Dealing With Irma

  • It's been a challenging couple of weeks for the Dollar Stretcher crew. As many of you know we're headquartered along the gulf coast in Florida. And for the last 2 weeks and probably a few weeks to come that means that we've been dealing with Irma.


    I've lived in Florida for nearly 50 years so I've been through a few hurricanes. They're never pleasant and some are much worse than others. Even for long-time FL residents, a cat 4 or 5 storm will get your attention. Parts of Florida felt that fury. Fortunately we're a little further north and didn't see winds past the upper-90s.


    The aftermath of a storm is a pain. Even if you don't have any major damage, your life will be disrupted for awhile. It took about 10 days before everyone had power in our county. Including hacienda TDS (8 days). Our server was offline for 2 days. There are fences, trees and branches everywhere. There's a 6 foot high pile of tree pieces piled at the foot of my driveway. But major damage seems to be limited to the keys, the southwest tip of FL and some coastal flooding.


    There is one good thing about being without electricity. Without a cable or internet connection there are fewer distractions. I can't watch my Cubs on TV so I have time to think. And at a time like this it's easy to think about all the things that I'm thankful for.


    I'm especially grateful that there we so few casualties. I'm thankful that everyone I know came through without injury. And that property damage wasn't worse. That our home and the TDS office came through without major damage.


    I'm also reminded of the things that are missing now that I should be thankful for. Things like warm showers, air conditioning, hot meals, internet and light for my path in the night (didn't realize that you could stub your toes on an extension cord even with the light of an LED lantern!).


    I've also been given a greater concern for those in Houston and Puerto Rico who are suffering in hurricane aftermaths.


    What's all this have to do with being a Dollar Stretcher? Perhaps two things. First, I'm reminded that money and things are not more important than the people in our lives. All of our calls after the storm started the same - "is everyone ok?" After we were sure of that we could talk about property damage.


    Second, we often talk about needs and wants. I admit that sometimes I get that wrong. When you're faced with a serious crisis there aren't too many things that are truly needs. Food, water, a safe place to stay. While I wouldn't want to live without my internet for long, it can be done.


    Thanks for your patience while our server was down and our newsletters were delivering late.


    Keep on Stretching those Dollars!


1 comment
  • tracy
    tracy So happy everyone stayed safe. Hard to deal with inconveniences, esp as days turn into weeks, but so happy all are well. I remember sitting on the porch of my house after a town flood shut down electric and water for many days, watching the stars and list...  more
    September 22, 2017

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