Friday, June 29, 2012

Update on the flood

So, it rained and rained and rained;  15.62" of rain in 3 days.

The creek crested at 25.11 feet, the second highest since records have been kept.  Second only to 25.3 feet in 1919.

Thank you, Tropical Storm Debbie, for making such a mess.  Thank you, Lord, for keeping us safe and our home dry.

This is our side yard, I've never seen water in it.

And the kids were terribly bored!  "No, you absolutely can not walk 'just to the trampoline.'   That water is nasty."  and in the next breath, "Sure, I'll wade through it in my rubber boots to muscle it to the steps."


The other side.  You can see the block stemwall that our house is built on.  During the construction permitting process, we were told that we had to build 5 blocks high on the back.  We built 9, just to be sure.  I grew up under the motto Always Be Prepared  in a Boy Scout Family.  My Daddy, the den leader alumnus, was very helpful through the planning steps.  I was also very pregnant with Thoughtful.  The result was that we built for the worst case scenario.

The water is receding, and we are left with a tree down, another ready to fall, dirty fences (they act like nets and catch everything from upstream), 3 fewer chickens, and some missing odds and ends.  I am so very thankful that we didn't suffer any real damage.  Nobody was injured, our home is completely dry when others aren't, and we only lost what was in the shed (power tools and such).  There are folks just a short trip downstream from us who've lost everything.  Our neighbor has considerable damage to his home.  Some main roads in the area are still closed as they're completely washed out, unprecedented.  Several homes in low lying areas experienced flash floods.

Some local meterologists say that El Nino is to blame.  We normally get more rain during El Nino years, and that was combined with 2 Tropical Storms coming directly across our area in a matter of 5 weeks.  Its no wonder we've seen historical flooding!!!

I pray that the healing can begin for those who have lost everything.  I pray that their rebuilding processes are as easy as possible.  I thank my Heavenly Father for his gracious saving hand in all of it!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The 2012 Black Creek Flood

Here in NE Florida, we've been getting a very long overdue hammering of rain....for weeks it seems.  Let me back up.  See, it was very dry, like drought and wildfires dry just 6 weeks ago I'd say.  Then we got a little rain - ah, so refreshing.  Then, we got Tropical Storm Beryl, who drenched us with her never-ending, pounding rain.  But still, it was so nice to have water in our ponds, and our drought was busted.  Hurray!  Then, came more rain, and afternoon thunderstorms on an almost daily basis.  Okay, we live in Florida, no problem, we're used to it.

So, the water table is high, the ditches are full, and there really is nowhere for the water to run to.  Enter Tropical Storm Debbie, stage right.  We've now been doused!

My family lives on a narrow stretch of the itty-bitty, flood-prone Black Creek.  The creek drains the entire county.  We've been watching and waiting.  Yesterday, we awoke to this:
 (The 2 trees out there mark our bank.  The water level is normally 3 or 4 feet below the top of the bank.  You can see the pic. of Hubs and I on the right margin of the same 2 trees.)


So, I quickly check the flood forecasting site, which showed me that the creek was to come up
more.  For perspective, the creek normally flows around 1.5 feet above sea level.  We may get a bump up to 2 feet after a few days of steady rain.  After Beryl, the level jumped up to 4 feet, and this same prediction site told us it was going to crest at 12 feet.  They've been way off, so I wasn't sure about this prediction either.  But all we can do is wait.  It sat like this for most of the day, until around 4:00 PM, when the waters began to rise quickly.

We all left for our respective Monday places to be, and returned home to this at around 9:00 PM:

Now, I know its not much to go on but it was dark.  This is at Hubs' shed.  We haven't seen a flood since the shed has been here.

So, last night, the local News People, in their frantic state of "something-is-happening-here" reported the creek to crest at 21 feet.  Wow!  Impressive.  "You are flirting with historical heights along Black Creek."  And this was the new official prediction:

The prediction changes based on recent rainfall accumulation and a flood gauge upstream from us.

So, this morning, we woke up to this: 

These are the pens for our critters.  Thankfully, they weren't currently in use.

This is a picture from our shed, taken of the backyard.  Waters would have to come up another 9 feet vertically to threaten our home.  We are blessed!

This is the neighbor's dock - kind of.  It's the roof of their dock, sitting about 2 feet above the surface. 

Debris from upstream, caught in our fence.  I can't wait for the clean up!

Our shed this morning.  We are over 22' this morning, and we aren't supposed to crest until this afternoon.  More wait and see I suppose.
There's TONS of fence undwater, and gates, and goat house, and a foot bridge, and a boat trailer, and who knows what else?  Its deep!

And our science lesson of the day?  This is what ants do when it floods.

So, like I said, we are very blessed to have built our home high enough to keep out of the water.  Some folks down stream from us aren't so lucky.  Although, we enjoy watching the awesome power of the raging river, we are in prayer for those around us.  Many homes are being destroyed right now.  After the waters recede, many homeowners will have a lot of cleanup to do.  Please join us in prayer for them.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Submitting (sigh)

What a title for a first post!!  Ha!  I think that submitting is something that many wives struggle with.  My generation, a product of growing up in the 80's and 90's, has been told that women are just as equal to men.  We can have everything the men can.  Sure, we're all people, why should our gender make us different?  Obviously we have different roles, in the family, but first within the marriage.  It's been difficult for me to learn exactly what submitting means, but I'm taking it one little step at a time.

Recently, my husband and I had a disagreement, not unusual, who agrees on everything?  Not us.  But we normally get along so well.  When it really matters to me, he gives in quickly and vice versa.

This time?  Not so much. 

He was putting his foot down.  He had all valid points to his argument, including, "I said so."

I felt like he didn't understand the position he was putting me in: that is, hurting feelings no matter which way I went, either his, or someone else's.  I felt like I would lose no matter what I did, no matter what I said, no matter how I felt. 

I prayed.  What's that you ask?  Donna, you prayed for God to change your husband's mind?  Well, I certainly wanted to.  But nope.  I prayed for Him to guide me and show me a little discernment.  You know what?  He did.... immediately.

Uh-Oh, not what I expected.  But then, it never really is huh?

He told me that it didn't matter how I FELT.  He told me that I was supposed to follow my leader here, (incidentally, being led is something that I've been praying about for a long time).  What?  Now?  But I'm right, and he's wrong!  Right?

He told me that He would honor my choice to submit to that husband of mine.  Okay, Lord, whatever you say.

Hubs and I talked, I "submitted," (which may actually be read as "caved in - kicking and screaming on the inside"), and we didn't let the sun set on our disagreement.  I'm proud of my choice, and The Lord rewarded me.  He gave me an awesome outcome to the very thing that Hubs and I were in disagreement about.

What about you?  Is submission something that you strive for?  Have an extremely hard time dealing with?  Comes easily for you?  I hope that the next time a similar situation comes up, I remember more quickly to pray.  I hope that you do too.

Welcome!  This is my blog, all things.....ME!  I'm not so self-centered to think that you want to read all about me, but I am really into gleaning help and tips from other bloggers.  I'd like to be a part of that contribution, to give back.  So, I hope that something shared here will be of interest or help to YOU!!  Enjoy!