I lived in Florida three different times. I spent so much time during the hurricane seasons, glued to the weather reports and wanting to make sure I was prepared for anything, especially once the kids were born and we had a bunch of pets. I’ve owned two houses there, one I still have and one I sold a long time ago. That first house I sold, it was damaged in a hurricane in 2004. That was a bad year from what I remember. Several strong hurricanes, right in a row. The roof was damaged and there was water leaking in. I remember the insurance guy checking it all out, putting a tarp on the roof, and handing us a check for what insurance was going to pay. It was a huge check and we managed to do the roof ourselves to save money. And then we sold it after the city inspected it.

The second time I lived there, it was in an apartment. A second floor apartment. I don’t remember any big hurricanes in that time, but I know there was a lot of rain. I just can’t remember any hurricanes. It was a lot easier just worrying about the stuff in the apartment than the entire structure itself. Being a home owner is draining in ways you don’t understand until you actually experience it, especially in an area with extreme weather.

I still own the second home I bought in Florida. My ex and oldest live there right now. Thankfully it’s way west on the Panhandle and out of trouble with Hurricane Ian. But hurricane season is far from over and the warm waters of the Gulf Coast will be a hazard through November. We have been lucky the past two years. I am hoping that our luck holds out.

It’s been weird to be glued to the weather from afar, like I used to be when I lived in Florida. It’s an amazing place; although the area the house is in is a lot more conservative than me. But it’s still a beautiful area and I love the house. Hopefully nothing will happen to the house and eventually we will be snowbirds spending winters in better weather than we do currently.

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