndalls, let us borrow their vehicles until we found Gary's replacement truck. My Aunt Clara provided some guidance on how to deal with the insurance companies since she had dealt w/ a flood before. So many prayed for us during that time. My brother told me exactly how to act when we bought our van.;-) I could go on and on and on about how much we were blesssed during this time. We know of so many people who lost so many things that were valuable or sentimental to them and most of our stuff was just "garage stuff." We did lose Kristen's Bible that she got when she got saved. It was ruined in the van and that hurt her little heart. Mrs. Keri made her feel better when she told her how her dog chewed up her Bible that she had since she was a little girl. A couple of months later, Kristen's wonderful Patch the Pirate leader gave her a really nice little Bible to replace the one she lost, and another man from our church engraved her name on it. She loves it! Oh, and our bunny that we didn't know if it was going to survive or not, it did! We thought for sure it would die, if nothing else, from the trauma. About 9PM that night we went to check on it and Gary told us it was alive. Keri got her sister to get on the internet for us to find out what to do. We had to put baking soda on it to absorb the gasoline. (Gary had a gas can in the garage that spilled out into the flood waters that got on her). Then we bathed it, and we just held it for the longest time. We named her IRENE! (until we had to change it a few weeks later when we figured out it was a boy! ;-)
All in all, it was a long, drawn out process, but God turned it for good and for that we are truly thankful! HE provided all our needs and some of our "wants." We give Him all the glory!
Matthew 8:26-27And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
I love that old, old song that my youth pastor, Bro. Fred Carraway, used to sing: "The Master of the Sea!"
Here are a lot of the pics we took from those few days. You have to see these! It's still amost unbelievable when we look at them.
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Keri also blogged about the event here, here, and here.
We so enjoyed our visit from the Ronks! It was so fun to get to know Baby Claire and have so much play time with Kenley! We appreciate their friendship so much. We felt bad that their visit was somewhat overshadowed by "miss irene," but it was an experience we will all never forget! :-) Here are some of our memories while they were here. (i stole some of your pics, Keri!)
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