It could’ve been worse. Hurricane Matthew rolled into Brevard County like a fleet of semis racing in random spurts uncaring of the damage they inflicted as they revved up those modified jet engines and wrecked havoc on the huddled homes of my friends and family. Those of us on Stockton St. suffered high winds, falling trees, and loss of power. While we are still making some repairs, it really could’ve been so much worse.
It was a few hours before the actual storm hit that the first spurts of winds began tearing past the trees and buildings of our little group of neighborly friends. We had everything prepared best we could. Our house is raised, so I was not concerned about flooding. We are also nestled nicely between other homes. My only true concern once we had the necessary emergency supplies was the trees in the back yard. Would they hold up the high, gusting winds Matthew was already beginning to pelt us with? The wind seemed like a breathing, malevolent entity that night. Hissing and slamming its way between our homes with a vigor that made sleep impossible for me, but nothing got through the walls and windows of our home. It could’ve been worse.
The trees did not stand a chance and the first one fell before the sun even set that night. The worst had not even gotten to us and already I had the smashed pieces of wooden stairs dangling on my back porch. It was then we decided; “Yep, let’s bring the bedding and electronics to the center of the house!” Not only did we have our own household members of 5 people, we hunkered in for the night in a crowded room with our friends and daughter who had come to weather the storm with us. We also had our first official rescue, an injured dog bitten at his first shelter of choice. It was well before dawn by the time we had a total of 3 full sized trees and 1 small one pushed down along the back fence due to the high winds. However, it was only that 1st one that came close to actually threatening to damage our home. It could’ve been worse.
It was as if Matthew made a date and was determined to be right on time when a final gust of hellishly loud wind whipped its way around our neighborhood at 5am and tore the transformer apart. It was so fast. That rush, the pop…and Whoosh…the power was finally defeated. We had made it right until the end. Just when I thought “Wow, we might actually make it without losing power!”. Yep, Matthew had the last laugh. For 3 days we went without the luxury of electricity. But, it could’ve been so much worse.
When I see all the heart-rending damage Matthew did in other areas, I can not help but feel blessed. It was as if the hand of God sheltered us and kept us safe. I do not care if you believe in God or not. Believe in what you will, but I experienced such an outpouring of both neighborly and church membership love and help, I can not help but be moved into thinking that we had Divine protection. Sure, the winds tore at us, we lost some trees, and our power was out for 3 days, but we all know, quite well…it could’ve been worse!