It feels like I have fallen off the earth since I last posted anything! We were hit by Hurricane Zeta, what a week and a half ago?? Being onthe Gulf Coast of Mississippi, we have been in the target zone for just about every hurricane this season that entered the Gulf, but despite the hype and preparations, nothing. Then Zeta happened. Just supposed to be a nothing storm, with the eye hitting NOLA before crossing over us. As it got closer, the eye moved a little more north, but the track remained the same. “Projected to be a cat 1, possibly cat 2 and 50mph winds.” In other words, despite the obvious that we would get hit, no one prepared for this storm. Everyone said it would pass like every other storm. I wasn’t convinced.

Wednesday evening, and very slowly, as it got closer to the kids bed time, the winds started to pick up and the rains started to come in. For the first time ever, my husband was actually with us and for that I’m grateful because as the winds began to howl, so did the kids.

We were on the north eastern quadrant of the storm, so of course we were going to end up with the worst of it. 8pm and the power went out and the house shook with the intensity of the winds. The kids were freaking out, and I didn’t blame them as we heard shingles being ripped off the roof and sliding to the ground. Sitting in the living room, the noise was awful. Every so often, my husband would grab a flashlight and circle the perimeter of the house to see what exactly we were losing. Finally at one point he was looking out the window and said he could see the back neighbors car in much greater detail than before. As we both looked with flashlights, we saw that we lost half our fence!

I moved us to the girls room, which was away from all the noise and where it was located, was blocked from the winds. We sat with candles and uno cards and proceeded to play cards until the winds slowly began to die away and calm down. Lucky for us, the storm brought very cool temperatures and we were able to open the windows and sleep comfortably. (Note: even though it’s currently November, we are back to low 80s!! It’s freakishly hot right now!)

The next morning we examined the destruction, found a gas station that had power so we could grab coffee and food, came back and got to work cleaning. My five year old asked if we were having school that day and I responded with “this is school.” And took that moment to make it a learning moment as we made piles of debris.

Lucky for us we only lost power for 24 hours, and aside from fence and shingles, we didn’t suffer any other damage. Thank God for that. But because of all the broken limbs and branches, it was an opportunity for my husband to clean up the yard the way we had intended to clean it up when we moved in four years ago…. sometimes it takes a hurricane to create enough damage to motivate you to clean up completely and start over.

As you can see, I’ve been playing catch up! But I have taken the opportunity to utilize what the kids have found in the yard to create this killer castle fort! We also turned giant branches into horses that spent hours riding around instead of their bikes. Nothing like having the opportunity to use your imagination and have fun without spending a dime! All it took was a cheap hot glue gun, random buttons, yarn, sticks and an abandoned box. Have at it!

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