The Pursuit of Happiness

What I wish I’d brought with me – Hurricane Florence

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, I’m sure you know that the entire Southeast has been devastated by hurricanes this year. First, Florence crept ashore 3 miles from our house and stuck around for a couple of days, causing an outrageous amount of tree damage and catastrophic flooding. At least 43 people lost their lives and untold thousands are homeless. Then in early October, Michael roared swiftly ashore in the panhandle of Florida, wiping entire towns off the map and leaving a swath of deaths and destruction behind.

We evacuated during Florence, and thought we had taken everything that mattered with us – our son and his family (who live locally), my mom, 7 pets, financial records, mementos, computers, bible, essential oils, diffusers, LLV vitamins, clothes, coffee and coffee pot, and as much food as we could pack up. It wasn’t particularly glamourous – in fact, we felt like a hot mess both coming and going. We basically filled three cars and boogied on down the road to Oxford, NC. Our friends had heard from God that they needed to open her home to the whole bunch of us. God gave GREAT grace and it was an amazing, humbling, and inspiring time.

Then we split up: Mom went to Danville with my brother and his family, Bobby and Jay and the kids went to Greensboro, and we went to Salt Lake City for an essential oils convention. I was really torn on going to Convention … we didn’t even know if we still had a home at that point. It would be days before Bobby eventually got back to Wilmington to discover that although our home was damaged, it’s both liveable and fixable.

I wish I’d brought a few other things with me when we evacuated. Just a few, really:

  • Stainless Steel straws – I drink a lot of water and frequently add essential oils to my water! I almost always sip from a straw, but forget them in the packing frenzy. If you don’t have them yet, get them – they’re inexpensive and you’ll feel good not throwing away more plastic into the landfill! Plus you can add (doTERRA only) oils to your water or tea – healthy and delicious!
  • Massage Table – I do ArōmaTouch Technique, which is profoundly good for stress – which we were all under. It’s similar to a very light massage with essential oils in terms of the experience, though it’s clinically different than massage. I would have liked to bless my hosts with it, plus use it to keep us healthy and sane. This is the exact massage table I use because it’s lightweight, portable, I can set it up and take it down myself, and it’s very sturdy!
  • Blank Checks – I might write five checks over the course of a year. I mean really, who writes checks anymore for anything? However, I needed a voided check for setting up direct deposit of FEMA funds.
  • My Pigs in a Pillow (mini muffin) Pan. If you’re on the AIP diet, this recipe by Breanna Emmit will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. I’ve made a few tweaks to her recipe that I’ll be posting soon! I got a new pan sent to Salt Lake City and it’s one of the things I cooked in my marathon cooking session our first day (another thing I’ll post soon, I promise!)!
  • Thank you cards, stamps, and return address stamper. I keep stacks of them on hand for our business. If I’d thought to bring them with me, I could have been sending them out along the way to friends who helped in varying ways, instead of having to set aside time upon returning home to write and send them.
  • Laundry soap. My skin and nose just can’t handle chemical cleaners and fragrances.

It’s really amazing to me that with practically zero prep and never having evacuated before, we were able to pull it off and not find that we’d left major things behind.

How about you, dear reader … have you ever evacuated before a hurricane or major catastrophe? What have you wished you brought with you?


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