A Few Random Hurricane Michael Thoughts For Today

This is the playground at my school. Can you see the swings under the tree? 😢 Our entire county has no electricity, we’ve been told we wouldn’t for weeks and schools will be closed at least until the beginning of November. 
Picture Credit: Dawn Tipton Benton - Best School Nurse In The World
But today the electric company's automated phone call states that it could be several weeks to months until everything is up and running.  I teach in the Florida Panhandle, in Marianna, Florida and I live about 10 miles to the east in Cottondale. The eye wall went right over Marianna. There are many worse areas to the south of us, but please lift Jackson County up in your prayers too. 

My grown daughter and I "hunkered down" as the news likes to say, in the hallway of our home, while my husband, her boyfriend and my grown son worked for two of the scariest hours of our lives removing limbs off the roofs, dumping out buckets of water from what was coming inside, removing our fireplace bricks that tumbled down inside, and the list goes on... We never imagining a Cat 4, ALMOST a Cat 5 could travel so far inland. If you live where there are earthquakes, or tornadoes, you know what I'm talking about. These are a fact of life, you prepare for the worse, pray for the best and go about your day, so use to them passing to the east or west of you. Not this time and I have said over and over, all that matters is that my family {and my doggies} are safe. But my heart is breaking for my students, it is the NOT.KNOWING.ABOUT.THEM that is heart wrenching. Do they have water? Food? A dry bed? Gut Wrenching.... 

So that I don't snap completely, when it gets pitch dark around 7, I start to write in my journal about all of this, documenting property loss, tips for afterwards, reminders for my next hurricane kit and just prayers and the daily thoughts that I'm so happy to be able to say, "We're Cat 4 Survivors." I think I will write about all of that later for the blog, because I'm not a mommy blogger, but I am a Mom. I'm not a home decorator blogger, a fixer-up blogger, but I do live in a fixer-up! I'm not a survivalist blogger, but I did survivor. 

No, I'm a teacher, that's what I was born to do, that's what God called me to do, and God doesn't call us to do easy things, he calls us to use the skill set he gave us for the good of others. JOY is our family motto, Jesus, Others, then Yourself. So eventually I will share, hopefully teaching someone else a tip or two. But right now I will lick my wounds, shallow my self-pity and pray specifically and continuously for my students and their families.
This is my She-Shed, a gift from my husband for storing my classroom supplies and part of our barn.
Back of the She-Shed, this enormous tree peeled it back like it was a can of tuna.
 Before Picture with Big Chicken Standing Guard

There is so much work to be done on our home, the property and the community I’ll be off of social media for a while, but some previously scheduled things will run.
Please stay safe and know that I appreciate each and everyone of you. 
Love, Fern 

#Cat4Survivor #FernSmithsClassroomIdeas


  1. Sending lots of prayers for you, your favmily, community and of course your students.

    1. Thank you so much, your kindness means the world to me right now! Fern

  2. Replies
    1. Love you bunches, thank you for the kind wishes!
      Happy New Year, Fern

  3. Please know that are joining you in prayer. I live in Camden County, GA. I am not that far away (3 hrs) if I can do anything, please let me know.

    1. Thank you so much, your kindness means everything to me! Fern

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  5. HI Fern, I am thinking of you and your family, friends, neighbors, and students. If I can be of help up here in Pittsburgh, Pa, let me know. Even when you return to school, my students can write yours a welcome back note for support. Let me know!

  6. Dear Emily,
    Thank you so very much, what a lovely idea. Our mailing address is Golson Elementary School Mrs. Smith's Kindergarten 4258 2nd Ave. Marianna, FL 32446
    Teachers have to report back on Friday the 26th and the students on Monday, October 29th.
    Fondly, Fern


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