Thursday Doors- Hurricanes


Today my thoughts are with all of my family and friends in Florida. Hurricane Matthew is barreling their way.  

As of right now, it is a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds.  

It is expected to strengthen some before it reaches Florida.  

When I look at forecasted lines I see potentials for landfall from Palm Beach up through Vero Beach.  

We moved to Virginia from a town right in between, Seawalls Point.  

We have friends all along there, Stuart, and Jensen Beach.  

Also, we lived in Okeechobee for 2 years before that.  

We have friends there under warnings.  

I am also concerned for those devastated by the storm in Haiti and those dealing with it in the Bahamas.


Hurricane Wilma.

My Thursday door today (check out Norm 2.0 for other amazing doors) is from our home when we lived in Naples, Florida.  

We had that home built in 1999 and moved in when I was 5 months pregnant with our first child.  

We grew our family in that home until we left Naples in 2008.

The photo of the door was taken after Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

Wilma came ashore just south of Naples in Cape Romano with 120 mph winds.  

Prior to that, it had reached a Category 5.

Wilma was the twenty-second storm, thirteenth hurricane, sixth major hurricane, fourth Category 5 hurricane, and second-most destructive hurricane of the 2005 season.

You can see all the dirt and debris that had blown against the home.  

The hurricane codes had been increased after Andrew (which I lived in Naples for as well) so our house held up well.


I don’t have any magnificent photos that capture what it’s like when a band comes through.  

These pine trees are native.  

They are made to withstand the winds.  

The air changes and becomes eerie and clear.  

There is a palpable shift in the pressure and then the wind whooshes through the trees on one side of you and then continues outward and around until it is on the other side and then behind you.

I love this feeling.  

It lifts my soul and makes me feel alive.  

I don’t know if it is the Florida in my veins or some deeper ancestral feeling.  

We have had one such storm with the palpable change and circular wind while I’ve lived in Virginia.  

It was on a small scale so I just stood outside and breathed in home.  

But hurricanes can also be devastating and scary.


While native plants can withstand most hurricanes, the pine tree in this photo did not.  

That is because it stood alone.

In my desire to take out the least amount of trees necessary to build our home, I left this beautiful, tall specimen.  

I also left the cypress tree that you can almost make out to the right.

The problem for this pine was that he took the entire brunt of the storm


I think we could all learn some lessons about the need for community and friendship right there.


For us, the tree was the part we never imagined when riding out the storm.  

I have been through plenty of tropical storms and hurricanes that have passed nearby (Charlie, Sandy…probably some others).  

The realization that had the tree broke the other way and landed on the roof was a little overwhelming.

This front window was my daughter’s room and the back corner was the boy’s room.  

We decided at that moment that we wouldn’t ride out a strong hurricane again.

My children only remember the water about the storm.  

That and that their dad made them some floating thing out of wood (I can’t remember this and am guessing it was just a piece of plywood).  

They don’t remember any moment of being frightened (I don’t think they ever were).  

They certainly don’t remember the weeks of cleaning up the yard or replacing torn soffits and fascia.  

Or remember the fence panel surrounding the water system that blew across the yard.  

They don’t even remember that after three days of no electricity and water (we were on a well system, which requires electricity), I packed up the kids, my mom, and sister-in-law and went to our cabin in Georgia until the power came back (poor hubby had to go back to work, taking showers in our RV since it had a tank of water).

Floridians have been weathering storms for generations.  

They are a resilient bunch, but they are deeply in my prayers today as I watch the news.  

They are in my thoughts as I feel strangely surreal in a store that is not packed with people clamoring for bread and water.

 Oddly out of place that the lines at the gas station haven’t increased.  

I miss my home today and I hope it weathers well.

Boarded doors and window at Pelican Larry’s sports bar – October 2005

Let your light shine!


*all photos on this page are copyright of Amy Lyon Smith

28 thoughts on “Thursday Doors- Hurricanes

  1. Wonderful post, demonstrating the flexible abilities of both native trees and people. I never endured a hurricane, since we lived an hour from the shore, but I did get winds and rains and those were no joke. My kids did enjoy all the puddles.
    My parents went through Wilma, and lost their carport and shingles and gutters, but they had those things repaired. For years and years, they’ve gone over to a friend’s ‘Hurricane-Proof’ home, but she passed this last spring and I wonder what they will do. They may tough it out, since they’re on the gulf. I haven’t been able to reach my mama today, but I’m sure she’s alright, since she’s playing Scrabble with me online, lol!
    I hope it’s not as awful as they say, but the people on the coast have my prayers as well.

    1. Thank you. We would have gone to the other coast with family if we still were this one. It’s hard when you aren’t sure where you’ll go. A lot of news outlets assume it’s so easy to just up and go.
      It stayed well offshore as it passed the Treasure Coast. My friends have said they have lots of cleanup, but no major damage. I’m praying that everyone else along the path fares as well.

  2. I hope everyone is safe.

    The last time I experienced something close to what you had in the photos was when I was still living in the Philippines. I remember the fallen trees, and flood and muddy waters, and soggy walls. I loved the sound of pouring rain and lashing wind, and the cooler temperatures. However, I have been blessed that I have not witnessed true devastation.

    1. I have been blessed to have never witnessed true devastation. My thoughts are with those in the places, like Haiti, who did with this storm.
      My friends weathered the storm well. Lots of cleanup, but no major damage.

  3. wow- enjoyed this post – and the boot photos are cool. And wow about the tree – (but I think the word NOT is missing the text) –
    anyhow, I am also glad that homes are more hurricane proof right now –

    and latest update is that iMatthew is pulling offshore a bit – I have family in the space coast and tampa – and they are well – the space coast folks moved inland some.
    oh and I heard that even tho most Floridians are prepped – a lot of of folks in Jacksonville have never really seen a hurricane like this – maybe since the late 1800 s they were hit directly (something like that) and then they said 2 million folks have moved to Florida since 2005 and many have not been in any major hurricane – hm

    anyhow, my thoughts are prayers are with everyone too (and your Naples home looked lovely! – well not with the damage, but you know what I mean… šŸ™‚ )

    1. Thank you. I talked with friends over the past few days who were putting up their shutters. It staying more offshore was a very good thing. Hopefully everyone still in its path fares as well.

      1. The weather is becoming wilder with climate change. I’m glad your friends escaped unscathed. Cleaning up is almost a relief when no one is hurt.

  4. WHOA! When trees were getting knocked down, you know it’s serious. We had many violent storm warnings this year here in mainland Japan, but none of it were serious… thankfully.
    Any update on the outcome of Hurricane Matthews and the people you know?

  5. Touching post, Amy. If you lived there, I can imagine, that it reminds you with all the people you know who are dealing with hurricane Matthew.
    I don’t know how I missed all these posts:( Am glad I am reading them now. I don’t know how people in Florida do it. We were there twice for a week, so we had good taste of the weather. The last time was in the summer, and in mid afternoon (every day) some black clouds came in, the wind started blowing as if a hurricane was coming, but after the rain everything subsided again.

    1. I think we must get used to the weather/nature, to some degree, wherever we are.
      My grandmother lived in L.A. from her teens until her early 30’s and I remember her telling about earthquakes and couldn’t imagine what it was like to live where that happens.
      My great-grandmother stayed in California and she always hated the humidity when she would visit Florida. šŸ™‚

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