I Survived Hurricane Jeanne

Featured image: Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

It was September 2004. It was supposed to be our vacation.

My parents, my maternal grandmother and I flew down to Orlando on September 20th from Indianapolis to check on the damage done to our mobile home from Hurricane Charley.

Jeanne was out to sea. She was not going to hit land, meteorologists said earlier in the week. “Jeanne won’t affect the United States”, one said.

A couple of days later, she made a sudden left turn and headed straight for FLORIDA!


Bing/Hurricane Jeanne

Meteorologists told residents to brace for yet another hurricane. People were putting up plywood and using tarps in an attempt to protect themselves.

Local government officials were giving frequent press conferences urging residents to evacuate. Shelters were being set up and the Red Cross was getting prepared.

My family and I sat watching the coverage, trying to decide what to do.

We had decided to change our plane ticket but, we were a little too late as the airport just got it’s orders to close. We called the rental car agency to see how much it would cost to drive our rental back to Indiana but it was going to be too costly.

So it was official. We were all going to experience our very first hurricane!


Bing/Hurricane Jeanne

On September 25th, a member of the Orlando Police and Fire Department drove around the mobile home park -a retirement community- with a bullhorn announcing we had by 6 PM to evacuate.

A cousin of ours -who also lived in the park – invited us to join him at his son’s house. Jeanne hit the Orlando area between 3 and 4 AM the next morning.

She was a Category 3 with winds between 80-95 miles per hour with a gust of 70 and left several inches of rain. The media coverage was very professional and calm. I admired their courage to go out and report. Very brave souls!

One got tossed several inches live on the air but fortunately wasn’t hurt. As for me and my family, we were all basically calm. I sat on the living room sofa reading “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” with an amazing view of the storm through the picture window.

I really can’t put it into words what I saw: just the work that I saw God due was just simply incredible!


Photo by Johan Bos from Pexels

The city curfew lifted the next day and we returned back to our home.

The level of destruction in the park left us all in a state of amazement.

Parts of or whole roofs were gone. Front and back porches were gone.

Carports, awnings, trimmings and siding were gone.

The canal, lake and swimming pool were overflowing.

A tree with a birdhouse near the lake was leaning sideways.

The shuffleboard court had puddles of water.

Trees were snapped and leaning or were completely gone.

Very few homes sustained little to no damage. Luckily, our home was one of them.

Now I’m not going to get all “I-saw-my-life-flash-before-me” on you because I’m not the dramatic type. Going through a hurricane was very exciting but it was not a life-changing experience…

It was one very memorable vacation!

Have you been through a traumatic event such as a Hurricane or maybe even a Tornado? Tell me your story below and let’s chat!

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

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My Nana, My Friend

Featured Photo above courtesy of Pexels

March 10th would’ve been my maternal grandmother’s 97th birthday. I had 4 wonderful grandparents but there was something special about Nana.

I was her only grandchild so you can just imagine all of the love and attention I received.

When I was younger it used to drive me nuts the lengths Nana would go to show her affection. The loving stares, the frequent love pats. After a while I was like, “Ok, Nana. I got it. You love me. Geez. Enough already!” Mom would say, “Amy, she is only showing you how much she loves you.” And I would say, “Well, does she got to do it so much!?”

Image Credit: Gif/Bing

Due to my low self esteem and issues with bullying, discrimination, rejection and harassment I received while in school due to having a learning disability. Looking back, I think I didn’t feel worthy of having someone love me the way Nana did so I would act inappropriately, hoping she would come to understand that I am not worth loving and just move on.

God bless Nana, as she never quit showing me love and attention. No matter how many times I’d take my dissatisfaction with myself and life out on her, Nana was always right there with her big, bright smile, continuing her display of affection.

As I got older, I began to finally understand just how lucky I was to have someone love me as much as Nana did. And how very much we needed each other.

I needed someone to show me that I was worthy of having someone love me and after my grandfather passed away unexpectedly, Nana needed to know that it was all right for her to get as affectionate as she wanted.

I came to understand that by rejecting her attention, I was rejecting Nana as well.

And Lord knows I didn’t mean to imply that. I was so caught up into my own world that I failed to see just how fragile Nana truly was.

She was perky and fun-loving but underneath all of that was someone who felt lost… very much like me. I needed love to be shown I am worthy and Nana needed to give love so that she herself would feel worthy.

In 2011, I got a call that Nana was diagnosed with esophageal cancer… and it was terminal.

Image Credit: Pexels

Upon learning this, I immediately went to visit Nana at the nursing home. This was Nana’s home now in which she was placed after having a series of other health issues.

As I walked up to the front door, to my surprise – There was Nana sitting right by the door in her wheelchair flashing her big famous, bright smile.

Outside of being at the door that day, Nana mostly stayed in bed. When I would come, I’d take her for rides in her wheelchair. There was this little hill by the Physical Therapy wing that she loved for me to take her, whether going up or down – I’d always go reallyyyy fast!!

Nana would put her hands in the air and shout, “WHEE!”

It was during this time that I wholeheartedly apologized for my unkindness so long ago. Nana, without hesitation. Forgave me instantly…

She said, “It’s ok, You were young.”

Man, that did me in! after hearing those words, I just lost it..

Image Credit: Pexels

After Nana died, I began what was going to become a 7 year long journey of finding my true self. I knew I had to do some serious soul-searching. I was 34 years old and I was still feeling the effects of all that I went through.

I am happy to say that I am finally there and I would not have gotten here if it weren’t for Nana. She showed me just how worthy I really was and am. It was during the difficult times when I felt like giving up that I reminded myself that someone believed in me, even when I didn’t.

Nana’s been gone for 7 years now and there are still pieces of her all over our place. She’d  spent the winters with my family and I. She and I shared a bathroom.

In the top dresser drawer, is where Nana kept all her combs and brushes. I hadn’t even touched them. They’re still there.

I remember her every time I watch NCIS, she truly enjoyed that show as she was a huge fan of Mark Harmon and whenever I hear the song “Everything I Do, I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams, I would think about the time we all, including Nana went to the movies to see the film “Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves”

I remember Nana saying to me one day, as we looked up at the clouds together, how fun it would be to ride on one those. Now, every time I look up and imagine which cloud she might be on, going “WHEE!” with both hands flailing high in the air.

Image Credit: Pexels

I was without a doubt so blessed to have had her as my grandmother and I know without a shadow of a doubt, she would say she was blessed to have me as her granddaughter.

After all, She was my Nana. She was my friend.

May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.
Amy Temple

Finally Letting Go In Order to Move On…

I’ve been living with a learning disability for most of my life.

And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve also lived with the fact of having many medical professionals tell my parents – that unfortunately, I wasn’t going to amount up to anything.

Image Credit: Pexels

Because of this stigma, I’ve felt the pain and agony of school bullying and harassment. After graduation, I joined a local job employment program for the disabled where I got my first experience of just how unacceptable society can be.

And trust me, just because I had a disability – employers didn’t waste time making me feel worse than what I already had been feeling, each looked down on me as if I was a complete waste of time, almost as if they “had” to hire me because they didn’t want a lawsuit. My heart went out to the other members in the program who had more severe disabilities. Lord knows what they must have been going through!

After several years of nothing but frustration over the discrimination and rejection, I decided to quit the job search.

Being 23 at the time, most people my age were already living on their own with good paying jobs and there I was, still living at home without a job prospect in sight. I remember volunteering at the local senior citizen center just to get out the house.

I began to feel bad for my parents whom were still having to support me. Thinking of that the job search and the remnants of school bullying and taunting began to make me one bitter person, it was like a plague that seemed to latch on to me daily.

However, I could go on and on about how angry I was at being disabled. The bitterness, resentment and grudges I felt from others judging me because of it which led me to carry some big chips on my shoulders – towards everyone!

Oh my, years of holding all that hurt affected me in all areas of my life. So much so, I began to live with worry, fear and anxiety. It all started in junior high when I created the habit of picking my skin to the point of scars and my nails to the point of nubs. I soon developed an eating disorder.

I had major trust issues. I didn’t have any friends outside of my volunteer work. I didn’t date. This lasted for years.

When I was 34, my maternal grandmother died from esophageal cancer. She was my last surviving grandparent. Losing her finally opened my eyes, it’s sad that it takes a tragedy for us to really see ourselves. I decided that I could no longer live this way and I had to do something about it.

It took me several years of self help programs and books but I have finally found peace. Now that’s not to say I haven’t made some pretty big whoppers. I mean, I am still human and do make mistakes, but I’m a much better ME, a me that I finally approve of!

Image credit: Pexels

I’ve been on this earth for nearly 42 years and have done an extensive amount of soul searching. In that discovery, I’ve learned quite a few things about myself as well as my environment and that’s this:

  • Not everyone is going to accept you.
  • People are going to hurt you because they’re hurting themselves and get a “high” off of causing others pain.
  • If you allow haters to rule your life, you’re slowly killing yourself.

I know because I spent well over 30 years accepting and doing just that. Don’t waste your life over how others perceive you. How God perceives you is what matters. He sent His son to die for you. All of your sins, all of your mistakes have been forgiven.

You are fearfully, wonderfully and beautifully made.

And don’t you EVER forget that!

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

I’ve Been Wrong… And Here’s Why

I must confess something to all of you.

image credit: bing

These past few months I believe I have been coming across as bitter.Bitter because I have been discriminated against and rejected due to my learning disabilities. I feel all I have done since I began writing this blog is complain…

And that is not what I want to do here. I wanted to join this team because I wanted to inspire you. I figured you could use a break from all the negativity that I am sure you have been reading elsewhere. And yet, I have been contributing.

I sincerely apologize to all of you. I don’t want you to come away after reading my work feeling worse than you may have already felt.

After re-reading some of my previous blogs, I thought to myself, “Man! I sound like one bitter woman!”

image credit: gif/Emma Roberts

Yes, what I have gone through has really hurt but after a recent incident, I have realized it is time to not dwell on what has happened to me or what has been happening to me.

I have previously mentioned -and complained- about my long-standing work relationship as a dog sitter for a couple in the retirement community I live in with my parents. I was very bitter about their ways and made threats to quit.

AND I DID! but not before I told the wife off via a text first! I mean, I TOLD HER OFF! And there was absolutely no need to do it…any of it.

I had been reminding this couple over and over again, maybe even several times a day to keep their puppy away from leaves, bits of tree twigs and plant seeds – a pretty reasonable request I thought. But after they failed to listen and honor my request – that’s when my ROCKETS got to flying and they flew pretty HIGH!

image credit: bing

Overall this couple are very nice Christians who have very specific ways they want their dog to be treated. Yes, some are a bit peculiar to say the least, but that’s the beauty of free will…right?

But you want to know the saddest part of it all? I also consider myself to be a Christian too. However, judging by my recent behavior, you sure wouldn’t be able to see it.

After completing some majorly, heavy repenting, God pierced my bitterly dark heart. So much so, I ended up sending the wife a text in the middle of the night, swallowing some serious crow!

I deeply apologized for my behavior and asked for another chance. Fortunately, I was given one. And I hope you, my readers -who I am truly grateful to have – will give me one, too.

image credit: bing/shrek/pussinboots

When you get on this website, you want to be inspired. You want to feel better.

You don’t want to hear about the woe is me tales of how rough life has been for someone because you already know. You don’t want -nor do you need – to be reminded.

So I am here to tell you all that I am not going to be writing any more stories like that.

I am definitely going to be continuing to write for Justsuminspiration and I am forever grateful for this glorious opportunity to share my God-given gift with you all.

My advice to you?, please don’t do what I did. Don’t wallow in pride. Learn to let things go, especially the past. The Bible says “Forget the former things. Keep pressing forward to the life that God has planned for you.”

Oh and no matter how wrong you may get, always – always don’t be too ashamed to say “you’re sorry” – None of us, including me should ever be above that law..

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Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

The Moment I Grew Up & Started Putting My Foot Down.

Okay, let’s get honest here…

Being a grown-up can REALLY suck!

Image credit: Bing

I’m saying that in jest but it can. I have been an official grown-up for nearly 22 years and at times I have wished that I can just run into one of my parents’ arms and stay there forever enjoying the protection. It just feels so good!

But any wise person would tell you permanently staying in that position isn’t possible. After a brief consoling period both of my parents would say “Welcome to adulthood”. And that folks is it in a nutshell…

Image credit: Pexels

If you’re 20 or older, welcome to adulthood! It’s going to be quite the bumpy ride so grab a hold of something and hang on tight! as it’s not going to get any easier as you get older either. I was raised in the typical middle class lifestyle. Mom and Dad are truly the best parents anyone could ever ask for. I have truly been blessed.

As those of you who have read my previous blogs may know, I have a learning disability and have dealt with my fair share of discrimination and rejection. I have wasted way too much time trying to understand why having learning disability can be considered such a black mark but it is. However, I’ve learned to just keep plowing through.

One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had as an adult was coming to the realization when it’s time to let something go. As I’ve mentioned previously, I have been self-employed in the dog care field for the past 12 years.

I’ve been tested on numerous occasions in reference to “letting go”. I remember I had this one client in the beginning of my career, who was VERY particular. They had a Boston Terrier who was older and they hired me to care for her.

It was the easiest job! She wasn’t a picky dog unlike her owners! Quite frankly, these two could have learned a lot from her! Unfortunately she passed away last June and to be perfectly honest -as much as I missed her. I was happy not to be working for her owners anymore…..but that happy thought was short-lived.

A few months later, they got another Boston Terrier – 3 months old.

Gif Image Credit: Bing

To make a very long story short, I was pretty much in charge of caring for him while they worked and did whatever else they wanted to do. One time they left him with me for a full 4 hours!! Did I mention that this was on the first day? The hours were brutal and quite frankly, ridiculous! as this charade went on for quite some time..

It would’ve been different if they were my only clients, but they weren’t. I had other clients who also needed my attention. It was then that I decided that enough was enough. Finally, I put my foot down and explained to them that their “rigorous” schedule could not continue. An agreement was finally made by all parties.

The Epiphany of me putting my foot down came when I realized that this puppy was becoming too much for me to handle on my own. It all started when he and I
were walking around the retirement community, when he go loose somehow
and boy did he GO WILD! I’m still recovering from very sore legs after chasing him!

There I was, a 40-something year old woman, trying to run after a 7 month old puppy. Oh my poor legs! After that day, I came to a very hurtful conclusion “I cannot take care of puppies anymore, at least not on my own. It would be a completely different story if I were 10, 15 or even 20 years younger but unfortunately, that boat has sailed on into the abyss.

Image credit: Bing

So, basically the moral of the story is, I’ve gotten older and there’s just some things that I can’t do anymore like taking care of a hyper-active puppy. It doesn’t suck to confess that I am older. I mean, it is what it is.

On that note, getting older also means getting wiser. I’ve learned that I must put my foot down more and not agree and say YES to everything. In fact, none of us should. You are the only one in control… well, up to a point. God has the final say in all things.

The best advice I can give at this moment is to listen to your gut. It won’t steer you wrong. I should have listened to my gut when I first saw that puppy…

Don’t be afraid to stand your ground and if someone doesn’t like it…

Tell them GOOD-BYE!

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Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.