During the pre-dawn hours of Sept 24, 2005 , Hurricane Rita paid a visit to Clover Country Farms.
It was just a few weeks after the horror stories from Hurricane Katrina hit the news. So luckily, we had preparations fresh on our minds because we knew that But By The Grace Of God... those stories could have been us.
As Rita made her way into the gulf we made sure we had everything put up or tied down that could blow in the fierce winds.
We put tin up all around the chicken & goat house to give my girls some better shelter.
We moved the pigs into a pen that didn't have such large trees around it.
We made sure all of our animals were tagged with our contact information just in case they got away due to damaged fences.
We watched the weather channel non-stop to see where they thought it was going to hit.
I decided I was not going to leave. I couldn't bare the thought of leaving my animals here with no-one to look after them! We were on high ground.. I was not worried about storm surges, I was not worried about flooding. But the high winds and tornadoes were on my mind.
The Man-of-My-Dreams said "We are leaving...." after the news said it was headed our way.
So we began our final preparations.
I filled all of the bathtubs & sinks & pots-n-pans with water. (good to have in case we came home to no water)
I put out several extra feed bins & hay bales for the critters. (I didn't want them hungry AND scared!)
I made sure every inch of our freezers were full of blocks of ice. (when you lose power the fuller and colder you can keep your freezer, the longer your food will be OK)
I stuck the oil lamps, extra oil, ammo and candles in our oven. (this way I'd know where they were when we returned home to a possible damaged and dark house.)
The men-folk boarded up windows.
We each had a small box of "special things" ready to grab and take with us. (just in case we came home to a ruined home.)
I filled a large cooler with drinks and snacks. Gas tanks full, our medicine/first-aid kit, and blankets and put it all in the car.(for the long drive and possible traffic nightmare)
Took all pictures and special breakables and put them in dresser drawers. (in hopes of keeping them safe and dry)
We had lots of canned goods, Lots of meat in the freezer, and plenty of water. (for our return)
I took pictures of everything in our house (for ins.)
Loaded the kids into the car. Loaded the 4-wheeler into the back of the truck (in case we had to deal with blocked roads on our way home)
That decision to leave was heartbreaking for me.
I can't say I wasn't crying as we drove out of the driveway. I snapped a few pictures, not knowing what we would find, if anything, when we returned.
To Be Continued....
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