Truth be told when we returned home from our most recent work trip to Loblolly, I fully expected to spend the last week of August tying up loose ends from an incredibly busy summer.
After all, our fall theme is “enjoy the season you’re in” and for weeks now, I’ve been bound and determined to make the transition as seamless as possible so we could do just that.
My first order of business was to finally commit to an office refresh where I could sip pumpkin spice lattes while planning out the rest of the year using my 90-day calendar system.
I even daydreamed about a cozy bedroom refresh too.
But the Saturday after my nephew’s football game, we woke up with scratchy throats.
I didn’t think anything of it at first because the game had been a total nail-biter and we screamed and cheered throughout the entire second half.
By Monday though, we were down for the count with flu-like symptoms and it took every ounce of energy we could muster to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Idalia.
Late Tuesday night we watched the weather reports one last time and mentally prepared ourselves for the “high impact” wind damage they predicted knowing we’d done everything possible to help mitigate any risk.
But early Wednesday morning when I woke up to check on things, the hurricane had wobbled to the west.
And while that was better for us on the island, it made things so much worse for my entire family living back in our hometown who were directly impacted by Hurricane Idalia and subsequent tornadoes just a few hours later.
On Thursday morning I realized our flu-like symptoms hadn’t improved at all and by that afternoon, our household had their first diagnosed case of COVID.
The following Tuesday, I was diagnosed with COVID and Strep.
To say things have been chaotic lately is an understatement.
During this same time, my Dad had surgery, and 10 additional family members came down with either COVID or severe head colds. This stuff is so contagious we literally started falling like dominoes!
In a million years I would never have imagined being sick and stuck in quarantine while my family members began the cleaning and rebuilding process.
I fully expected to put on my work gloves, roll up my sleeves, and help wherever needed.
The good news is that power was finally restored to Loblolly yesterday and save for 3 family members we all have basic services again.
There was some damage at Loblolly but it’s minor compared to my aunt and uncle who lost the roof of their house, and a big workshop. And if that weren’t heartbreaking enough, after a more thorough assessment, they will also have to repair some kind of damage to nearly every structure that sits on their farm.
Truthfully, we don’t know of a single person that didn’t have something to address and there is still so much to clean up.
But there is also so much to be thankful for.
And despite the hurricane chaos, COVID, and strep those are the things we continue to hold onto each and every day.
According to the doctor, I still have a few weeks of meds and healing to get through. They estimate it could be an additional month before I get my energy back or feel like myself again.
I’m hopeful it won’t be that long though.
For now, I’m just taking it day by day.
If you had told me a few weeks ago, that we would start our fall season out like this I wouldn’t have believed you.
It’s been a busy summer but also a beautiful one and I fully expected to ease into the fall season in much the same way.
But these past few weeks I’ve been reminded that loving the season you’re in has nothing to do with a perfect season or even a perfectly imperfect one.
It’s all about finding grace, silver linings, micro joys, and prioritizing what really matters.
As we move even further into September, I hope you’ll find ways to be fully present right where you are.
Even if things are not going quite like you had planned or imagined.
There is a way to hold space for two things at once, I promise.
You just have to find a way to process and honor the tough times, savor the magical moments, appreciate the blessings, and fully celebrate the victories along the way no matter how big or small.
As always, I’ll be cheering you on.
Thank you again for all your extra prayers, emails, kind comments, and words of support. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate them, and I can’t wait to reconnect soon.