The Price of Paradise

Thank you all so much for the kind words and prayers

We are used to hurricanes on the Gulf Coast

and have experienced many during the last 35 years

Most of them have caused minimal damage,

except Hurricane Ivan in 2004

which ironically hit on the very same Sept 16th date

as Hurricane Sally

During Hurricane Ivan we also lost our pier and boats

We had roof damage which eventually caused the ceilings to fall in

and we basically had to rebuild the whole house

Hurricane Ivan 2004

We raised the ceiling during rebuilding

which made a huge difference,

the house felt so much bigger

My son and I redesigned the kitchen, and he installed new cabinets and tile

By the beginning of summer 2005,

we had a new boat and pier

and were enjoying our newly rebuilt house

even though the landscape would take years to recover

This storm came upon us so fast

it was hard to prepare

Tuesday afternoon the water was already dangerously high

the pier was underwater and my family knew

that chances of the boats staying secure were slim

The boats did disappear but, his time we got a little luckier 🤞

My son, son in law, and a friend have spent the weekend

securing tarps on the roof,

cleaning up the debris and fixing whatever they could

Once they finished at our house they went to help friends and neighbors

in hot humid and horrible buggy conditions

There are many flooded houses on the lower parts of the island

My SIL took this video upon arrival

Information has been spotty,

with no power they have to reserve their cell phone batteries

The water came back on late Friday,

and they all immediately took showers and felt so much better!

They did bring a generator

and are using it to power fans and the refrigerator

They also cut screens from a screen door

that landed in our yard

and made screens for our windows

so they could open them up for cooler sleeping!

The grocery store is open so that helps, but gas is hard to come by.

I will keep updates coming as I get them,

I am truly grateful that I am not there

and don’t have to live in the very challenging conditions…

Thank you for praying for our little slice of Paradise…

Since we’ve been through this before,

I know with a little time and work

things will get better


I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

Meal Plan Monday   Love Your Creativity  Over the Moon

Between Naps on the Porch,  Celebrate Your Story,

All About Home/ Common Ground Follow the Yellow Brick Home

 Tasty Tuesday   Oh My Heartsie Girl Turn About Tuesday 

 Full Plate Thursday  Centerpiece Wednesday Creative Crafts

Thursday Favorite Things  Creatively Crafty   Creative Cumpulsions

56 Responses to “The Price of Paradise”
  1. Rita C. says:

    I know you’re probably counting the days to the end of hurricane season, and hopefully the guys will be able to rebuild and restore your property soon. I sure hope your roof isn’t damaged anywhere near the extent that Ivan brought. I am so glad for you that you have your son, sil, and friend to help you! Otherwise, it would simply be too much to handle. Everyone is not as fortunate, and the help they’ve given to others had to feel a big relief to those receiving any and all of their assistance. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks so much Rita, the builder who did my house after Ivan texted me this am and already sent his foreman over to look at our house, he’s going to be a big help in getting things done, knows all the good contractors, so grateful to have help!

  2. Jenna, I am so glad you have your family to take care of your home in paradise. I am thankful you and our Alabama Coast was spared the wrath that Ivan brought. Sally was bad enough with so many losing their homes and their property. Prayers for you and all those impacted.

    • Thank you Pam, they’re on their way back, I can’t wait to talk to them in person, some of our island flooded and really got damaged so we really were lucky it wasn’t worse at our house.

  3. Wow, Jenna. While it is still heartbreaking and a lot of damage, looking at the photos from Ivan made me realize there is something for which to be grateful there — no full rebuild. I’m glad the guys could get down there right away, get the tarps up and start the evaluate and repair process. I look at this and think “I don’t know if I could do it,” but I guess we rise to whatever is put in front of us, no matter how grim it might be. I don’t know if FEMA money will be available, but I hope so. Now, I’m going to hold my breath and hope that the other hurricanes to come keep away from you. The good thoughts for that and your rehab continue, of course. I really appreciate your sharing your story. I’ve been worried. (And on a completely unrelated note, I made your acorn squash — actually, a variation. I’ll put my variation in the comments on that — it was good!)

    • Thank you so much Jeanie, they got a lot done this weekend and the power was restored late Sunday, so things are looking up. Now begins the long process of insurance, finding repair people, dealing with the boats. It is exhausting but one day at a time. I appreciate your worry and prayers so much, it really helps!!

  4. So sad and scary, please take care Jenna. My thoughts are with you.

  5. Oh Jenna! Since I’ve been fortunate enough to visit you a few times, I know first-hand how beautiful and comfortable your home on the island was. I’m glad you are safe, and sorry you have a mountain of work in front of you. I’m sure you’ll rise to the occasion and make sweet lemonade out of these bitter lemons. I’ll keep you and others down that way in my prayers and can’t wait to see the fruits of your labor. I’m sure your creative mind is going a million miles an hour now . . . like a hurricane!

    • Thank you Leslie Anne so much!! I’ve been worried about you and Judy, Hope and all my Fairhope friends, I saw photos of trees down everywhere and of course those trees by your pool…is there a lot of damage in Fairhope? To tell you the truth, I’m exhausted just thinking about what’s ahead for our beautiful area…

  6. Martha says:

    That is definitely the price we pay here in paradise. It’s sad to see but sure glad things aren’t as bad as they were in Ivan. I’m so glad you have help to and don’t have to be there yourself. Sure hope we don’t have any others head our way this year. Sending thoughts and prayers.

  7. Rosie M. says:

    Thank you for sharing the video your son took. It gives a clear picture of the wrath of Sally. I am so sorry you have this added stress during an already impossible set of circumstances. All I can suggest is to just compartmentalize all that is ahead. Just ONE STEP AT A TIME. It all doesn’t have to happen overnight. Secure what has to be secured, then one task after another. You’ve already been through this, so I know you know what you have to do, but remember your coping engine has already been tapped, so know your limits. I’m glad you have good support there, and know all your friends and followers are rallying around you emotionally as well.
    Take care.

    • Thank you so much Rosie, I really appreciate your kind words, advice and support, it helps so much! The guys got a ton of stuff done this weekend and helped many others too, I am so proud and grateful for them!!

  8. Julie says:

    I’m so sorry about this rough time that you and your family are going through with your beach house. I hope you get through the rest of this hurricane season. My thoughts and prayers are with you Jenna.

  9. Sarah Anderson says:

    Jenna, it is heartbreaking to think of your slice of paradise in such distress. I know you are grateful for the men in your family who have taken charge and are getting things done. They are no doubt as invested in this property as you are. I continue to keep you and your family and all who have lost property to this storm, and needless to say Beta is not welcome! Take care, my friend. I admire your positive and grateful attitude. It’s the only way to approach this type of disaster.

    • Thank you so much Sarah, and we are praying for Texas as Beta heads your way…it is so difficult to see a place that means so much to my family so torn up but the clean up process is well underway…

  10. Sandra Magle says:

    Dear Jenna, everything looks to be fixable. Hopefully no more storms will piggy-back on your bit of paradise. Here in the north, it has been common to wan to have a cabin in the woods. Wonderful, if you don’t have a 60″ or more snow season…then you have to slog your way to your cabin to shovel your roof. Again, no plowed backroads, or amenities such as running water or electricity. I don’t know how many times we had to help repair/shovel roofs, yes, it is part of the price for paradise. Glad you are all safe! That’s the most important thing! Sandi

    • Thank you Sandi, I am lucky because I have another place to live, so many have lost so much. With time our area will recover and thrive again, and hopefully no more hurricanes for a long time! As for snow, no thank you, I could not deal with that!

  11. Wow Jenna, such terrible damage. You have some strength and a positive attitude.thank goodness for your family to chip in and help. Ivan did a horrific digestive to your paradise home. Thank goodness Sally spread your home. I bet you are exhausted dealing with all of this. Do take time for yourself and breathe. Many prayers for you. Hugs

  12. pattyanneart says:

    Praying for you and your family. Hope things will be better soon. 🙏💚

  13. diane in northern wis says:

    Jenna, I want you to know that I am praying for you and your family as you work to fix everything up again. I have always thought that your place was so beautiful down there…and I know it will be that way again. But I want you to know that I am so sorry that it happened to you and all the other people who were affected by Sally. God Bless You All.

  14. Cyndi Raines says:

    That was quite a video, gave us a real eyeful of the devastation. Did I spy your boat next to another in your neighbor’s yard? Your normally beautiful pool with It’s lovely crystal water looked like it had an apple floating in it and it I think I saw your dock in pieces on your beach. Wow! I still have a vision of your grandson doing his school work in the clean sand. So thankful for you that your roof stayed in place. My goodness the pictures of what Ivan did were horrible. I knew your son, sil and their friends would get busy and bless their hearts for helping others! I am sure you are exhausted, but will pray for added strength for you and your family as you take it one day at a time. So thankful no injuries to your family or loss of life. ♥️

    • Yes, our boat in next door, and looks pretty rough, the pool is green and full of debris, but even though we lost a lot of shingles, inside is dry and just like we left it. I loved that photo of Eli in the sand too, and it will look that way again eventually. We had a lot of erosion, but everything is fixable. We are feeling better now with the yard cleared, the roof covered with tarps, power and water back on, but much work ahead. Thank you so much Cyndi for your prayers, support and kind words 💕

  15. Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors says:

    Jenna, you are so blessed to have family to help you. I’m so sorry you are having to go through this, but I know there will be brighter days ahead. Take care of yourself, sweet friend!

  16. Nancy says:

    Oh Jenna I am so sorry for the destruction that happened at your Paradise. I’m glad your family was there to get things in order as best as they can. Even though there is much more to do.
    I am glad you all are safe. Praying all gets better for you soon.

  17. Deb @ Mountain Breaths says:

    Thanks for the update Jenna. I have been praying for your little slice of Paradise.Yes, things will get better. Glad you weren’t there. Hugs.

    • Thank you Deb, my next door neighbor, who is a widow, stayed and she said it was terrible, her screen porch blew off and a huge glass table top smashed on her patio and another table ended up in her pool, she must have been terrified! It is amazing and uplifting to see people come together and help each other, the clean up is well underway and water, power and internet are restored so that really helps.

  18. Glad you were well away when that came through. I hope it isn’t too long before the repairs are made, and you have your boat back.

  19. Marilyn says:

    Those photos bring home the devastation. I remember 2 years ago when our condi in NC got destroyed. It was so overwhelming!
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

  20. Joanne says:

    Those Hurricane Ivan photos are so distressing! So glad you made out better with this storm and that you have such great help this time around.

  21. Marielle says:

    I’m glad you are safe and have good help! Visiting today from the Over the Moon link up. Wishing your home and community a speedy recovery!

  22. Oh my! You have certainly had your share of challenges! So glad you are well, and obviously very resilient!

  23. I’m so happy that your wonderful family and friends have been there for you and got your roof covered with tarps and the debris cleaned up. Now that the power and water are back on, at least work that needs to be done will be a little easier for them and all the contractors. You all remain in my thoughts.

  24. Mary says:

    Jenna, How bizarre Sally and Ivan on the same date! So glad you have contractor help lining up so your little slice of paradise can be restored, hopefully soon. Mother Nature has been packing a wallop this year from the fires, tornadoes and hurricanes. So distressing in an already challenging time. Thinking of you. ♥

  25. Kitty says:

    Oh goodness gracious, Jenna! It seems that Sally was not as devastating a Ivan, but still…lots of damage and repairs to be done. Thank goodness that you weren’t there when all that happened. Prayers are with you.

  26. Kathy A says:

    Prayers and encouragement for you all!

  27. Marilyn says:

    Congratulations! Your post was my feature pick at #OverTheMoon this week. Each Hostess displays their own features so be sure to visit me on Sunday evening and to see your feature! I invite you to leave more links to be shared and commented upon. Please don’t forget to add your link numbers or post title so we can be sure to visit!

  28. thefrenchhutch says:

    Sorry I’m late Jenna. I know you are in the city but I know your heart is at the beach. I admire how you handle the stress that comes with such a natural disaster. I know you and the men in your family will handle the clean-up and repairs. I hope the damage is nowhere near what it was last time you went through this. I know you can’t wait to get repairs started. I’m so sorry for everyone who lost so much. I know you look forward to the end of the hurricane season! I’m sure with the help of HHjr and your son in law you will meet this challenge head on! Take care………

    • Thank you Emily, I appreciate your confidence in me, this is incredibly difficult and our situation is so much better than many others, but it is still a constant worry and stressful. We are making a little progress every day 🤞

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